This year my daily calendar in my office has been from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People company.
If the very name makes you groan, no biggie -- just skip this post! :)
Not everyone is into that kind of stuff, but I like having these daily tidbits. Here are my favorites from the first half of the year. And by "favorites" I usually mean that these are the ones that made me very uncomfortable as I faced up to my own shortcomings:
"The real beginning of influence comes as others sense you are being influenced by them -- when they feel understood by you -- that you have listened deeply and sincerely, and that you are open."
"So many of us are filled with our own rightness. We want to be understood. Our conversations become collective monologues, and we never really understand what's going on inside another human being."
"If I think I see the world as it is, why would I want to bother with someone who's 'off track'? My paradigm is that I am objective; I see the world as it is. Everyone else is buried by the minutia, but I see the larger picture. That's why they call me a supervisor -- I have super vision. If that's my paradigm, then I will never be effectively interdependent, or even effectively independent, for that matter. I will be limited by the paradigms of my own conditioning."
"The difference between people who exercise initiative and those who don't is literally the difference between night and day. I'm not talking about a 25 to 50 percent different in effectiveness; I'm talking about a 5,000-plus percent difference, particularly if they are smart, aware, and sensitive to others."
"Some people become so centered on an enemy, so totally obsessed with the behavior of another person that they become blind to everything except their desire for that person to lose, even if it means losing themselves. Lose/Lose is the philosophy of adversarial conflict, the philosophy of war."
"Whenever love is given on a conditional basis, when someone has to earn love, what's being communicated to him is that they are not intrinsically valuable or lovable. Value does not lie inside them; it lies outside. It's in comparison with somebody else or against some expectation. And what happens to a young mind and heart, highly vulnerable, highly dependent upon support and emotional affirmation, in the face of conditional love? The child is molded, shaped, and programmed in the Win/Lose mentality."
"Dag Hammarskjold, past Secretary-General of the United Nations, once made a profound, far-reaching statement: 'It is nobler to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.' I take that to mean I could devote eight, ten, or twelve hours a day five, six or seven days a week to the thousands of people out there and still not have a deep, meaningful relationship with my spouse or with my closest working associate. And it would take more nobility of character -- more humility, courage and strength -- to rebuild that one relationship than it would to continue putting in all those hours for all those people and causes."
"I do not agree with the popular success literature that says self-esteem is primarily a matter of mind-set, of attitude -- that you can psyche yourself into peace of mind. Peace of mind comes when your life is in harmony with true principles and values..."
"The real key to your influence with me is your example, your actual conduct. Your example flows naturally out of your character, or the kind of person you truly are -- not what others say you are or what you may want me to think you are. It is evident in how I actually experience you."