Special thanks to the Misfit Heroes Podcast (https://misfit-heroes.com) for some feedback on the overall show quality!
On this episode, struggles with being pro-active/keeping commitments. Chris discusses the second habit, Begin with the End in Mind.
Why does focusing on our death help us to find the guiding principles we want in life? What is at the center of our worldview? How can our center lead us astray?
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7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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collective cast number four seven habits future visioning your tune 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 and now here's your host of the collective cast the cryptic chameleon hello everybody i am chris also known as the cryptic chameleon thank you fellow members of the collective for joining me here for this episode of the collective cast wow i can't talk today but for this episode of the collective cast the podcast where we talk about our journeys to fight adapt and grow right now we're going through the seven habits of highly effective people book but before we do that you might notice that i changed up the opening a little bit shortened it a little bit and uh there are a couple of other audio tweaks i'll be making in this episode and that's partially thanks to actually entirely thanks to the misfit heroes podcast so uh to to uh the wonderful host over at the misfit heroes podcast i really really appreciate the feedback it's uh it's it's really awesome that you provided that in the reddit and i really really appreciate it so thank you so much for that so moving forward oh it's been rough so just let a little bit of an update from last time where i was talking about the you know keeping commitments and that worked for about a day or two when i started missing internal and external commitments and it's it's hard it's a lot harder than you might think because sometimes you think you have more time than you know like i know i thought i had more time than i did i was like yeah i'm gonna get another podcast episode done and i'm gonna get the book read and then i'll have enough time the next day to do the next podcast episode and here it is three days later two days later something like that where i just didn't have the time and it's because i didn't budget my time and didn't take my emotions and my situations into consideration and as the work week started it it kind of continued so that's that's an update for now but in the meantime we're gonna go on to the next chapter of the seven habits of highly effective people and uh basically i can't remember the exact habit i'm gonna have to look back at my notes now but i believe it's uh there it is begin with the end in mind begin with the end in mind so point number one right now imagine something and this is an exercise from the book you're dead picture your funeral what would you want your spouse children family friends and colleagues to say what would you want to hear them how would you what what would they be saying to describe who you are and maybe some of your accomplishments and take a moment and really think about that and then write them down and if you want you can even pause the podcast right here to do that so go ahead and pause i'm not going to go anywhere and then just hit play again once you come back so i i found that it was really really interesting that i was able to find the principles and traits that i wanted for myself by doing this exercise which is probably why the book tells people to do this exercise uh there were a lot of things on there generosity loving caring a good provider dedicated uh creative all of those types of things came out in that and i still have to make a comprehensive list there was a lot of overlap between different groups of people between friends family and work but it's really a sobering thought when you think to yourself uh i'm gonna die you know i i only have a short time relatively speaking on the world on this planet as a physical being in order to figure out who i want to be and to work to establish those principles in my life but if i don't know what those principles are in the first place how can i even begin to journey to them yes i have to be proactive about it yes i have to work to keep my commitments but at the same time i also need to know who it is that i'm trying to become i need to know what principles that i'm trying to live my life by and how do i figure that out well one of the ways is to picture what you would want people to say if you were dead why is this important well the fact is is that everything in our lives consists of two creations wait why yes everything that is made by humankind including ourselves consists of two different creations we think about it which is active creation one and then we make it that's active creation two if i want to create a podcast say for example i need to think about it first i need to think about well how am i going to host the files do i have the recording equipment what am i going to talk about who is this for and i do all of that thinking ahead of time and then i produce the podcast and i put it on the website and i edit everything before i put it on the website actually i'm not following an order here but you get the point so it starts with thought and then i actualize those thoughts or goals that i made in my head and one of the problems is that i know that for myself i haven't always had the best goals for myself in fact most of the time my goals were survive with putting in at least the the least amount of effort as possible to be able to survive to look good in front of other people without putting in the work or to just fit in to to survive and so what happens well if i don't create my own goals or visions for myself someone else will if i don't have solid principles guiding me in my life something else will for good or bad intent in fact i had a boss at one point in in the job that i'm currently in no