February 10, 2018
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
I started with a self-help book. Lord knows I need help.
My brother’s nickname is “Old Guy.” Silly nickname, but it has stuck for over a decade. He bats left-handed. Whenever we played baseball we would deploy “The Old Guy Shift” where every fielder moved to the right side of the field. It had an astonishing success rate. In Part One of his book, Stephen R. Covey talks about a paradigm shift. A shift he claims can work wonders as well.
I like the way Covey explains a paradigm. I’ve never really put thought into the word before. I used it a lot writing some essays in college, and I have heard a lot of Youtubers say the word, but I never really put thought into it.
Covey writes, “a simple way to understand paradigms is to see them as maps. We all know that ‘the map is not the territory.’ A map is simply an explanation of certain aspects of the territory. That’s exactly what a paradigm is. It is a theory, an explanation, or model of something else.” (p. 31)
In Economics there are many paradigms. The Chicago School, Austrian economics, Keynesian economics, and so on and so forth. They all examine the same thing (the economy) yet they interpret the same thing so differently.
I’m not very far into the book, so I’m not really sure exactly where the author is going. But I do know he stresses the importance of experiencing a paradigm shift. So if I am ever going to get my finances in order maybe I need to open my eyes and try to understand my financial situation in a way I’ve never seen before. If I’m going to lose my monstrous gut for my wedding I need to start seeing diet and exercise in a different way. I have an appointment with my doctor next Monday to help with that.
Covey quotes Albert Einstein, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” (p. 50)
Challenge: Examine how your paradigm needs to be shifted to better understand and fix your current situation.
What else I liked from this chapter: I like the comparison of values and principles. Values are described as superficial whereas principles are rooted in a person’s core. “Principles are the territory. Values are maps.” (p. 43)
Another quote(s) I liked: “quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior and get to work on the root, the paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviors flow.” (p. 39)
“The way we see the problem is the problem.” (p. 48)