In this episode, we start looking at The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
What is the difference between personality ethic and character ethic? How do the 7 Habits help to balance life and work toward a principle-based worldview?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
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Collective Cast number two seven habits paradigms and principles You're tuned to the collective cast agents of the collective strive to fight, adapt, and grow. Whether facing the evils of the world or those within ourselves we support one another and leave nobody behind [Music] and now here's your host of the Collective Cast the Cryptic Chameleon Hello fellow members of the collective I am Chris also known as the Cryptic Chameleon and welcome back as we continue our journey to fight adapt and grow i hope that you are all doing well this week we're starting well not so much this week but uh over the next several weeks we're going to be going through a book called the seven habits of highly effective people and i'm going to be also over time talking about my struggles to implement said habits in my life and if you want to follow along i will put links to where you can find the book either on amazon or kobo in the show notes i do not make any money from those links anyway so i started reading the first couple of chapters in this book and one of the big things that immediately stuck out to me was their description about the difference between personality ethic and character ethic and the problem with most of our society nowadays is that we have such a focus on personality in short the idea that success is a function of our image of our attitudes and behaviors of our skills and techniques that help us to make it easier to interact with other people basically what will make other people like me what will make other people see me in a positive way how can i get them to do for me what i need them to do and and you know not really go beyond that if you think about it, now granted i haven't read this book, but if you think about the classic book titled how to win friends and influence people that's that sounds almost manipulative when you think about that title now i'm not saying the content of the book is manipulative i'm just saying the title itself how to win friends and influence people meaning how can i do things to make people see me in such a way that i could influence their behavior or how to prove myself to people to become their friends the the reason why things like this doesn't work don't work rather things for example like the free webinar that you see that's you know 30 to 60 minutes long and then they upsell you with one thousand dollar course that's going to change your life and then you pay for the course and even when you implement things it just fizzles out well no organization technique no magic thing that will change a single behavior is going to fix my problem why because my problems are problems of character character ethic is the integration of basic principles of effective living into the core character of oneself that means that i really have to develop principles and change my paradigm or the way that i see the world before what i'm doing is actually going to change if i treat the personality problems if i just try to change behaviors or if i just try to find a quick and easy way of dealing with things if i just try to make people like me which is what i've done for so much of my life it's not gonna fix anything i have to change my world view and that's fundamentally harder than behavior change and as i've said to my current spouse who will be my former spouse that it's like playing whack-a-mole when you're dealing with behavior change you're like yeah i got it i got it i got oh no i missed that one i missed that one and now i'm bashing against a brick wall it's so so hard to change behavior especially when you fundamentally may have multiple behaviors that you have to fix because the behaviors don't stem from nowhere it's not like you start acting or i started acting this way from nowhere i started acting this way because of the quality of my character because of my ingrained principles and paradigms so let's talk about paradigms a little bit think about it a paradigm is your view of the world or my view of the world and it might not be something that you recognize right away for example i always thought that you know i was a good guy generally speaking and i thought that you know there are certain good things about the world that i believed in or at least i thought i believed in them but the problem is i didn't act them out you know i thought that i was you know a great religious person and i thought that i really really knew how to love people and all this stuff and really uh my view of the world was very much i'm a victim nobody will ever like me nobody will ever love me i just have to be what other people want me to be and then when i wasn't doing that the other side is i was controlling if if i'm not just going to do what other people like i have to very can very tightly control the circumstance so that i'm getting what i want regardless of how that might impact other people very very selfish worldview but i didn't see it that way until recently and now i'm in a world of hurt because i've discovered that my paradigm the way that i see the world is fundamentally flawed and those are just two examples so what's the paradigm that i have to shift to well i need to shift to a principle centered worldview and what does that mean well it means that there need to be certain guiding principles that are good for all mankind that are at the center of my character and it's going to take a long time to ingrain these in me not just at a surface oh yeah i believe that or maybe that's a value because one of the things the book said is even thieves can have values they value getting away from the police they value getting away with money they value being able to fool people but that's not the same as a principle a principle is deeper your principles guide values at least this is what i'm finding out from the book now keep in mind i'm not an expert in any of this i am trying to build this in my life but to give you an idea principles are things like the concepts of fairness honesty integrity service quality or excellence potential growth patience gratitude vulnerability all of those are principles so either they mean something or they don't and fairness and honesty and integrity you know a lot of