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Using anonymity, identify a list of obstacles (persons, places, or things) that keep you in your negative behavior pattern. Determine what can be done in your “Circle of Influence” to eliminate obstacles to facilitate your positive behavior/attribute.also kindly refer and reference the attached book like you have been doing

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desire to have a room clean and the building of a relationship in which the child is
internally committed to do it — cheerfully, willingly, without external supervision.
It’s a principle you can see validated in your own life when you burn the candle at both
ends to get more golden eggs and wind up sick or exhausted, unable to produce any at
all; or when you get a good night’s sleep and wake up ready to produce throughout the
You can see it when you press to get your own way with someone and somehow feel an
emptiness in the relationship; or when you really take time to invest in a relationship and
you find the desire and ability to work together, to communicate, takes a quantum leap.
The P/PC Balance is the very essence of effectiveness. It’s validated in every arena of life.
We can work with it or against it, but it’s there. It’s a lighthouse. It’s the definition and
paradigm of effectiveness upon which the Seven Habits in this book are based.
How to Use This Book
Before we begin work on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I would like to
suggest two Paradigm Shifts that will greatly increase the value you will receive from this
First, I would recommend that you not “see” this material as a book, in the sense that it is
something to read once and put on a shelf.
You may choose to read it completely through once for a sense of the whole. But the
material is designed to be a companion in the continual process of change and growth. It
is organized incrementally and with suggestions for application at the end of each habit
so that you can study and focus on any particular habit as you are ready.
As you progress to deeper levels of understanding and implementation, you can go back
time and again to the principles contained in each habit and work to expand your
knowledge, skill, and desire.
Second, I would suggest that you shift your paradigm of your own involvement in this
material from the role of learner to that of teacher. Take an Inside-Out approach, and read
with the purpose in mind of sharing or discussing what you learn with someone else
within 48 hours after you learn it.
If you had known, for example, that you would be teaching the material on the P/PC
Balance Principle to someone else within 48 hours, would it have made a difference in
your reading experience?
Try it now as you read the final section in this chapter. Read as though you are going to
teach it to your spouse, your child, a business associate, or a friend today or tomorrow,
while it is still fresh, and notice the difference in your mental and emotional process.
I guarantee that if you approach the material in each of the following chapters in this
way, you will not only better remember what you read, but your perspective will be
expanded, your understanding deepened, and your motivation to apply the material
In addition, as you openly, honestly share what you’re learning with others, you may be
surprised to find that negative labels or perceptions others may have of you tend to
disappear. Those you teach will see you as a changing, growing person, and will be more
inclined to be helpful and supportive as you work, perhaps together, to integrate the
Seven Habits into your lives.
What You Can Expect
In the last analysis, as Marilyn Ferguson observed, “No one can persuade another to
change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We
cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or by emotional appeal.
If you decide to open your “gate of change” to really understand and live the principles
embodied in the Seven Habits, I feel comfortable in assuring you several positive things
will happen.
First, your growth with be evolutionary, but the net effect will be revolutionary. Would
you not agree that the P/PC Balance principle alone, if fully lived, would transform most
individuals and organizations?
The net effect of opening the “gate of change” to the first three habits — the habits of
Private Victory — will be significantly increased self-confidence. You will come to know
yourself in a deeper, more meaningful way — your nature, your deepest values and your
unique contribution capacity. As you live your values, your sense of identity, integrity,
control, and inner-directedness will infuse you with both exhilaration and peace. You will
define yourself from within, rather than by people’s opinions or by comparisons to
others. “Wrong” and “right” will have little to do with being found out.
Ironically, you’ll find that as you care less about what others think of you; you will care
more about what others think of themselves and their worlds, including their relationship
with you. You’ll no longer build your emotional life on other people’s weaknesses. In
addition, you’ll find it easier and more desirable to change because there is something -some core deep within — that is essentially changeless.
As you open yourself to the next three habits — the habits of Public Victory — you will
discover and unleash both the desire and the resources to heal and rebuild important
relationships that have deteriorated, or even broken. Good relationships will improve -become deeper, more solid, more creative, and more adventuresome.
The seventh habit, if deeply internalized, will renew the first six and will make you truly
independent and capable of effective interdependence. Through it, you can charge your
own batteries.
