May 19, 2009

Highly Effective Habit

About 13 years ago one of my roommates was reading an amazing book that she shared with me and we discussed it at great length. We spent hours exploring all the what if situations in our lives and how to apply the principles we learned. Looking back, I recognize that in some way or another, I'm always thinking about happiness. For the times that are. The times that aren't. And the times in between. Through it all, it's who we are on the inside that helps us cope with the trials of life and leads us to the greater good and brighter future.

The Constitution [of the United States] has endured and serves its vital
function today because it is based on correct principles, on the self-evident truths contained in the Declaration of Independence. These principles empower the Constitution with a timeless strength, even in the midst of social ambiguity and change. "Our peculiar security," said Thomas Jefferson, "is in the possession of a written Constitution."

A personal mission statement based on correct principles becomes the same kind of standard for an individual. It becomes a personal constitution, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives. It empowers individuals with the same timeless strength in the midst of change.

People can't live with change if there's not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value. (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey, pg. 108)

By request, I am posting the personal constitution I made 13 years ago. Each item is listed in order of importance to me. If you want some great fun and deep conversations, get together with a friend and bat around all that you value. Put an order to it. You may be surprised. What's interesting to me now is how much flavor has been added to my goals over the years. I never would have imagined how some of my choices would have played out. I don't consciously think about my personal constitution so much anymore. It's just a part of me.

1. I honor, obey, and respect God. I strive to be like him through following the example of Christ. I am temple worthy.
2. I love my family. I show my love through my actions.
3. I value human life and thus use my means to help others.
4. Personal integrity and character of of the utmost importance. My happy spirit radiates peace and friendship toward others.
5. I choose what leaves me free to choose again.
6. I am not mediocre in my testimony, family responsibilities, generosity, character, purity, education, endurance and investments.
7. I am intelligent and well educated. I go to great length to gain and retain knowledge.
8. I am physically fit in such a manner that I can enjoy God's beautiful nature and share priceless memories with my family.
9. I am financially independent.

Once you have that sense of mission, you have the essence of your own
proactivity. You have the vision and the values with direct your life.

4 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Way to put the blog into good use. Thanks, Bridget

  2. I'm reading 7 Habits right now and have read through Habit 4 so far. I still haven't put together a mission statement. Your post was a gentle reminder that I need to do that. Thanks!

  3. I haven't ever read the book but I have a few people tell me that it has a lot of wonderful information.

    I'll have to pick it up off my dad's shelf and let you know my statements when I am done. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love it. I used to work for Franklin Covey and it should have inspired me to have a mission statement of my own. Instead, it inspired me to go back to school and get a degree in something I REALLY love: teaching. But having a mission statement would be nice. Maybe...someday...tomorrow...?


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