The Power of Independent Will

Habit 3 – Put First Things First

We are in the process of understanding and internalizing the journey towards Effectiveness. Lets see the continuation of these effective habits in that order. First we looked at the paradigms and the Principles ,from there we moved to understand the first Habit which is "Be Proactive", then the habit Two "Begin with the end in Mind" now we have just started on the journey of Habit three. As we missed out three weeks lets have a little more to read and have more insights this week.

Put First Things First - As we entered in to this habit its very important for us to see how we can have the commitment to act on our priorities. Its like , it does not matter how fast you go if you are heading in the wrong direction? …. This habit is the awareness of getting the right direction and moving on that direction. Its an altogether a new approach on Time Management its more of "Self Management" where Time is only one component of all your life. Basically in order for us to spend the time available for us we need to identify on what important activities we need to spend our time on? We cant be efficient in everything we do but we need to be effective in all what we do. This is a new paradigm we need to shift our minds from now onwards.

Before we begin with this Habit "Put First Things First" , We also need to look at the first two habits as I mentioned in my last week’s article. Habit one talks more about the Four Human Endowments, which we used even on habit two.

Now in habit three , In addition to self-awareness, imagination, and conscience, it is the fourth human endowment-independent will-that really makes effective self-management possible. It is the ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. It is the ability to act rather than to be acted upon, to proactively carry out the programme we have developed through the other three endowments.

The human will is an amazing thing. Time after time, it has triumphed against unbelievable odds. The Helen Kellers of this world give dramatic evidence to the value, the power of the independent will.
But as we examine this endowment in the context of effective self-management, we realize it's usually not the dramatic, the visible, the once-in-a-lifetime, up-by-the-bootstraps effort that brings enduring success. Empowerment comes from learning how to use this great endowment in the decisions we make everyday.

The degree to which we have developed our independent will in our everyday lives is measured by our personal integrity. Integrity is, fundamentally, the value we place on ourselves. It's our ability to make and keep commitments to ourselves, to "walk our talk" It's honour with self, a fundamental part of the Character Ethic, the essence of proactive growth.

Effective management is putting first things first. While leadership decides what "first things" are, it is management that puts them first, day-by-day, moment-by-moment. Management is discipline, carrying it out.

Discipline derives from disciple-disciple to a philosophy, disciple to a set of principles, disciple to a set of values, disciple to an overriding purpose, to a superordinate goal or a person who represents that goal.

In other words, if you are an effective manager of your self, your discipline comes from within; it is a function of your independent will. You are a disciple, a follower, of your own deep values and their source. And you have the will, the integrity, to subordinate your feelings, your impulses, your moods to those values.

Stephen Covey States as one of his favorite essays is
"The Common Denominator of Success," written by E.M. Gray. He spent his life searching for the one denominator that all successful people share. He found it wasn't hard work, good luck, or astute human relations, though those were all important. The one factor that seemed to transcend all the rest embodies the essence of Habit 3 - putting first things first.

"The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do," he observed. "They don't like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose." That subordination requires a purpose, a mission, a Habit 2 clear sense of direction and value, a burning "yes!" inside that makes it possible to say "no" to other things. It also requires independent will, the power to do something when you don't want to do it, to be a function of your values rather than a function of the impulse or desire of any given moment. It's the power to act with integrity to your proactive first creation.

We must understand that the Habit one Proactive mindset and the Habit two Mission /Purpose and the value systems which we need to make it happen in this habit which are our first things in life. Lets look at how we move forward on this form now onwards. Have a great thinking week on the effect of putting "First Things First".

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