Thursday, October 23, 2014

Be Proactive: 1st of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Perhaps it's that time of the month, or maybe because there were a few days I missed taking my pills on time, or most probably because someone I used to love just declared she doesn't like me and has been "plastic" all this time around me... these  have been making me feel the blues a lot more severely than usual. Just when everything else outside of me is great (I have someone who loves me very, very much, my savings in my bank account is growing, I am a lot healthier than a few months ago, I am living my dream lifestyle, I have a steady stream of worthy things to do) I don't understand why I am once again feeling so discontent and hopeless (the very same things that most probably contributed to the demise of my last relationship which I don't want to happen in my current one)

Everyday, the last week, has just been one miserable internal experience after another. I only see the bad and the negative in my situation and it was driving me crazy inside. I was feeling so rejected and insecure that I began doubting myself thinking that maybe that person who rejected me was right. Maybe I am worthless. ...What's up with me? Why am I making this person hurt and affect me so much? My eyes have been swollen from constantly crying and I have been going out of my mind. 

Of course, I try not show these things outside. I still do my best to to control and change these negative emotions as much as humanly possible but sometimes, it's just easier to give in to my hormones and cry. When I do that though, I spiral downwards into this dark, suffocating abyss of loneliness. It's a good thing that I am self-aware, that I know I want to change these patterns (which I've been trying to do for years). So after watching The Secret again (for the nth time), listening to Dale Carnegie's audio books on How to Not Worry, learning how to change core beliefs from Robert Kiyosaki's investment books and realizing that I need more help in changing my views and emotions, I decided to re-read Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I've already blogged about this before together with what I learned about the Pareto Principle and it was nice to read that post of mine. That was in 2011 and I was operating then from a different paradigm. I was more concerned then with my work-life balance which I've already managed to resolve and I'm enjoying its fruits now. This very moment though, I just want to find happiness within me again because I already have everything I wanted. I just need to feel happy and content about all my blessings and learn to discard the things, circumstances  and people that don't contribute to my well-being.

While reading Habit 1: Be Proactive, I started noticing an emotional change in me. Little by little, a spring of happiness began to well deep inside of me. As I went through each page, re-learning that between stimulus and response, I have a choice to respond accordingly, that "We are not our feelings. We are not our moods. We are not even our thoughts." I started feeling so much better. Perhaps it's because I was so afraid that my negative emotions were starting to define me and that's the last thing I want to happen. I have always been a positive thinker kind of gal so I am disturbed whenever I find myself feeling so negative despite all my blessings. It's a good thing that I have books like the 7 Habits to help me thresh out my problems and apply what I learn to my current life. 

So anyway, I just want to document here some parts of this chapter that I found very helpful. I hope they help and inspire you as well. 

"No one can hurt you without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them." - Gandhi
"I am free! I am let out of prison! No longer am I going to be controlled by the treatment of some person."
"It's not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us. Of course, things can hurt us physically or economically and can cause sorrow. But our character, our basic identity, does not have to be hurt at all."
"Our basic nature is to act, not to be acted upon. As well as enabling us to choose our response to particular circumstances, this empowers us to create circumstances."
"Proactive people focus their efforts in things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying. Reactive people focus on the weaknesses of other people, the circumstances over which they have no control."
"Anytime we think the problem is out there, that thought is the problem. We empower what's out there to control us. The proactive approach is to change from inside-out. To be different, and by being different, to affect positive change in what's out there -- I can be more loving, I can be more diligent, I can be more supportive, etc."

Here's a challenge for us who would like to practice being proactive:

For 30 days, work only on the things we can control, our circle of influence so to speak. Make small commitments and keep them. Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. 
Look at the weaknesses of others with compassion, not accusation. It's not what they are doing or should be doing that's the issue. The issue is our own chosen response to the situation and what we should be doing. If we start to think the problem is out there, stop ourselves. That thought is the problem. 

I'm happy to say that after internalizing these things, I feel so much better. I will continue reading the book every morning and will blog about my my thoughts here for future references. Thanks for reading. (^_^)


  1. Hmm....Try not to let it get you,Jen. We can't please everyone's expectations or perceptions as to who we really are. What's important is that you know yourself better. You know who truly loves you for who you are. And I'm one of them. :) Keep your head up, Jen! xoxo mishu!!!!

  2. Mer thanks so much!!!! I love you too and I miss you!!!!! xoxoxox


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