Monday, September 7, 2009

7 Habits: The beginning is the hardest

The NaviMap above shows the firs three habits; #1 Be Proactive, #2 Begin with the end in mind, #3 First things first. Together they form a virtuous cycle connected in reward arrows between Boxes 3, 4 and 5. This is very good, but how do we get this virtuous loop going in the first place?

See the dashed arrow (this is a punish arrow) between Box 2 and Box 3. There is another dashed or punish arrow between Box 2 and Box 5. The old vicious cycle is making it hard for the new virtuous cycle from happening.

With determination and great effort those who succeed at Box 4 (begin with the end in mind), can begin to weaken the vicious cycle of Box 1 and Box 2. Such a person must put Box 4 into action - it will appear as Box 5 (first things first), and keep doing it (box 3, be proactive). As this loop between Box 3, 4 and 5 get stronger with practice, the punish arrow from Box 4 to Box 2 will triumph over that coming against this potential virtuous cycle from Box 2 (addiction obstacles).

Stephen Covey in his book suggests beginning with Habit #1. The NaviMap shows that starting with Habit #2 (box4) may be easier. Consider where those addiction obstacles (box 2) will lead us to can more easily help us begin with thinking of a different end point (a happy rather than a sad outcome) than beginning our journey with Habit #1.

Once a virtuous cycle has begun, it doesn't matter which of the three boxes are important. A cycle like a circle has no beginning or end. That is the whole idea. Like a fire, the challenge is to get it started.

Related posts:
The 7 Habits in a picture
Before the 7 Habits

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