longer my boss and this person would would love to come to me with projects oh this will be a great opportunity for you i think that this is a good idea for you uh you know you need to get this done i think you're the right person for this job and it always seemed on the surface like that was a good thing you know hey this person's coming to me asking for help all the time well not even all the time but you know they would ask me for help they would they would say that this is a great opportunity for me and in the end it usually wasn't it was usually a great opportunity for them they needed somebody to do it and somebody had told them to do it and i ended up being the one to do it that's that's not me taking control or setting a goal and standing up for myself or being assertive that's somebody else making goals for me and the problem is i've lived most of my life that way i've lived life letting uh my emotions being be controlled by friends and family and not controlling them myself thinking that my justification comes from outside and as we found out last time no the if your justification is coming from outside you're looking at a warped mirror one of the things that i took away from this particular chapter is the idea of to take better control over situations envision yourself in those situations so to lay down do some deep breathing work to get my mind calm or you can do this to get your mind calm and then really really picture in your mind's eye a confrontational situation to the point where you can actually feel it and then based upon the principles that you want to have in your life picture how you would approach it differently and that's really uh it will help over time to give a path supposedly according to the book now i've started doing this a little bit uh i don't know that it's made a huge difference as of yet so that's my take um i'm not saying don't try it i'm saying it's gonna take time just like the keeping every commitment that i make to myself and to others is going to take time that's one of the things i have the biggest struggle with is sometimes i'm so hard on myself i expect that i can make progress overnight and it just doesn't work that way even if a book is saying yep just keep your commitments for the next 30 days i find that it's not that easy it's hard i i constantly feel like i'm bashing my head against the wall sometimes as i'm on this journey to grow so know if you're experiencing that too you're in good company you're not alone and uh it is hard when you're setting a goal and you don't meet it now once you've kind of pictured the qualities that you want to have one of the things that the book recommends is creating a mission statement that you can begin to live your life by and um the questions are well how am i going to live my life how will i live my values or principles in each area or role of my life so i did start doing this and i actually used a website connected to the seven habits of highly effective people they have a template and i tried to use the template to create my my mission statement and i'll just say it did not turn out the way that i thought it would turn out at all it was um it was a bit disjointed to say the least and the problem with it being disjointed is that it it wasn't you know it obviously didn't result in a clear mission statement but the mission statement which is gonna take work i know i'm not gonna get my mission statement right the first time i'm not going to get it right just because i used a template from a website i'm not going to get it right even after i edit what came out of that template by the way there's a link to that template in the show notes and if you're using the chapters because you i hope you're using a podcasting 2.0 compatible application you'll be able to click right now on your screen and it will take you to that link as well but the point is a mission statement is something that guides an individual a family or a business it's what takes the values or principles that i want to live by and puts them into words and actions that act as a reminder for myself as to who i want to be so that when times get tough i can look back on that and say huh i'm not really living according to my principles i'm not living according to the values that i need to live to in this moment or i want to live to in this moment it takes a lot of work and introspection to be able to put together a mission statement and the the template that i used which again is an extension of the seven habits of highly effective people book and mission it asks things like well who are some celebrities that you look up to and what is the character or the quality of them that you look up to picture your life as an epic journey what or how are you going to go through that journey what are you struggling through what what does that journey look like what does it look like when you're at your best what does it look like when you you're struggling what are the things that you struggle with and need to get through what would your 80th birthday party look like what would people say to you there your grandkids your extended family colleagues etc what type of impact will you have had in their lives and those are really really deep deep questions and they trigger the creative part of the brain which sadly i don't think we use enough most of our days are what well tap away at the computer you know get this this data oriented task done send this email answer this customer case yeah there's some creativity in solving problems for customers don't get me wrong uh there's creativity in a lot of the work even the data work that people do there's definitely creativity and programming there's creativity in 3d modeling art there's creativity in science there's creativity everywhere but i don't feel like we all tap into that creativity inside of us enough or at least i know i don't this what i'm doing right now this is a creative outreach and the only way to according to the book anyway the only way to deal with