Being an effective person is really hard. I think we all probably know that, so how do we become more effective in life? Well let’s try to find out shall we?
Believe in Good was our latest project in PLP focused not on history, science concepts, or writing, but on how you can be a better you. To do so throughout the project we read the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.
The book is split into four sections, the Set Up, Private Victory, Public Victory, and Renewal. For each of the sections we completed a choice board assessment in which we had to create an audible, visual, or kinesthetic understanding of the section.
The Set Up
The Set Up was all about introducing the basic concepts and getting your mind ready to undergo self reflection and change. It introduced us to paradigms and principals, paradigms being the way you see the world, and principals being the baseline to all of the 7 habits. Speaking of which, the 7 habits are just that, 7 habits that will hopefully make you a more effective person.
At the end of the section, we had to create the choice board assessment. I based mine around paradigm shifts, which is when you shift your view on the world. Sometimes you can have misleading views on the world, we make assumptions without knowing the full picture. If you assume you can’t do something, even if you actually have the ability you probably won’t do it. The only way to get over this is to shift your perspective on the world, to see the full picture without the misleading voices inside your head.
To represent this, I created a GIF such that the second word will only appear after the image is turned upside-down (Changing your perspective). Overall this first choice board was a good start. I think it was a cool concept but there was definitely room to improve and make them more meaningful.
This section was all about making sure you’re effective at what you can directly control. It included the first 3 habits: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, and Put First Things First.
One of the things we did was a personal bank account, in which we listed everything that we personally did well (Deposits), and things we didn’t (withdrawals). After doing this activity, it was interesting how it being in the back of your head can influence you. It adds a reward to everything which can influence you to make better and more helpful decisions. If you realize that you can add it as a deposit into the bank account, your more inclined to do it. Although in hindsight, this could mean that you start doing things not because you’re becoming a good person, instead because you need to have more deposits in your bank account.
For the choice assessment activity, I made some sketches of how each habit (be proactive, being with the end in mind, put first things first) can relate to competition climbing. For example, being proactive during a competition means only focusing on the climb ahead, not the people around you because you can’t control what anybody else does. Begin with the end in mind would be my goals that I strive for. Finally there’s Put First Things First, which would be focusing the things that would get me to my goals like practice, as well as organizing the rest of my life so I have more time to focus on the things that matter.
If the private victory was being better with yourself, the public victory was being better with others. It included the habits: Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, and Synergize.
For this assessment choice board, I created a toothpick sculpture that represented how you need to use the 3 habits to build off of each other and accomplish your goals.
Each toothpick man was a situation in which I used the habit. A win/win situation was being supportive to others, so others would support me. Trying to understand peoples ideas first without judging, and being understood to make sure my ideas get out there. There is also synergy when we bounced story ideas off each other until we had a story that was better that any of us could have made on our own. Each public victory led us closer to the top of our flag pole.
Renewal was made up of only one habit: Sharpen the Saw.
It was all about continuing to reflect and keep all parts of life healthy. During this we talked a lot about the 4 corners of a healthy lifestyle
- Physical (eating, exercising, resting)
- Mental (learning, reading, writing)
- Emotional/Social (social and meaningful connections with others)
- Spiritual (nature, music, art prayer. Seeing that there is more to the world then yourself)
With this knowledge in mind, I create a collage graphic of the ways I tried to sharpen the saw in my life.
Climbing competitions being a good goal for keeping my body healthy. Hanging out with others and making some new friends to improve the heart. Listening to music to relieve some stress and to renew my soul. Also Trying to improve new hobbies like 3d modelling to keep my mind active.
Finally after all of that, we had one final assignment to do, in which we combined all the knowledge we gained to create 3 new assessment choice boards to represent how we can use the habits along with the 3 main competencies to become effective humans.
How do I use the 7 Habits to communicate and collaborate, and develop habits to support my growth as a learner?
Habits: Seek to Understand, Then be Understood, Synergize.
Using the habits can help me improve my work in group projects and collaboration. Listening to and valuing all ideas for what they are. Just for one second, believing that others ideas are the best in the world, so that I can see the good side before my own judgements get in the way. Take what’s good and combine until it’s something better then ever. By incorporating some of these habits into my learning, it will improve my ability successfully navigate group projects and collaboration with others.
How do I use the 7 Habits to think creatively, critically, and reflectively to support my growth as a learner?
Habits: Be Proactive Being, with the end in Mind, First things first.
I can use the 7 habits to make proper decisions based on my long term goals. I can only control what decisions I make, and what crossroads to walk down. I can’t look into the future, I can only use my judgement to make decisions in the moment. Every time I come to a crossroad, I need to think about whether or not it is moving me in the right direction. If it isn’t I must reflect on what needs to change. Be proactive, make change happen, and follow my end in mind goal, as only it can lead me through the fog of decisions.
Personal & Social
How do I use the 7 Habits to develop personal and social awareness, responsibility, and have a positive personal and cultural identity to support my growth as a learner?
Habits: Think Win-Win, Sharpen the Saw.
To grow as a learner, I must continue to renew in all areas of my life. I can use the 7 habits to to make sure I continue having a positive personal identity with the people around me. Everything is connected, if I take time to renew myself in the body, you’ll end up feeling better in the heart. Moving forward I need to feel when I need breaks, and make sure that when I do that I don’t waste it. Instead, using the time to do something that will recoup the rest of my life. If I succeed, I believe it will greatly improve my personal awareness with what I need, to be as effective as possible in all areas of life.
Overall this last assignment was a huge challenge. I found it extremely hard to find ideas that met all the requirements that they needed to meet. I went through countless ideas changing constantly, but most of them came eventually. Could they have benefited from more time, definitely but I put a lot of thought into them (probably too much) and I’m fairly happy with how they turned out.
Ironically, even though this project was all about being effective (in control of your time), I found that the main struggle with this project was time management. Since this was mainly a side project, many bigger projects took over my time, including DI. It was the perfect storm of long due dates, other projects taking over, and a lack of motivation that resulted in a time management struggle. That being said, how can we use the seven habits to become a more effective person, and hopefully solve my time management issues in the process. Well I can become my most effective self by trying to incorporate the 7 habits to improve in the thinking, communication, and personal and social areas of my life. More specifically, the private victory, as I feel it’s those habits that are holding me back the most. Moving forwards I need to focus on using those 3 habits as much as possible. For example, trying to use habit 1 would mean asking more questions and seeking help from others. Managing and taking breaks in quadrant 2 instead of wasting time. Spending more time reflecting on what I want to become, and taking the steps necessary to get there. Doing so would greatly improve my independence and effectiveness as a learner.
Overall this book and project was a great stepping stone into the world of self improvement and reflection. However, reading one book and completing one project isn’t going to instantly make me into the perfect human. Although the habits that we focused on were great general things to improve, they aren’t going to work for everybody I need to find my own way strategies and habits that work for me. This is a life long assignment that I will never complete, to be honest I don’t think anybody has, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I’m constantly improving and becoming better then I was yesterday. It’s going to require a lot of hard work and a lot of failure, but in the end it will be worth it.
See you next time,