Whatever your present situation, I assure you that you are not your habits. You can
replace old patterns of self-defeating behavior with new patterns, new habits of
effectiveness, happiness, and trust-based relationships.
With genuine caring, I encourage you to open the gate of change and growth as you
study these habits. Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground.
There’s no greater investment.
It’s obviously not a quick fix. But I assure you, you will feel benefits and see immediate
payoffs that will be encouraging. In the words of Thomas Paine, “That which we obtain
too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods.”
Part Two
Private Victory
Habit 1: Be Proactive –Principles of Personal Visio
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his
life by conscious endeavor.
— Henry David Thorea
As you read this book, try to stand apart from yourself. Try to project your consciousness
upward into a corner of the room and see yourself, in your mind’s eye, reading. Can you
look at yourself almost as though you were someone else?
Now try something else. Think about the mood you are now in. Can you identify it?
What are you feeling? How would you describe your present mental state Now think for
a minute about how your mind is working. Is it quick and alert? Do you sense that you
are torn between doing this mental exercise and evaluating the point to be made out of it?
Your ability to do what you just did is uniquely human. Animals do not possess this
ability. We call it “self-awareness” or the ability to think about your very thought process.
This is the reason why man has dominion over all things in the world and why he can
make significant advances from generation to generation.
This is why we can evaluate and learn from others’ experiences as well as our own. This
is also why we can make and break our habits. We are not our feelings. We are not our
moods. We are not even our thoughts. The very fact that we can think about these things
separates us from them and from the animal world. Self-awareness enables us to stand
apart and examine even the way we “see” ourselves — our paradigm, the most
fundamental paradigm of effectiveness. It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors,
but also how we see other people. It becomes our map of the basic nature of mankind.
In fact, until we take how we see ourselves (and how we see others) into account, we will
be unable to understand how others see and feel about themselves and their world.
Unaware, we will be unable to understand how others see and feel about themselves and
their world. Unaware, we will project our intentions on their behavior and call ourselves
This significantly limits our personal potential and our ability to relate to others as well.
But because of the unique human capacity of self-awareness, we can examine our
paradigms to determine whether they are reality- or principle-based or if they are a
function of conditioning and conditions.
The Social Mirror
If the only vision we have of ourselves comes from the social mirror — from the current
social paradigm and from the opinions, perceptions, and paradigms of the people around
us — our view of ourselves is like the reflection in the crazy mirror room at the carnival.
“You’re never on time.”
“Why can’t you ever keep things in order?”
“You must be an artist!”
“You eat like a horse!”
“I can’t believe you won!”
“This is so simple. Why can’t you understand?”
These visions are disjointed and out of proportion. They are often more projections than
reflections, projecting the concerns and character weaknesses of people giving the input
rather than accurately reflecting what we are.
The reflection of the current social paradigm tells us we are largely determined by
conditioning and conditions. While we have acknowledged the tremendous power of
conditioning in our lives, to say that we are determined by it, that we have no control
over that influence, creates quite a different map.
There are actually three social maps — three theories of determinism widely accepted,
independently or in combination, to explain the nature of man. Genetic determinism
basically says your grandparents did it to you. That’s why you have such a temper. Your
grandparents had short tempers and it’s in your DNA. It just goes through the
generations and you inherited it. In addition, you’re Irish, and that’s the nature of Irish
Psychic determinism basically says your parents did it to you. Your upbringing, your
childhood experience essentially laid out your personal tendencies and your character
structure. That’s why you’re afraid to be in front of a group. It’s the way your parents
brought you up. You feel terribly guilty if you make a mistake because you “remember”
deep inside the emotional scripting when you were very vulnerable and tender and
dependent. You “remember” the emotional punishment, the rejection, the comparison
with somebody else when you didn’t perform as well as expected.
Environmental determinism basically says your boss is doing to you — or your spouse, or
that bratty teenager, or your economic situation, or national policies. Someone or
something in your environment is responsible for your situation.
Each of these maps is based on the stimulus/response theory we most often think of in
connection with Pavlov’s experiments with dogs. The basic idea is that we are
conditioned to respond in a particular way to a particular stimulus.
How accurately and functionally do these deterministic maps describe the territory? How
clearly do these mirrors reflect the true nature of man? Do they become self-fulfilling
prophecies? Are they based on principles we can validate within ourselves?
