No. 790



It has been said that a human being can be Eminent without being Competent. A good case in point would be the man or woman who earns a doctorate in nuclear physics and then takes a job as a day laborer or a waitress. Not to say there is anything wrong with being a day laborer or a waitress, but it does not require all that education to qualify for these jobs and to become a good and valued employee.
But there is more to this story. A human being can also be Competent without being Effective, which should be the goal of every person. If you would like to be more Effective, I have a suggestion for you: buy a copy of Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and read it and then read it again.
This father of nine has a Harvard MBA and a doctorate from Brigham Young University where he is an adjunct professor at the Marriott School of Management. He is sought after internationally as a speaker and author on leadership, personal effectiveness and change, family, and interpersonal relationships. Dr. Covey is married to Sandra and they live in Provo, Utah. His book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has been a No. 1 National Bestseller, and for good reason. It is a great book and Dr. Covey has the ability to take complicated topics and concepts and make them very simple. He uses all manner of personal experiences, statistics, charts, graphs and true life stories to make the book come alive for any serious student who wants to better himself by becoming more effective.
The 7 Habits are: 1. Be Proactive. 2. Begin with the End in Mind. 3. Put First Things First. 4. Think Win/Win. 5. Seek First to Understand …Then to Be Understood. 6. Synergize. 7. Sharpen the Saw.
From the beginning, he embarks on a course to explain in great detail how each of these habits impacts our lives and how making them a part of our subconscious thinking can literally change the paradigms that govern the activity that fills our days. I loved them all, but the habit that impacted me most was No. 2, Begin With the End in Mind. In this chapter he talks about where our personal self-worth and value comes from, and the various areas or centers of our lives that we “hang our hat on” for emotional support and well being.
If you have never thought about it, ask yourself if your self-worth and value is tied to one or more of the following centers: spouse centeredness, family centeredness, money centeredness, work centeredness, possession centeredness, pleasure centeredness, friend/enemy centeredness, and church centeredness. He explains the emotional danger of linking our own self-worth and value as a person to any of these areas. We are emotional beings and our opinion of ourselves tends to rise or fall with each problem or challenge that comes along. In other words, when they fall apart, we do, too.
Dr. Covey says the best way to live is as a principle-centered person. When we base our lives and our value and self-worth on principles, not emotion, we are free to rationally make the appropriate decisions at the right time for the benefit of all. After reading his book, I have concluded that I would like to live a life of self-assumed humility. This is to say that I know who I am, what I believe, where I am going and to always be humble, because I know that countless others have helped me along the way, and I am very grateful.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)