FranklinCovey has recently partnered with OpenSesame to offer some of our online learning courses to their catalog. In addition the company is reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Below is a post from Nick Gipe, an intern at OpenSesame about her experience reading the book.
Everyone has a great story about the first time they read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. As a first-time summer intern thrilled to enjoy my summer away from school, I admit I had not been taking this required reading assignment very seriously. At times I have found it challenging to draw parallels from my life to Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s insights – until I got to Habit 2.
I have been a competitive swimmer most of my life, culminating in my current role as a collegiate swimmer for Johns Hopkins University. My club swim coach when I was around 13 years old introduced me to visualization: One day, instead of practice he brought all of us into a yoga studio, where we were all instantly skeptical. He played a tape with a man’s voice asking us all to lay down and imagine ourselves in a race, “moving at ludicrous speeds”. At the time, I thought it was much more important to put in the physical work to achieve my goals, and I did not think listening to a heavily accented Australian man softly cueing me through visualization exercises was an efficient use of my time.
With time, however, my coach persuaded me to give it a try. Visualization rapidly became a huge part of my swimming career. I take time out of my day to think through upcoming races, which gives me insights into what I need to do to make my success real. Come race day I have already experienced the race hundreds of times – and all I need to do is execute what I have already experienced.
Before reading The 7 Habits, I had yet to effectively transition my visualization practices to my life outside of the pool. But Dr. Covey’s exhortation to Begin With the End in Mind has helped me draw connections between my competitive career and my burgeoning professional career. Applying visualization practice is more than possible – it is vital to attaining what I deem success in my personal life.
Dr. Covey ends his explanation of Habit 2 with the concept of personal mission statement – encouraging readers to create a statement that governs the way you will and do live your life. Like many, I’m sure, I have heard this idea before and thought it was a good idea, but never actually taken the time to sit down and write my own. I was inspired by this experience to create my personal mission statement should be:
Never stop learning. Do not make excuses. Turn weaknesses into strengths. Listen first, then speak. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Do what you can for those in need. Concentrate on the present. Embrace mistakes and learn from them. Don’t spend time doing anything you won’t be proud of later.
As I continue to read through The 7 Habits, I pose the following challenge to myself: whenever the book suggests I take time to do something like write down my personal mission statement, my center or any other activity, I will ignore my impulse to think briefly about it for a minute and move on, and rather actually take the time to do the actions it asks me to do. I believe if I am able to follow through with this, my experience with this book will be much more rewarding. As I transition from college to my adult and professional life, I appreciate the encouragement to begin to visualize the end that I will keep in mind.
FranklinCovey recently added their courses to OpenSesame, global elearning marketplace where Nick Gipe is a content developer. Nick is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University where he is studying applied mathematics and is a member of the men’s varsity swim team.
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