Between Stimulus and Response
In answer to those questions, let me share with you the catalytic story of Viktor Frankl.
Frankl was a determinist raised in the tradition of Freudian psychology, which postulates
that whatever happens to you as a child shapes your character and personality and
basically governs your whole life. The limits and parameters of your life are set, and,
basically, you can’t do much about it. Frankl was also a psychiatrist and a Jew. He was
imprisoned in the death camps of Nazi Germany, where he experienced things that were
so repugnant to our sense of decency that we shudder to even repeat them.
His parents, his brother, and his wife died in the camps or were sent to the gas ovens.
Except for his sister, his entire family perished. Frankl himself suffered torture and
innumerable indignities, never knowing from one moment to the next if his path would
lead to the ovens or if he would be among the “saved” who would remove the bodies or
shovel out the ashes of those so fated.
One day, naked and alone in a small room, he began to become aware of what he later
called “the last of the human freedoms” — the freedom his Nazi captors could not take
away. They could control his entire environment, they could do what they wanted to his
body, but Viktor Frankl himself was a self-aware being who could look as an observer at
his very involvement. His basic identity was intact. He could decide within himself how
all of this was going to affect him. Between what happened to him, or the stimulus, and
his response to it, was his freedom or power to choose that response.
In the midst of his experiences, Frankl would project himself into different circumstances,
such as lecturing to his students after his release from the death camps. He would
describe himself in the classroom, in his mind’s eye, and give his students the lessons he
was learning during his very torture.
Through a series of such disciplines — mental, emotional, and moral, principally using
memory and imagination — he exercised his small, embryonic freedom until it grew
larger and larger, until he had more freedom than his Nazi captors. They had more
liberty, more options to choose from in their environment; but he had more freedom,
more internal power to exercise his options. He became an inspiration to those around
him, even to some of the guards. He helped others find meaning in their suffering and
dignity in their prison existence.
In the midst of the most degrading circumstances imaginable, Frankl used the human
endowment of self-awareness to discover a fundamental principle about the nature of
man: Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.
Within the freedom to choose are those endowments that make us uniquely human. In
addition to self-awareness, we have imagination — the ability to create in our minds
beyond our present reality. We have conscience — a deep inner awareness of right and
wrong, of the principles that govern our behavior, and a sense of the degree to which our
thoughts and actions are in harmony with them. And we have independent will — the
ability to act based on our self-awareness, free of all other influences.
Even the most intelligent animals have none of these endowments. To use a computer
metaphor, they are programmed by instinct and/or training. They can be trained to be
responsible, but they can’t take responsibility for that training; in other words, they can’t
direct it. They can’t change the programming. They’re not even aware of it.
But because of our unique human endowments, we can write new programs for
ourselves totally apart from our instincts and training. This is why an animal’s capacity is
relatively limited and man’s is unlimited. But if we live like animals, out of our own
instincts and conditioning and conditions, out of our collective memory, we too will be
The deterministic paradigm comes primarily from the study of animals — rats, monkeys,
pigeons, dogs — and neurotic and psychotic people. While this may meet certain criteria
of some researchers because it seems measurable and predictable, the history of mankind
and our own self-awareness tell us that this map doesn’t describe the territory at all!
Our unique human endowments lift us above the animal world. The extent to which we
exercise and develop these endowments empowers us to fulfill our uniquely human
potential. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power — the freedom to choose.
“Proactivity” Defined
In discovering the basic principle of the nature of man, Frankl described an accurate selfmap from which he began to develop the first and most basic habit of a highly effective
person in any environment, the habit of Proactivity.
While the word proactivity is now fairly common in management literature, it is a word
you won’t find in most dictionaries. It means more than merely taking initiative. It means
that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of
our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the
initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.
Look at the word responsibility — “response-ability” — the ability to choose your response.
Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances,
conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own
conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on
Because we are, by nature, proactive, if our lives are a function of conditioning and
conditions, it is because we have, by conscious decision or by default, chosen to empower
those things to control us.
In making such a choice, we become reactive. Reactive people are often affected by their
physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their
attitude and their performance. Proactive people can carry their own weather with them.
Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them. They are value driven; and if
their value is to produce good quality work, it isn’t a function of whether the weather is
conducive to it or not.
Reactive people are also affected by their social environment, by the “social weather.”
