Whole Life

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In creating a whole life concept for myself as I become an engineer was a little overwhelming for me at first. Reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R. Covey, really helped me to better understand what a whole life concept was and how to apply it to daily life. In Habit 1 Be Proactive I was introduced to the concentric circles model as seen Fig.1. Starting out with the circle of concern which includes worries fears such as national debt, nuclear war, health, personal relationships and problems at work. Outside of my circle of concern are the things that I do not have any involvement in. Inside my circle of concern there are things that I have no real control of, also there are things I can control. The things that I have control of I will put inside another circle, the circle of influence. By focusing on the circle of influence I can be proactive, thus increasing my circle of influence.

As an engineer I am expected to use my knowledge of math and science to fulfill humans wants and needs. Being proactive and focusing only on my circle of influence I can increase it’s size thus creating a better world for everyone. Applying whole life concepts I learned from Stephen Covey to my ever day life I can become an effective part of society and have a full life.

7 Habits

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey the whole live concept is broken down in to 7 habits. Before Covey gets into the 7 habits he shows the power of a paradigm shift by giving a few examples. Also expresses how a principle centered paradigm is a must. Then I was introduced to The Seven Habits Paradigm as shown in Fig. 2. The seven habits were broken down into three parts. The first part was private victory which include the habits: 1 Be Proactive, 2 Begin with the End in Mind, 3 Put First Things First. The second part was public victory which included the habits: 4 Think Win/Win, 5 Seek First to Understand... Then to be understood, 6 Synergize. The final part only had one habit which was 7 Sharpen the Blade.

Habit 1 Be Proactive

In Habit 1 Be Proactive, I was reminded that life does not just happen, I make the choices and I am ultimately responsible for my own life. As humans we have the unique ability to choose the way we think, act, feel and see the world. There are two ways we can make choices proactive and reactive. A proactive person is someone who says I can/will, they focus only on the Circle of Influence. Reactive people might say I can not or if only, they simple react to things they have no control of resulting in them really having no choice.

Being a proactive engineer would not include trying to fix the national debt, or fight terrorism directly. By putting all energies into the Circle of Influence I can increase the circle to include more things. For example creating a new product to be built in the USA could help the national debt. Realizing what my Circle of Influence include, and paying attention to what I put energy toward I believe is key to becoming proactive.

Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind

While reading the second Habit I was to imagine my funeral, and to imagine what people would say. This exercise was a great way to grasp what beginning with the end in mind means. Covey explained that all things are created twice, once in our minds, and then we work to bring them into physical existence. Using your imagination to view what you would want people to say at your funeral you can create a mission statement. By making a mission statement that is based on good morals, values, principles, and fundamental truths success will come easy.

As an engineer, beginning with the end in mind can be applied in a few different ways. In creating solutions to various problems visualizing the end results is the first step to success. Only after the end is in sight can you begin to build and create solutions. Also when working with a team/group...
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