these types of future visioning exercises where you're picturing or i'm picturing what i want to be in the future and how vividly i can picture that is through using creativity through picturing these scenarios and saying huh if i want to get there well first of all what do i want there to look like and then secondly i think the next chapter is going to talk about first things first what's the path to get there so there's a lot of different things that drive that and one of those is our core or our center ideally our center should be in the middle of four different sliders so to speak of security power wisdom and guidance so security being my sense of worth or personal strength or lack thereof i could be completely insecure or i could be very secure i i'm somewhere still more on the insecure side by the way right now power uh power the ability to act so i could be powerless in a situation or i could feel powerless in this situation or i could be empowered in a situation wisdom the sense of how different parts and principles interact with each other so i could have wisdom or i can have next to no wisdom and be foolish and guidance a source of direction and oftentimes you know for me i haven't really had that guidance i haven't really had that compass i've just been kind of wandering you know and so to have a good solid center it has to be driven by security power wisdom and guidance in in the proper proportions improper balance when everything is properly balanced it's possible to have a principal centered center well a principal focus center where instead of being based on the whims of life the center core of my being relies on principles which don't change now the book gave several different examples of false or poor centers and i'm not going to go through them all but i am going to go through the ones that i know affect me or affected me and that i'm working through so the first is spouse centered spouse centered when when somebody gets married there's always a saying oh well now your wife comes first or the the marriage comes first but there's a problem with that and the problem comes when you have an individual such as me who didn't understand the concept of sacrifice and was very self-centered which we'll get to self-centeredness in a moment but also very insecure so a spouse-centered worldview is i look for my validation from my spouse if they're not happy with me then i take it extremely hard and i get angry or frustrated possession centered this is where status or the amount or quality of things you have is your sole driver in life and for me i have had times where i've been possession center because i wanted to have status but i didn't want to do the work to get it i i like the idea of being a leader and being somebody that people like you know having a little bit of prestige when when i was young i i always wanted to try to find a way to become famous rich rich and famous you know but i never wanted to put the work into it but still the point is the focus of the world view or that center is possessions what stuff can i get how popular can i become what can i show off to other people that i'm doing and in some cases you know yeah a podcast might be a way to do that i always get a little weird by the way of marketing a podcast especially this one am i doing it for me or am i doing it so other people find it and what's the balance there you can have friend or enemy-centered world to use um and this goes both ways i know in the past i used to want to fit in as best as possible with my friends and if one of my friends got really upset with me then i took it really really hard and it hurt i always cared about what my friends thought was i making the right decision to fit in with them but then you can also have enemy centered the this this person has such control over my life that i don't have any control over it um i need to gossip about this person i need to you know act like the victim because this this this person is controlling my entire life and that goes directly against the first habit which is i'm in control of my life because i'm proactive i get to control my decisions church-centeredness now i know that there's a saying that god needs to be the center of everything and believe me i was very very deep into my faith and the theology of my faith when i practiced but my problem was i made my church-centered life first of all it was a mask because i couldn't live the values of the church i couldn't live by the principles of the church because i wasn't a principle-centered person but secondly secondly it's seeking validation from how good of a member of this church can i be you know i'm going to know the most about this faith i'm going to know inside now i'm going to convert the most people i'm going to be at every church event i can i'm going to volunteer like crazy i am gonna be there and people are gonna know who they are who i am they're gonna know that i am you know a good member of this community and i'm doing it just so that i feel good not necessarily because it's the right thing to do last but not least how could we forget this one the self-centered worldview i definitely have had a very self-centered worldview it's all about my happiness it's all about how i feel it's all about me me me me me what can i get how do i benefit from this situation what can i get out of this sacrifice that i'm making me me and me and i've lived my life that way for too too long and but you notice it ties into all the other ones why are these all false centers spouse centered um possession-centered friend or enemy centered church-centered self-centered why are these all false-centered because they're not principle centered they're centered on something that can change on a whim my relationship with a spouse can change on a whim they are a human being they're not perfect they're not god and they will get upset and if they get upset because of something that i did then i'm gonna get upset because i feel attacked i feel like i'm not meeting