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Applying the 7 Habits to Relationships

A landmark self-help book by renown BYU professor Stephen Covey is the classic work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Regularly touted as one of the top 20 self-help books of all time, this remarkable work loosely and informally translates several useful and traditionally LDS principles into a user-friendly self-help form to promote what makes for healthy, happy, effective people. These principles relate to both the business world, relationships, and life in general. In today’s dating and relationship world as single members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, how can these principles and values translate to you? How can they help your dating and relationship life? This brief article will examine some possible applications for each of these 7 classic principles. The 7 “Habits”: (summaries from: 1) Be Proactive: We're in charge. We choose the scripts by which to live our lives. Use this self-awareness to be proactive and take responsibility for your choices. The first habit that Covey discusses is being proactive. What distinguishes us as humans from all other animals is our inherent ability to examine our own character, to decide how to view ourselves and our situations, and to control our own effectiveness. Put simply, in order to be effective one must be proactive. Reactive people take a passive stance -- they believe the world is happening to them. They say things like: "There's nothing I can do." "That's just the way I am." They think the problem is "out there" -- but that thought is the problem. Reactivity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and reactive people feel increasingly victimized and out of control. Proactive people, however, recognize they have responsibility -- or "response-ability," which Covey defines as the ability to choose how you will respond to a given stimulus or situation. In order to be proactive, we must focus on the Circle of Influence that lies within our Circle of Concern-- in other words, we must work on the things we can do something about. The positive energy we exert will cause our Circle of Influence to expand. Reactive people, on the other hand, focus on things that are in their Circle of Concern but not in their Circle of Influence, which leads to blaming external factors, emanating negative energy, and causing their Circle of Influence to shrink.

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