I) Key Concepts Obtained from the Assigned Reading
After the review of the book, I picked up four out of the seven concepts that the author has brought forward for a closer examination. I then discussed whether I agreed with those concepts or not. Their applicability in real life situations were then examined to come up with an essay.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
The author condemns people who do not take control of their lives. He argues that everyone has to take responsibility over the course of their lives (Covey, 2004). Whether one becomes successful in life or a failure entirely depends on him or her. A successful person affirms him-/herself that ‘I can do this,’ while an unsuccessful person starts to wonder who will help him/her do it. Proactive people make decisions and pursue things that they can take control over, while reactive people strive to work on things that they cannot control thus ending up failing to achieve their goals, because they could not control the outcome (Covey, 2004).
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
This entails having in mind an imagination of what one wants in the long run. With this imaginative picture in mind, one can see more openings and opportunities to reach goals and objectives (Covey, 2004). This would even help the society through motivation. The concept is highly guided by imagination. Thus, a clear mission statement needs to be put in place to guide an individual throughout the journey to achieve goals.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
The author advises people not to offer themselves to anything that comes by. When one is proactive and has the end in mind, they are able to determine how they need to plan and manage their time in order to reach their long-term goals. Since they are pro-active, they decide on what they need to do at any given moment (Covey, 2004). One is therefore able to come up with a good strategy to fulfill their long-term goals without struggling.
Habit 4: Think Win-win
This concept demands that you see life as a success to everyone. In most cases, we want other people to fail so that we can succeed. We always compete. This concept demands that we focus on growing ourselves and others alike in cooperation and not in competition (Covey, 2004). In this case, we should uphold values of integrity, maturity and abundance mentality
II) Agreements and Disagreements with the Assigned Reading
The concepts discussed above are very powerful, and if one took them seriously and with the correct attitude, they would create a better world. One cannot agree more that everyone should take control of their lives. When one becomes a poor victim of everything that goes wrong, he would never succeed. One’s parents, teachers and mates should not decide for a person, but they should be used by the person to achieve the goals that he or she has set in the long run (Krayer & Lee, 2003).
Secondly, setting up goals and vision is the only way that one can reach their respective destinations (Frydenberg, 2002). This would give people something to focus on and eventually ensure that they keep their efforts towards achieving their set goals. In this case, they are able to repel anything that comes their way as they can chose on what would help them reach their set destinations. They have strength to accept some of the offers and reject some. This cannot happen to someone without any goals since they would jump to anything that looks appealing to their immediate lives, and the implications about the future are never put into consideration.
Thinking on how to create a win-win situation in every encounter would bring up a sound society (Frydenberg, 2002). It would create love and healthy coexistence between people thus ensuring a progressive and highly motivated society.
Despite the attractiveness of these concepts, they are not true in and ideal society. One cannot fully control their lives without other people invading. For instance, a young child cannot plan anything for him-/herself. They fully rely on their parents. A disabled person, for example, a blind person, would set goals, but they would not be precisely fulfilled if the guided is held up somewhere. These concepts do not also put into consideration natural effects that can affect a person. For instance, a person would not think of their goals if the city he lives in was hit by a hurricane (Krayer & Lee, 2003). They would not take control or try to keep their values. Situations such as illnesses would render someone helpless, and this would only reduce their capability to control their lives. It is therefore clear that the concepts cannot be upheld at all times of one’s life. One has to deviate at some point.
III) Relevance of the Assigned Reading to my Professional Context
Covey’s concepts are very relevant to my life. As a working adult, I need to stand my ground and make the best decisions on my own, which translates to being proactive. It is in this way that I can decide my career and personal life. I believe that everyone has a unique life, and I am no difference. I therefore need to make crucial decisions alone and ensure that I take full responsibility of whatever actions I take. I should never become a victim, because someone decided for me (Josephson, & Hanson, 2004).
Beginning a project with the end in mind is a vital concept that I need to uphold in my career. I have to set my ultimate realistic goals in order to ensure that I get there within the timeline I will have set. This way, I will be able to uphold the next concept of putting first things first. I will be able to prioritize the things that I would need to start with, and those I need to spare for another day. I would therefore be able to manage my time properly and make maximum positive use of all available time. I understand that there are many challenges that one has to face, and it is paramount that one makes the right decision in most scenarios that arise in daily lives.
A win-win situation is what we need to have a sober society that is progressive and highly productive (Josephson, & Hanson, 2004). When one person becomes successful among other unsuccessful people, he is treated with respect and could be overrated. He would end up with a feeling of superiority and could end up not achieving their full potential. In my career, I would like to be associated with winners and not with those who have failed (Frydenberg, 2002). I would like to have more successful people around me who would be with me as I progress in life to get to my potential as I help them get to their best.