us say yeah yeah we believe in that we think that those are good things to do those are good things to be but unless there are core of us and to violate them would be a violation of our very selves from what i'm seeing and what i'm learning they don't mean anything they're just good ideas they're they're good ideas wow um so uh i yeah i believe in honesty but you know there are plenty of times i'm not honest i believe in uh you know excellence i believe that it's good to accomplish excellent things or to strive for excellence but do i really strive for excellence that much probably not so how do how do i go about fixing this and that's why i'm reading this book because it has some level of instruction on how i could possibly work on this so what is a habit as defined in the seven habits of highly effective people the concept of a habit is the intersection of knowledge skill and desire so first of all to build a habit you have to have knowledge of what you're trying to do you you have to learn what it is that you're trying to accomplish if you don't know then how are you going to potentially build that that up if you don't know what you need to do how are you going to do it secondly it requires skill once you know how to do something you have to actually have the capability of doing it and sometimes it's really hard because there are plenty of things i know to be right i know to be the right way to see the world or to do things but doing it is a whole nother side of the equation so it requires practice it requires long hard effort and i'm not great with that to be honest long hard efforts are not my strong suit which brings in the third part desire given that it takes time knowledge and skill to build a habit you have to have or i have to have rather a true desire to implement this habit in my life and sometimes that desire just isn't there there have been plenty times in my life where i've desired to change things about myself and then i started working on it and i realized oh this is this is hard i'm nope not gonna do it because i didn't have a full enough desire well once i hit the brick wall that i hit in august of this past year 2021 or sorry 2020 uh i i came up with the desire when i was able to see that my world view that my behaviors at least maybe not even my world view i hadn't seen it at that point but that might be that the things that i was doing were so fundamentally harmful to myself and to others yeah that's that's a big deal so i need to work through a paradigm shift of shifting my current world view to a very principle centered world view and saying to myself do you know what these are the things that i need to be no matter what these are things that are the core of me kindness generosity all of those types of things compassion those need to be at my core all the time it needs to be such a harmful thing or such an ingrained thing inside of me that i'm almost not even capable of violating them and it's going to take a long long time to get there so in addition to that the early chapters of the seven habits of highly affected people talks about the curve of growth we're all supposed to go through and we basically start off in life from a dependence model we're dependent upon our parents to give us everything i know i was dependent on my parents to give me everything i wasn't born and then you know just went out got a job and you know was able to pay for my own stuff and all of that you know there were at least 18 years of my life if not longer where my parents were in some way providing for me and the problem is now a lot of people don't get beyond dependence i know it took me a long time to get beyond dependence and i'm still not beyond dependence i went from being dependent on my parents to being dependent on my spouse and that's codependency it means that i want my needs met without having to do a ton of work that doesn't sound like a very strong character ethic does it but that's who i was and to a certain extent that extent that's still who i am now i'm working to change that but dependence is where you are or i am reliant upon an individual or a group of individuals for validation and for a certain sense of even physical well-being physical safety and security dependence is a not great place to be as an adult luckily at one point i became financially independent i was able to figure out how to get my finances under control and not be in debt anymore because when i turned 18 the first thing i did was got a credit card yep that's right i can't afford i i had a job at a grocery store and i had no patience to save for things so what did i do i got a credit card so i could get a really expensive video camera you know and i used the credit card for other things after that and i kept spending and spending and then i would uh you know i got a car and i got a car on credit and then i you know missed a few payments no big deal i missed a few payments right and they repossessed my car which then i lost my job because my car was repossessed um it was a bad timing thing but those circumstances were still my fault as well so yeah that's an example of me just not moving to a proper sense of independence and that's what i'm doing right now is working to become independent and independence does not mean separation from other people you know i'm not i'm not seeking to run away and become a hermit and live in a cave that's my independence and i'm also not seeking to go out and do whatever the heck i want that's not independence either independence is me knowing that i'm safe and secure in myself that i could take care of my own needs that if i need to cook and clean find a place to live take care of myself i can do that that i don't need the validation of others that i am secure emotionally within myself that's independence but independence is not the be-all end-all independence is the second step in this this journey so to speak or this curve of development that we all go through the real goal is what's known as interdependence interdependence doesn't mean that you are reliant or i am reliant on another person for my well-being or my gratification or my self-esteem or any of that stuff interdependence means that you know what you and i are working towards a common goal and it would be really great if we help each other or wanted the best for each other and work together to achieve those things ideally this is what a marriage would be a marriage is you know an idea of two people being independent people still being able to do their own things if