If you read my last post, you know I have been writing about attitudes—and shoes. If that doesn’t make sense to you, go read the post. I am going to address why I have been thinking about attitudes so much lately.
It was a year or so ago, but who is counting? Actually not a lot of you. Thank you to the few who do get this post and read it. Anyway, as I was saying, about a year ago I had this grand idea—choose a self-help book, and follow it’s wisdom and principles to success.
You might recall that I chose, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. And you might also recall that I chose it for very solid reasons, Mr. Covey was a bald man. I am a bald man. We were/are of the same faith. We both lived/live in the same state—and the book has sold 25 million copies in the last 30 years or so.
My intent was to follow the book’s advice and see how things worked out as I did so. I was thinking in terms of new cars and fat bank accounts. Well, I am still driving the same car and my bank account hasn’t swollen. What I ended up doing was getting as far as the first chapter—Paradigms and Principals—and stopping. I didn’t even get to the first habit. Here is why.
The first part of the book is all about mental paradigms. Effective action has so much to do with effective thinking. I realized I had some real head work to do before I even began to start adopting new habits. Sure, nothing happens without action but if your head is screwed up, your actions won’t be effective. Covey says that when your paradigm changes, your results are exponential, not incremental. So I sought a new mental paradigm and figured habits could just wait. I began a journey to change my mind—to discover a new paradigm.
When I put down Seven Habits, I picked up another book I had on my bookshelf, Attitude is Everything: Change Your Attitude…Change Your LIfe, by Jeff Keller. It is a gem of a book, short and full of very good information about getting one’s attitude right.
It turns out that Jeff Keller and I also have things in common—like our first name—and we both went to law school and became attorneys. I don’t only read authors that I have things in common with, but I am certainly not against doing so. I find something endearing and relatable about them.
So I read Jeff’s book—yea we are on a first name basis (years ago I actually did call him up and talked with him, very nice guy but he probably wouldn’t remember me.) I ended up reading the book a couple of times and coloring all over the pages with a yellow highlighter.
I don’t know if you have ever embarked on such a journey, but it’s hard. I mean really hard. I think working on habits might have been easier. Too late now. Nevertheless, I think I made the right choice because I have found myself starting to adopt some new habits, make some new commitments lately. Not necessarily from the sacred seven from Covey, but ones that make a lot of sense to what I want to accomplish. More about that for another day and another post.
In the meantime, I can say it really does make a difference how and what you think.