“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.” ~ Stephen R. Covey from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Okay, so I admit it….when I first read this I thought, WOW, pretty cool. Then I really started thinking about it and pretty soon my inner dialogue was, “Well crap-o-lah!” I mean lets just take a look at this for a second. The word Response-Ability, the ability to choose your response. Great. Fantastic. I get that every moment is a choice and I am the chooser to how I respond to each moment. Got it – next.
Highly productive people recognize that responsibility. Okay, so I understand that too. If you are actively seeking to “be aware” you are cognizant of your personal responsibility to choose how you respond to everything. Again…pretty standard stuff but lets move on here.They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. EEK! (Come to a screeching halt)…..What did I hear you say? Um….hmmm….I consider myself to be a pretty balanced person and I know there are definitely times in my life when I blame circumstances, conditions or past conditioning for my behavior. I can admit it because I know everyone else does it too. True not everyone will own up to it but that is something they have to work on. So, to be highly effective and proactive I need to stop doing this? Well there is a life mission if ever I heard one. Too bad I’m already almost 44. This would have been so much easier to learn how to do when I was say…a newborn?
Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling. So this has me pondering. How do I base my behavior on values rather than feelings? Don’t I have to KNOW what those values are? How do I discover them? I already try to adhere to my own personal set of ethics and walk with integrity but I’ve always found when I let my heart (feelings) speak it leads me to amazing places. So here I sit, pondering, wondering, just how many people are truly responsible by Stephen Covey’s definition? Who truly walks through life behaving according the concept of “being able to choose your own response” and accepting everything that comes with that “second by second” choice? I’m hoping I’m not alone in needing to grow in this area. Man do I have a LONG way to go yet.