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Universal Principles — Because some things never change

Happiness by changing others

Out Of The Shadows, by ashley.adcox

Samuel Johnson, famous English 18th century author, wrote:

He who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.

How many will you have to change before you are finally happy?

May 5, 2011   Comments Off

Read as a teacher

Whenever you read something that you want to learn, read it as if you would teach it to someone else next day. Imagine you should talk about the subject for 10 minutes, giving an summary of the material you are reading. You’ll see that it is when you think about how to explain it to someone else that you will notice where your own understanding is lacking.

SJSA Fifth Grade, by Michael 1952

April 30, 2011   Comments Off

The hard part is listening

More great words from Randy Pauch in his Last Lecture.

Get a feedback loop and listen to it. Your feedback loop can be this dorky spreadsheet thing I did, or it can just be one great man who tells you what you need to hear. The hard part is the listening to it.

Hard Listening, by kukkurovaca

Do you listen? (Even when you don’t like what you hear?)

April 26, 2011   Comments Off

Enjoy the ride

After my last example Prepare to win, Karin added a great comment which made me feel compelled to add a new example as an follow-up. It is what Karin said, somewhat paraphrased.

Enjoying the ride, by MudflapDC

Don’t try to win if you just want to enjoy the ride.

Today’s lesson I would like to call Henrik’s Third Law of Advice: For every good advice there is an equally good advice saying the opposite. ;-)

February 26, 2011   2 Comments

Prepare to win

On the importance of preparation and practice, from former Swedish cross country skier and biathlete Magdalena Forsberg. [FTBM]

Engine Man, by U.S. Army

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win.

Do you want to prepare to win? Or do you just want to win?

February 25, 2011   2 Comments

Happiness is a choice

From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice. There are things, like the weather, that our Circle of Influence will never include. But as proactive people, we can carry our own physical or social weather with us. We can be happy and accept those things that at present we can’t control, while we focus our efforts on the things that we can.

We Are Climbing..., by drp

Do you carry your own weather inside  you?

February 22, 2011   Comments Off

Affected by the weather?

Some ideas about how weather affects different people, from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and their performance. Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them.

SUNFLAIR, by Sandra Marek

Reactive people are also affected by their social environment, by the “social weather”. When people treat them well, they feel well; when people don’t, they become defensive or protective. Reactive people build their emotional lives around the behavior of others, empowering the weaknesses of other people to control them.

Does your mood depend on the weather?

guaranteed, by Ramon Rosati

February 18, 2011   3 Comments

Leaving gravity

Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, notes that changing habits are hard.

Habits have tremendous gravity pull – more than most people realize or would admit. Breaking deeply imbedded habitual tendencies such as procrastination, impatience, criticalness, or selfishness that violate basic principles of human effectiveness involves more than a little willpower and a few minor changes in our lives. “Lift off” takes a tremendous effort, but once we break out of the gravity pull, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension.

guaranteed, by Ramon Rosati

Yet another use for the Pareto principle – the first 20% of change takes 80% of the energy?

February 15, 2011   Comments Off

Essence of proactivity

Stephen Covey defines proactivity in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.

Can you control your impulses?

rhızomıng εmεrgεncε▲submεrgεncε plεats, by jef safi

February 12, 2011   Comments Off

That thought is the problem

it's that time again..., by Luke Montague

If you want to change your life, start with yourself. Or, as expressed by Stephen Covey’s in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Anytime we think the problem is “out there”, that thought is the problem.

Now, where was that problem, again?

February 9, 2011   Comments Off