Aligning Your Values with Unchanging Principles

Stephen Covey’s "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" is a principle-based paradigm. His conjecture is that effectiveness is a result of the consistent practice of habits that are rooted in embracing personal values aligned with self-evident unchanging principles of life and nature.

A physical example of a self-evident principle is gravity. If I am going to effectively function in the world, I must learn how to physically navigate with respect and deference to gravity. Gravity always is present, and it always exerts the same force. It is unchangeable. If I work with it, I get along well. If I fight against it, it doesn’t change, and I suffer the consequences. Gravity always prevails, never changes, and always wins the battle. It is an unchanging principle.

Though I cannot change principles, I can change my values. A value is something that I hold as important. If I align my values with unchanging principles, I increase my effectiveness. If my values conflict with such principles, I will not have sustained effectiveness.

Covey states that habits are the intersection of knowledge, skills, and desire. His book presents seven such habits that are based on unchanging self-evident principles. If these habits are embraced, valued, and practiced, then you will create character that will increase your effectiveness and destiny as a person.

Here are some questions for your consideration: What values do you hold, and are those values aligned with self-evident principles? Do your habits reflect what you say are you value? What habits in your life would you like to drop, and what good habits could you increase?

This is a great time to be asking these questions, and then taking action. Enjoy the change!!

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