Hey everyone, YAY! It’s almost (officially) summertime. I’m pretty sure you’re already ready to kick off your shoes and do everything you could ever dream of doing. I already have my summer list: reading, piano, drawing, reading, painting, hanging out with my friends, and did I already mention reading?
Books… one of my absolute favorite words. I LOVE reading them, and I practically eat, sleep, and live them. You’d have to wrench a copy of a novel or biography out of my cold, dead hands before I’d give it to you (just kidding!). Ok, so you may not be as thrilled to get your hands on a fresh copy of literary masterpiece as I am, but books can actually be fun (isn’t that a shocker?) and there are plenty of books that are non-fiction that are, dare I say, enjoyable!
Which brings me to the topic of discussion today. Remember my 21 Self-Improvement Tips series? That was pretty cool to put together, so I want to continue making little series here and there to keep you on the edge of your seat for what’s coming next. Which is why my next series, (drumroll please), is 7 Habits of Self-Confident Teens.
I’m using one of my favorite books of all time, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by Sean Covey, as the master source for this series. I cannot say how much I recommend this book, but you simply must read it to believe me on how awesome it is. If you’re not convinced, follow along with me on this journey of self-discovery and I will eventually persuade you to read the book yourself.
So, let’s get this party started!
The first thing you may have noticed is the word HABIT in the title. What exactly is a habit? Glad you asked!
“a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”
Ok, so some examples, a good habit I have is correcting grammar (make that an excessively good habit), and a bad habit I have is chewing my nails (which I am hoping to quit over the summer).
Habits are what our life is made up of. They can build us up, or break us down. The 7 habits that I’ll be teaching you over the next several weeks are obviously good habits and they will help you in your regular life and also in getting ready for school next year.
Without further ado, here are the 7 Habits I keep jabbering about, before you go insane not knowing what they are:
- Be Proactive
- Begin With the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
Paradigms and Principles
Before going into the habits, I actually want you to take a step back and look at your current paradigms. A paradigm (pronounced pear-a-dime) refers to the perceptions, opinions, and beliefs you have about yourself, about others, and about life itself. These are much like habits, they can help or corrupt you.
We have to be careful with what we believe, because our beliefs shape us and affect how we see everything. My mom always tells me not to come to conclusions too quickly, and to analyze what I believe in all situations. So, the question is, what beliefs are holding you back from becoming a greater person?
Often, the beliefs we hold about ourselves are most destructive to our minds. I tend to treat myself unkindly and not be patient or gentle with myself. When you have bad beliefs about yourself, it harms your confidence, and is detrimental to all aspects of your life.
Just as we can be too harsh with ourselves, as human beings we judge others too quickly as well. Most of the time, we simply do not have all the facts, so our presumptions are uneducated and ignorant to that person’s situation. My mom tells me that “hurt people hurt people” and that all we need to do is be compassionate towards others.
Such is the case with our paradigms. Most often, our views of life are incomplete and inaccurate. We must question our assumptions and make sure to open our minds and hearts to new ideas, information, and points of view. Even if we think we have the big picture, we will always miss a piece of the puzzle because we are imperfect and will always have limited perspective.
So before we start, I want to make sure that you have the right perspective and attitude with reading and going through this series. Make sure that you have an open mind to add new habits that may be difficult in your life, and eliminate the habits that are preventing you from a life filled with joy.
Now, let’s go over some basic ground rules. First, if I give you instructions, please follow them. My goal is to help you become better and be successful, so when you follow instructions everything happens a lot quicker and easier.
Second, I’d like you to keep a journal of your progress. Log your thoughts, feelings, how much you hate me for making you do this (I’m joking!), you know, normal stuff.
Third, just have fun with it! There is no one way to do anything, and we all have different personality types, so do what works for you. I want you this to be an enjoyable and stress-free experience for you.
Are you ready to get started? Great! Tune in and make sure to subscribe to our blog so you can get all the updates, and next week we’ll start talking about Habit 1 – Be Proactive. I’m so excited to continue growing and improving with you.