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I Can’t Belay: The Story of My Newfound Effectiveness

Hello lovely readers, and welcome back to another blog post. My name is Amy, and I am now effective. Throughout the past weeks, while juggling DI, podcasts, Loon Lake, and more, there has been something else going on. We have been learning how to be effective people. Using The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey as our guide, we have built up a repertoire of effectiveness.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is divided into four sections: The Set-Up, The Private Victory, The Public Victory, and Renewal. We read the part of the book for each of those sections, completed a workbook, and created a Personal Choice project. We each created examples of our personal understanding of each respective section, and then presented them to our peers or our teachers. These assessments were ways for me to really utilize my talents, and try new things.

1. The Set-Up

For the Set-Up personal choice, I was stuck. This section does not actually contain any habits, it’s more of an explanation of the book, and things that you should know before you start getting into it. The thing that really stood out to me was paradigms. In this book, paradigms are defined as the lens through which you view the world. The entire goal of this book is to expand and change your paradigm. For the personal choice board, I created a children’s book that explained what a paradigm was. While I think my work was strong, I was not personally connected to it in any way. I didn’t feel like it helped me communicate my understanding of the text.

2. The Private Victory

After my mini disaster with the Set-Up, I knew I needed to redeem myself going forward. The habits in this section (Be Proactive, Begin With The End In Mind, Put First Things First), really stood out to me. Being proactive and putting first things first are all about focusing on priorities, and not falling victim to excuses or poor mentality. I slightly disagree with beginning with the end in mind. Although it is important to think about the future, I think you should take time to live in the present, and reflect on where you are in your journey. Anyways, for this section, I decided to have some fun with it. It just so happened that spring break cut right through this project, and so we had two uninterrupted weeks to create our Personal Choice Board for The Private Victory. I decided to try something that I hadn’t done in a long time: stop motion. One of the suggested Personal Choice Boards was a playlist, but I wanted to extend it a step further. I chose three songs that I actively listen to, that I feel match each of the three habits. I then created a short stop motion lyric video for each of the songs. Unfortunately, I could not upload the video with the songs playing, as it immediately got copyrighted. The three songs that I chose are Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, We Are The Champions by Queen, and Time by Pink Floyd. I encourage you to read my explanation for why I chose each song. You can watch that video here, and please ignore that I spelt resonate wrong.


3. The Public Victory

The Public Victory sections comprises of three habits: Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, and Synergize. These habits focused on empathy, and human connection, which are two things that I think are the most important skills for a peson to have. For the Public Victory Choice Board,  Jordan, Ryder, and I created a short film about how sharpening your saw can lead to success. We started with planning. After a brainstorming FaceTime session, we came up with the idea to make a video highlighting each of our talents, and having our own public victory. Throughout this process, we genuinely tried to use the habits both in this section, and from previous sections, to better understand what our final product would be, and execute it well. From beginning with our end idea in mind, to thinking win-win, to synergizing, we proactively put the habits to good use and created something that we are all proud of!

4. Renewal

The Renewal section only contains one habit: Sharpen the Saw. This was our final choice board, and so I decided to create two different Choice Boards, because why not? My first Choice Board is my crochet tote bag. I was inspired by temperature blankets, which is basically where you record the average temperature of every day of a year, and then crochet a row in a particular colour based on the temperature.

I decided to re-read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and keep track of how I was feeling throughout reading. After a bit of math, I concluded that I would need to divide the book into 40 sections, and crochet two rows of each colour. I ended up tracking how I was feeling every 10 pages. I created a tonal scale of yarn, going from pessimistic to effective. My goal by the end of the bag was to be in the effective colour.

My yarn colour scale!

I also decided to create a playlist. This playlist is one of my favourite playlists I have ever made, and it essentially tells the story of the habits, and how I was feeling while reading.

You can read my explanation for each of the songs here!

I’ll admit, I was doubtful about this project at the beginning. I felt like the book was preaching to the masses, and that I would not feel connected to it in any way. Although the book definitely has flaws, I do feel more effective. I feel like each of the seven habits have been so engrained in my mind, that I can’t help thinking about how I can utilize them in my everyday life. This book has given me a bit of a mental reset. It made me realize that I do put high standards on myself, and that while I am producing good work, the way that I am getting myself to work isn’t sustainable or effective. Particularly in the Renewal section, I realized that I do need to take time for myself to renew, and that taking the time to renew my body, heart, mind, and soul is imperative for my life.

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