they want to but still having a set of common goals that they're both striving to and building each other up and helping each other to reach those common goals because they know that that's what's best for each other if you think about business ideally a business is not just the business hires you to get value from you it's not just the business demands work and then we work and then we come home it's that it should be a group effort of well you know what if the business does well then i'm gonna do well if i can make sure that people in the business have a good relationship if i can contribute to a good business environment if i can make the experience better for customers and for employees together if i can develop a good team mentality and help others help to inspire others to build that it's going to be a better workplace we're going to have better products and we're going to have more real relationships with customers interdependence is what makes the world go round yes to a certain extent i'm dependent on my job to pay me money and the job is dependent on me to bring value to the table as an employee that's really interdependence we don't work without each other so the curve to follow is dependence to independence to interdependence that's where things need to go and unfortunately i'm stuck between dependence and independence it's not a great place to be and that's where the seven habits of highly effective people come in so there are seven of these and the first three help somebody move from dependence to inter or not interdependence dependence to independence i'm looking at my notes and misreading them here so the first three habits are private victories they will be victories for me as i go through them and believe me these will not be easy to achieve but i really hope i hope i hope i hope that by ingraining these in me it will make a difference so the first three habits that are private and help us to get to independence one be proactive and i'll be talking about that once i get through the chapter on proactivity which will probably be for next week's episode two begin with the end in mind and three put first things first i'm not going to elaborate on two or three because i haven't started reading those chapters yet and i'm not an expert i'm just going as i go here you're journeying along with me as i'm going through this journey myself and i thank you for being with me and if this helps you with your journey i'm very grateful that it helps you as well the second set of three habits are guiding somebody from interdep sorry independence to interdependence and these are public victories these are things that other people would see if i were able to change them so for example these these habits are for number four think win-win number five seek to understand before seeking to be understood and number six synergize now um i'm a little bit nervous about the term synergize given that you know we have these these terms in business that synergy became kind of a corporate buzzword for a long time but it'll be interesting to see what it means in the context of the book and last but not least the seventh habit is to sharpen the saw or a process of renewal that helps to drive a cycle between the other six habits all right so the seven habits in total are be proactive begin with the end in mind put first things first think win-win seek to understand then to be understood synergize and sharpen the saw or renewal and those are the unquote seven habits now i am not plagiarizing the book i'm summarizing the book here now to get to the last part of kind of the opening chapters or opening might be opening two chapters here there's a portion where it talks about effectiveness what is effectiveness and how do these habits drive effectiveness well according to the author effectiveness is a proper balance between the production and production capability or p slash pc balance and what does that mean well i thought of a way of putting this for me i like coffee i think many people like coffee in fact a good chunk of popular culture makes it apparent or tries to give the appearance of people liking coffee or needing coffee so how does coffee work well generally speaking i either have to go somewhere to get coffee or i have to make coffee well how would i make coffee well generally most people have a coffee pot or a coffee machine that makes coffee so what happens though if i make coffee every day i make a whole pot and i don't actually but i'm saying what happens if i make a whole pot of coffee every day but i never take care of the coffee pot so i never pour vinegar in it to clean out the scale from you know hard water or for whatever what if i never clean the coffee carafe what if i never do anything to maintain that machine well then sooner or later that machine isn't going to be capable of making coffee anymore so my goal is the production of coffee i want coffee but i also have to have a production capability i have to have the ability to make coffee and if i don't take care of the coffee machine i'm not going to be able to have coffee this happens in my office all the time when we used to work in offices right now it's covid but there's a community coffee machine or a couple of them actually and guess what some of these you know need certain types of maintenance like the coffee grounds have to be emptied and certain powders need to be filled and all sorts of other things of that nature and it would be nice if maybe the drip tray was cleaned off every now and then and emptied but people don't always do these things so what happens the machines break down and then it's even a hassle for some people to report this breakage of the machine like oh it's just going to fix itself or i'll just go use the other machine but the fact is is that we're not caring for the thing that makes a coffee so we can't have coffee on the flip side though there's also the opposite sometimes somebody will buy a really nice coffee pot and use it only once or twice because it's so special to them it's so valuable that they care more about keeping it clean or keeping it you know so that it will run nice so they'll buy an espresso machine like one of the small home espresso machines but they'll make espresso once even though they might really like espresso they're just like ah this this machine was like 500 bucks i i don't want to break it and so you can go the opposite way so you can either care too much about getting the end result without caring about maintaining what it takes to create that