the expectations of this you know possession centered oh well if that person has more than me then you know i'm i'm less good or if that person's more popular than me then that means my self-worth isn't any good friend or enemy centered well if they think that i'm not good enough then i'm not good enough church-centered well if if the church community doesn't think that i'm perfect that i'm the best at this church then i'm not good enough and self-centered if it's not all about me i'm not happy all of these are focused on things that can easily change people's external attitudes and feelings and even yes my internal attitudes and feelings so what's the best center well i've said it already to be principle centered to be centered on honesty integrity uh generosity compassion um vulnerability humor dedication all of these things being loving fun uh being you know creative uh all of those things being there for people being a good listener being empathetic those are principles they don't change if i'm having a rough day but my principle is that i have integrity then i'm still gonna get the job done i mean within reason if i'm sick sick i'm gonna be in bed but if i'm feeling emotionally meh i don't feel like it i'm still gonna do it am i there yet personally no no i'm not but what i'm saying is when things become principle focused when the center of my life becomes principle focused when my worldview becomes principle focused i don't have to be at the mercy and whim of my own emotions the emotions of others or to be seeking validation from anyone else now the trick is balancing self-compassion with the expectations of integrity and with the expectations of being hard-working being trustworthy uh you know all of these different things well what's the measure of that well that's something that i think it comes with time and right now i'm still trying to figure that out i think we all are when are you when when am i being too hard on myself in these goals not that i don't want to be a person of integrity i do but what's the point from a to b here or a to c here where's the b because i can't just jump from a being a person who lacks integrity to you know step g who is a person that is of integral perfect integrity and i don't think there is such a thing as g in this case there's no perfect integrity integrity looks a little bit different for different people but there's a difference between claiming that everything's flexible which is a complete lack of integrity or knowing really where integrity actually is and knowing that yes sometimes i might fall short of a goal but that doesn't mean i don't have integrity it just means i fell short or it means that maybe i chose the wrong goal at the wrong time or i put too high of an expectation on and that's just one example but the fact is is that integrity doesn't ever change it's integrity it's a concept emotions change people change everything around us changes principles don't generally change if you ask somebody if they're honest we all know what honesty is it's uh it's pretty clear that honesty in terms of what it means is not really up for discussion honesty doesn't change just because you're in a bad mood or somebody else mistreated you or whatever honesty is still honesty and that's why a principle centered worldview is so important or principle centered center is important principle-centeredness so that's what we all should be striving for so once again takeaways from today and what we talked about think about the qualities or principles that you'd like to see in yourself do this by picturing your funeral or your 80th birthday party and trying to think of what you would want people to be saying that you've accomplished in life the type of traits that you would want to hear in those situations that you're maybe a compassionate person that you're funny that you're great to be around and what that will do is it will create a map well not the entire map but at least it will create the destination on the map where you want to get and then from there it's possible to actually build the steps to get there and be aware of what is at your center are you focused on spouse are you possession possession-centered friend or enemy-centered church-centered self-centered and there are a few others you'll have to read the book to find them but what is the center of your life and if it aligns with one of those other centers or more than one of those centers remember the goal is to be principle centered a principle-centric life and with that we're going to go ahead and start wrapping things up here on this episode of the collective cast and i just want to again say thank you thank you out there to misfit heroes i really really appreciate the feedback that you gave me about the podcast it's really appreciated um and also if you appreciate what i'm doing then i do believe in what adam curry calls the value for value model if you do like what you hear here on the podcast then by all means please leave me a review in your favorite podcast application or podcast directory also uh feel free to toss me a feedback email collectivecastfeedback gmail.com you can join the discord channel and we can have conversations there in the collective discord and last but not least if you do want to toss me some money to help with the continuing funding of the show or just because you find that level of value there is always a paypal link right now in the show notes and on the website at collectivecast.com so again if you do have any feedback want to reach out collectivecast collectivecastfeedbackgmail.com and or join the discord channel and i would look forward to seeing you there in the meantime i do want to thank you agents and members of the collective for being here for this episode i do hope that you're getting as much out of the seven habits of highly effective people as i am and until next time thank you for tuning in to this transmission we'll see you on the next episode take [Music] [Applause] [Music] care [Music] you