Monday, 2 February 2009

Living By Design - Part 1

Stephen Covey has a chapter in his book 'The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People' called Begin With The End In Mind.
In this chapter Stephen challenges us with the thought that all things are created twice. There is first the mental creation and then secondly the physical creation.

When making a sandwich or building a house, when one gets dressed or decides which route to drive... we first craft it out mentally and then we perform the physical act.

Stephen then goes on and gives a challenge: Are we living our lives by design... or by default?

Many of us live by default. We live unconsciously.
Let me give you two examples:
1) Many people simply believe that when they drive to the shopping center that there will be no parks at the front... that all the prime parking spots are already snapped up... and so they drive to the middle or back.
They never do find parking spaces upfront!

2) If you are going to a party where you don't know anyone... and you tell yourself that you will just be on the outside of all the cliques, an outsider to the conversations, and no one is really going to make an effort to connect with you.
So you stand on the outside... your posture is closed and defensive.
You end up being right.

Why? Because you created it first mentally and then you simply followed the script.

How much of your life is lived by design?
How much is lived by default?
Let me know what you're thinking by leaving a comment.


AnonAsUsual said...

I often park near the front just because I check. At a party (and I hate parties) I'm never outside as I always look for someone who is standing by themselves and go up and introduce myself and make small talk. People love to talk about themselves so if you ask them about their family and job you've got a whole evening of conversation. :-)

I live my life by design. If I sense a gap, I ask myself how I can fill it. I look at opportunities that arise and make a conscious decision whether to follow it up or not. I've been guilty about having tunnel vision about what I would like to be doing to the point I almost missed one of the greatest opportunities that ever came my way career-wise. Lesson learned. I think it's good to have a focus for the future and live deliberately in a way that moves us towards it - but not to close ourselves to the opportunities that may take us there another way or take us on a different path that may even be more worthwhile.

Clive Smit said...

Hey AnonAsUsual...
It's great to hear how you are living by design. There are very few who do I recon.

My challenge to you is to 'mentor' at least one other person in the next 6 months to live by design too.

Maryke said...

You are right very few who do and I am so glad I found this blog sight this stuff is just so interesting and just what I need to hear. And so true, You are what You think!