end result or you can care too much about what it takes to create the end result and you never get it and this is true for several different types of assets that we have in life for example physical assets i just use the example of a coffee maker you know if i don't take care of the coffee maker i don't have coffee and if i care too much for the coffee maker then i don't have coffee not because i can't have it but because i care too much about protecting the ability to create said coffee with financial assets think of it this way my situation that i talked about earlier where i went into debt because i wanted the great goods of life how often do we do this we see something and we buy it i know i still struggle with this a little bit you know i see a new game and i want to buy it or i see a new web camera and i want to get it and i want to build a new streaming computer to you know be able to do better productions but guess what i can't just go out and buy those things they're not cheap and i have other things that i need to pay for so yeah i could go and buy those things on credit and rack up debt and then constantly be striving to try to pay that debt off and maybe even go into bankruptcy because i don't pay off that debt i could do that i could live the good life and then i could lose it all or i could live the flip side i could just spend nothing i could be like oh no you know what if an emergency happens what if um you know i really don't need to spend anything on myself you know what this is selfish i shouldn't spend anything on myself ever because uh that that makes me a selfish person and so i need to you know just save everything well then i never get to enjoy anything i never get to buy any wine or uh you know whiskey or beer i never get to go on amazon and just buy something because i want it or get new books where's the fun in that and lastly there are human assets and these are the people in our lives or in my life so what happens if i have the demand of production of my happiness from my spouse but at that person's expense what if i never do anything for them well their production capability of my happiness is going to run out relatively quickly now that's basically what's happening in my life now i have neglected my relationship and been abusive and manipulative in my relationship in such a way that once the scales fell off of both of our eyes and they fell off her eyes first we realized that i cared more about the production of my own safety security and happiness than i cared about her and what her needs were and it stinks admitting that it was a hard blow and it could have been the opposite what if i had fallen over and become a complete doormat what if i had done every single thing that she ever wanted me to do what if i did that to the detriment of myself well then the production capability for my happiness was there generally speaking or mutual happiness i'll say but i would never engage in it i would say oh i'm not worth it don't don't do that let me i want to do for you but don't ever do for me that would not be a good life either although that's not the way that i lived it needs to be about mutually working and striving together and that's why my marriage fell apart because i couldn't see how my worldview and my brokenness did that until it was too late so that's why the seven habits are effective because they allow for a person and i really am hopeful about this to have the balance between the production of something be it coffee or personal well-being versus the production capability meaning doing the upkeep that's necessary to make it so that you can continue to produce that or so that in my case i can continue to produce that whew so that was only the first couple of chapters or maybe even the first chapter of the seven habits of highly effective people and what i've learned from it so far and i'm going to keep sharing that with you as i go speaking of production and production capability um i really enjoy doing this podcast because it's first of all forces me to be raw about who i really am and where i've made mistakes in life and where i'm trying to fix things but second of all it's it's just great being able to connect with people and to take this material and put it out there so that other people might be able to learn and if you're finding value in that i ask that you please show some level of value in return now this doesn't mean it has to be money but believe me i would gratefully accept any donations there's always a link in the show notes to be able to do that but also hop into the discord channel so that we can talk or if you have ideas if you have encouragement send an email to collectivecastfeedback gmail.com and i will be very happy to read that and to respond back to and really to try to develop a solid community for the collective where we can all encourage each other like this that's what value for value is it means that you find value in this in some way and in some way you return value again that doesn't mean money it just means maybe reaching out and saying hello whatever this is worth to you in your life hey if it's worth a cup of coffee and you want to toss me five bucks on paypal or three bucks on paypal then that's fine but um it definitely you know any show of value back for the value that i hopefully am bringing into your life would be appreciated and um i really mean that you know it's it doesn't have to be money i just like connecting with people or if you think that you can help in building the collective or you have some tips or tricks for me that's great too time talent or treasure whatever value you get out of this if you could show that back it's appreciated speaking of which if you want to do that you can you can connect to me on collectivecast.com there's also collectivecastfeedback gmail.com if you want to send feedback in and last but not least you can always leave a review in your podcast directory of choice and that does that's another way of supporting me and connecting with me i'm also on twitter and a whole bunch of other places join the discord say hi you know let's build a real community and with that members of the collective we're going to wrap up episode 2 of the collective cast i hope that you're learning as much as i am here and i hope that this encourages you in some way i want to thank you again for tuning in and until next time take care i am chris also known as the cryptic comedian we'll see you in episode three [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] you