How might I be my most effective self? That’s a big question and its one people have been asking since they could use words. Everybody since the start of time has been finding ways to make life on this earth more effective, like the invention of the wheel or electricity. However now that most of our lives are made to be quite luxurious how can we make ourselves effective? Well luckily for you thousands of people before you have asked this question and usually if they find and answer, they write a book about it. Which is exactly what Stephen Covey did when he wrote the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Now this book is among the most famous “self help” books out there and thats for good reason, I can say from personal experience that this one is a good one, but what fun would it be if I just read it and reviewed it? So good news for you how I communicate what I got from the book I created things. Instead of me trying to explain what I mean by “things” let me just show you.

When you start reading the book you don’t start with habit 1, you start with the set-up and in this set up it explains what kind of mindset you need going into this book and it also mentioned the word paradigm a lot and what it means to change your paradigm. So, I made a playlist with songs that I think sound like a changing paradigm. You can listen to that here:

Next we moved on to habits 1-3, the private victory. This included: Habit 1; Be Proactive, Habit 2; Begin with the End in Mind and Habit 3; Begin with the End in Mind. From this section of the book my biggest take away was that we can’t blame the things we cant control so I wrote a short story about it based off Winnie the Pooh. You can read that here:

It was a rainy day in the 100 acre woods and Piglet took one look outside and let out a big sigh.

“The rain has ruined all my plans, I wanted to play outside. Now there’s nothing for me to do.”

Piglet sits down on the floor and looks up at Pooh with sad eyes. Piglet is confused because Pooh doesn’t seem to be upset. 

“Why aren’t you sad about the rain?” Piglet asked.

“Because we can’t control when the rains falls, we can only control what we do when it does fall. We can’t blame the clouds for raining today ” Pooh replies.

“But Pooh, what are we supposed to do?” Says Piglet.

“When it rains you can put on rain boots and jump in puddles, just because it’s raining doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!” 

And so Piglet and Pooh put on their boots, jumped in puddles and learnt not to blame the things you can’t control.

Next we had the Public Victory which included habits 4-6. Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand and Syngerize. The part of this section that stuck out to me the most was the thinking win-win. To me this meant to to think selfishly or selflessly an that there’s an in-between. So I created this GIF to show thinking win-win. 

Finally we learnt about the last habit, Sharpen the Saw. This habit was about renewal and I feel most renewed when I’m with friends, travelling or with animals so, I made a collage to show times when I felt the most renewed.

Once I had read the whole book I expected to be this new human but I wasn’t just yet, I had to go back and reflect on what I had learnt. Since I had been doing this new kind of reflecting with creating things we decided to create some more things. Something I didn’t realize I had earns until after i had finished the book is the importance of uncovering your talents especially at my age. This is my time to find things I love doing to see if they could be useful to be one day. So I picked up a felting needle and some wool and taught myself how to felt. With this skill I created my interpretation of habit 5 Seek First to Understand which emphasized the importance of seeing both sides on the story. So I felted a little book with a “5” on the cover for habit 5 and in the pages on the book I attempted to create a yin-yang with red and blue to show seeing both sides.

Then another talent I uncovered is playing the ukulele. I had a friend who knows how to play and we used to “synergize” (I don’t know if that can be used as a verb but I just did). She used to play the ukulele and I would sing but this week I decided I wanted to learn to play. So she taught me the basics and then I went home and taught myself some songs. So here’s the first song I’ve learned on the ukulele.

Now I would say I’m more effective then I was before however I still have room to grow, which I think is a good thing. If I was my most effective self after reading one book that would be boring. So I’m going to continue to try and incorporate these habits into my life.

Until next blog..