When people treat them well, they feel well; when people don’t, they become defensive
or protective. Reactive people build their emotional lives around the behavior of others,
empowering the weaknesses of other people to control them.
The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.
Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their
environment. Proactive people are driven by values — carefully thought about, selected
and internalized values.
Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, whether physical, social, or
psychological. But their response to the stimuli, conscious or unconscious, is a valuebased choice or response.
As Eleanor Roosevelt observed, “No one can hurt you without your consent.” In the
words of Gandhi, “They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.” It
is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than
what happens to us in the first place.
I admit this is very hard to accept emotionally, especially if we have had years and years
of explaining our misery in the name of circumstance or someone else’s behavior. But
until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices
I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”
Once in Sacramento when I was speaking on the subject of Proactivity, a woman in the
audience stood up in the middle of my presentation and started talking excitedly. It was a
large audience, and as a number of people turned to look at her, she suddenly became
aware of what she was doing, grew embarrassed and sat back down. But she seemed to
find it difficult to restrain herself and started talking to the people around her. She
seemed so happy.
I could hardly wait for a break to find out what had happened. When it finally came, I
immediately went to her and asked if she would be willing to share her experience.
“You just can’t imagine what’s happened to me!” she exclaimed. “I’m a full-time nurse to
the most miserable, ungrateful man you can possibly imagine. Nothing I do is good
enough for him. He never expresses appreciation; he hardly even acknowledges me. He
constantly harps at me and finds fault with everything I do. This man has made my life
miserable and I often take my frustration out on my family. The other nurses feel the
same way. We almost pray for his demise.
“And for you to have the gall to stand up there and suggest that nothing can hurt me, that
no one can hurt me without my consent, and that I have chosen my own emotional life of
being miserable — well, there was just no way I could buy into that.
“But I kept thinking about it. I really went inside myself and began to ask, ‘Do I have the
power to choose my response?”
“When I finally realized that I do have that power, when I swallowed that bitter pill and
realized that I had chosen to be miserable, I also realized that I could choose not to be
“At that moment I stood up. I felt as though I was being let out of San Quentin. I wanted
to yell to the whole world, ‘I am free! I am let out of prison! No longer am I going to be
controlled by the treatment of some person.’”
It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us. Of
course, things can hurt us physically or economically and can cause sorrow. But our
character, our basic identity, does not have to be hurt at all. In fact, our most difficult
experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal
powers, the freedom to handle difficult circumstances in the future and to inspire others
to do so as well.
Frankl is one of many who have been able to develop the personal freedom in difficult
circumstances to lift and inspire others. The autobiographical accounts of Vietnam
prisoners of war provide additional persuasive testimony of the transforming power of
such personal freedom and the effect of the responsible use of that freedom on the prison
culture and on the prisoners, both then and now.
We have all known individuals in very difficult circumstances, perhaps with a terminal
illness or a severe physical handicap, who maintain magnificent emotional strength. How
inspired we are by their integrity! Nothing has a greater, longer lasting impression upon
another person than the awareness that someone has transcended suffering, has
transcended circumstance, and is embodying and expressing a value that inspires and
ennobles and lifts life.
One of the most inspiring times Sandra and I have ever had took place over a four-year
period with a dear friend of ours named Carol, who had a wasting cancer disease. She
had been one of Sandra’s bridesmaids, and they had been best friends for over 25 years.
When Carol was in the very last stages of the disease, Sandra spent time at her bedside
helping her write her personal history. She returned from those protracted and difficult
sessions almost transfixed by admiration for her friend’s courage and her desire to write
special messages to be given to her children at different stages in their lives.
Carol would take as little pain-killing medication as possible so that she had full access to
her mental and emotional faculties. Then she would whisper into a tape recorder or to
Sandra directly as she took notes. Carol was so proactive, so brave, and so concerned
about others that she became an enormous source of inspiration to many people around
I’ll never forget the experience of looking deeply into Carol’s eyes the day before she
passed away and sensing out of that deep hollowed agony a person of tremendous
intrinsic worth. I could see in her eyes a life of character, contribution, and service as well
as love, concern, and appreciation.
