At the start of the school year we shared, taught, encouraged, and expected our children to learn and live the first five habits of citizenship–to be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, and caring. These citizenship traits involve key principles that grow strong citizens. We began with these because we were beginning with the end in mind. This week’s habit from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is Begin with the End in Mind.
Starting with direction toward where we want to end up is just plain smart. When our lives are grounded on sound principles, the direction we move and live guides us toward a happier and more successful life. There is an old saying that “a man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder”. A ship worries about the water without direction and can easily lose its way when the rudder isn’t in the water. The captain with a hand on the rudder guides it to its destination. It is way too easy in our modern society to get caught up in an abundance of things to do, thoughts to think, and places to go. Without a rudder directed by our principles, we can easily stray from our course. Guided by the end in mind and strengthened with the power of positive principles, each and every child can achieve the success they seek and deserve.
- Heart – Talk about your favorite hero and the principles he/she lives by.
- Mind – Develop a personal or family mission statement that describes your values, roles, and goals.
- Body – Set a specific goal for a favorite skill, sport, or hobby.
- Soul – Consider what kind of person you want to be and list 3-5 activities that will help you to be that person.
“Control your own destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch
“Curiosity is the spark behind the spark of every great idea. The future belongs to the curious.”
Over the past 5 weeks we re-minded ourselves of the five character traits that make us TeRiFFC citizens (trust, respect, responsible, fair, and caring). This week we begin the development of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. These habits help us to be and become leaders. The first habit is Be Proactive. (Ask your child about the hand signal for being proactive.) The premise of the habit is that we have the power to tell our brains what to do! It is such a simple concept, and frankly, simple to do. Feeding our thoughts with positive and productive ideas nourishes our lives with happiness and success. Thinking about doing something is the first step. Taking the next step and telling our brains to do it is the action. Actions lead to habits, habits to character, and character to destiny.
Trying v. Doing
There are so many occasions in life when the word “try” is incomplete and reactive. I think that it’s a half-baked idea. Trying is short sighted, but doing gets it done! The next time you congratulate your child for an accomplishment and they tell you, “Thank you, I tried my best,” remind them that they didn’t just try – THEY DID IT! Encourage them to say “I will” rather than “I’ll try”. Trying insinuates that we may have given our best effort. In fact, when we accomplish things, we did give our best effort. Proactively telling ourselves to do it is powerful and causes great actions.
Reactive language v. Proactive language
- I’ll try. v. I’ll do it!
- That’s just the way I am. v. I can do better than that!
- There’s nothing I can do. v. There is something I can do!
- I have to. v. I choose to!
- I can’t. v. There’s got to be a way!
- You ruined my day. v. I’m not going to let your bad mood rub off on me.
Being proactive also helps us to take responsibility for our actions and our choices. Proactive citizens don’t blame others, they challenge them and step up as change agents in families, schools, and communities. Encourage this habit this week with the following efforts:
Heart – reach out to a family member or friend who may need some encouragement.
- Mind – search for an answer to an unanswered question.
- Body – shop for foods that will support a healthy brain.
- Soul – take 5 minutes to enter the classroom of silence.
- “I am in charge of how I feel, and today I will choose to be happy and successful.”
“Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it”. – Cathy Hopkins
“Have a can-do-titude” – Mr. B