||[Mar. 29th, 2009|11:49 pm]
So I've taken to reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I'm going to admit that when I first picked it up, I felt like a tool. By now, the book feels like a cliche. I've heard so much about it, and while I was curious in the past, I generally dismissed it as a quick-fix tool: "Just do this and you will find happiness and success!" I figured it was someone exploiting the general hopefulness and laziness of people in order to make a buck. |
However, upon reading it, I was rather delighted by what I found. One of the first points made in the book is that quick-fixes don't work and to expect hard work if you want to succeed in anything. That was refreshing, so I continued reading.
Before I ever picked it up, I focused on my goals and dreams and tried to figure out how to bring them about. I decided I wasn't going to be trapped in the same dark hole most of my family and their neighbors reside in. I decided that I could make my own future, that there were always possibilities out there as long as I was determined to find them and take them and, if necessary, make them. However, I've still faltered, and while I've progressed, I'm still not where I want to be.
One of the main points in this book is mindset. Focus on what you can change and realize what you can't change. Realize what your mindset is. That is the big one. That's the first step. Get a good grip on your mindset, discover what your perception actually is. From there, you can realize what's in your control and what isn't and how you can react to these things. Sounds simple, right? Now keep that level of control in mind next time you're in a traffic jam. It would be so easy to get pissed and blame it on the traffic jam. Really, though, isn't your mood in your range of control? You can't control the traffic jam itself, but you can control your reaction to it.
I decided a long time ago that I have control over my life, but I didn't realize how often I say "I can't do this" or "I have to do that." My goal for tomorrow is to go through the day and focus on how often I think that. Today, for example, the same tired old thing happened that pisses me off every single time someone does it. I rant and rave about it, focusing on the person's actions without taking my reaction into regard. True, they acted that way, but do I have to react this way?
I'm going to take some time tomorrow, focus on this, and also rewrite my goals. I want to be a professional writer but what steps have I done to do this? What steps have I done to realize my current goals? While some of those goals are currently out of reach, the steps to take them are in my level of control, and by taking those steps, I can eventually achieve those goals. I have control.
Does this mean certain other aspects of my character are going to be pushed aside, such as dark, depressing thoughts and actions? They may not openly further my goals, but my action of doing it and my reaction of understanding it will hopefully give my writing a deeper, more personal depth. While being happy seems like a good goal, it also seems remarkably like a shallow goal.