Many times over the years, I have asked groups of people how many have ever
experienced being in the presence of a dying individual who had a magnificent attitude
and communicated love and compassion and served in unmatchable ways to the very
end. Usually, about one-fourth of the audience respond in the affirmative. I then ask how
many of them will never forget these individuals — how many were transformed, at least
temporarily, by the inspiration of such courage, and were deeply moved and motivated
to more noble acts of service and compassion. The same people respond again, almost
Viktor Frankl suggests that there are three central values in life — the experiential, or that
which happens to us; the creative, or that which we bring into existence; and the
attitudinal, or our response in difficult circumstances such as terminal illness.
My own experience with people confirms the point Frankl makes — that the highest of the
three values is attitudinal, in the paradigm of reframing sense. In other words, what
matters most is how we respond to what we experience in life.
Difficult circumstances often create Paradigm Shifts, whole new frames of reference by
which people see the world and themselves and others in it, and what life is asking of
them. Their larger perspective reflects the attitudinal values that lift and inspire us all.
Taking the Initiative
Our basic nature is to act, and not be acted upon. As well as enabling us to choose our
response to particular circumstances, this empowers us to create circumstances
Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean
recognizing our responsibility to make things happen.
Over the years, I have frequently counseled people who wanted better jobs to show more
initiative — to take interest and aptitude tests, to study the industry, even the specific
problems the organizations they are interested in are facing, and then to develop an
effective presentation showing how their abilities can help solve the organization’s
problem. It’s called “solution selling,” and is a key paradigm in business success.
The response is usually agreement — most people can see how powerfully such an
approach would affect their opportunities for employment or advancement. But many of
them fail to take the necessary steps, the initiative, to make it happen.
“I don’t know where to go to take the interest and aptitude test.”
“How do I study industry and organizational problems? No one wants to help me.”
Many people wait for something to happen or someone to take care of them. But people
who end up with the good jobs are the proactive ones who are solutions to problems, not
problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with
correct principles, to get the job done.
Whenever someone in our family, even one of the younger children, takes an
irresponsible position and waits for someone else to make things happen or provide a
solution, we tell them, “Use your R and I!” (resourcefulness and initiative). In fact, often
before we can say it, they answer their own complaints, “I know — use my R and I!”
Holding people to the responsible course is not demeaning; it is affirming. Proactivity is
part of human nature, and although the proactive muscles may be dormant, they are
there. By respecting the proactive nature of other people, we provide them with at least
one clear, undistorted reflection from the social mirror.
Of course, the maturity level of the individual has to be taken into account. We can’t
expect high creative cooperation from those who are deep into emotional dependence.
But we can, at least, affirm their basic nature and create an atmosphere where people can
seize opportunities and solve problems in an increasingly self-reliant way.
Act or be Acted Upon
The difference between people who exercise initiative and those who don’t is literally the
difference between night and day. I’m not talking about a 25 to 50 percent difference in
effectiveness; I’m talking about a 5000-plus percent difference, particularly if they are
smart, aware, and sensitive to others.
It takes initiative to create the P/PC Balance of effectiveness in your life. It takes initiative
to develop the Seven Habits. As you study the other six habits, you will see that each
depends on the development of your proactive muscles. Each puts the responsibility on
you to act. If you wait to be acted upon, you will be acted upon. And growth and
opportunity consequences attend either road.
At one time I worked with a group of people in the home improvement industry,
representatives from 20 different organizations who met quarterly to share their numbers
and problems in an uninhibited way.
This was during a time of heavy recession, and the negative impact on this particular
industry was even heavier than on the economy in general. These people were fairly
discouraged as we began.
The first day, our discussion question was “What’s happening to us? What’s the
stimulus?” Many things were happening. The environmental pressures were powerful.
There was widespread unemployment, and many of these people were laying off friends
just to maintain the viability of their enterprises. By the end of the day, everyone was
even more discouraged.
The second day, we addressed the question, “What’s going to happen in the future?” We
studied environmental trends with the underlying reactive assumption that those things
would create their future. By the end of the second day, we were even more depressed.
Things were going to get worse before they got better, and everyone knew it.
So on the third day, we decided to focus on the proactive question, “What is our
response? What are we going to do? How can we exercise initiative in this situation?” In
the morning we talked about managing and reducing costs. In the afternoon we
discussed increasing market share. We brainstormed both areas, then concentrated on
several very practical, very doable things. A new spirit of excitement, hope, and proactive
awareness concluded the meetings.
At the every end of the third day, we summarized the results of the conference in a threepart answer to the question, “How’s

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