Saturday, November 24, 2007

The world as I see it is not always the world that is

What an exciting and invigorating three days!

It started Wednesday morning with my being half an hour late for the opening comments of the Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People course I took this past week! Which also supported one of the comments in the 360 degree feedback I received from my co-workers as part of the Benchmark measurements they gave me to assist me in the course. I tend to be late for meetings.

Now, I'd like to deny it. Excuse it because... Well, actually, whatever my excuse, being late is not behaviour I like. The challenge is, can I accept the feedback without becoming defensive? Can I shift my version of reality to encompass this information?

I think I see the worlds as it is, when in reality, I see it as I am.

I tend to be late even though I like to believe I'm always on time.

Where's the truth in that statement? Where ever I chose to put the emphasis.

For me, being late is a sign of disrespect for those I'm meeting. Do I want to be disrespectful of others? Absolutely not.

The answer, therefore, is simple. The feedback I received from my co-workers is valuable information that will help me treat them with respect and improve me!

I need to commit to being on time and let go of my misconception, I am always on time.

See, I can be 'right', and insist I am punctual. Or, I can be happy with knowing I am doing the right thing by acting on the feedback others have given me. Whatever my perception, believing I'm punctual isn't making my world a 'happier' place. It's only keeping me stuck in not accepting the world as it is, rather than just as I perceive it to be.

Viktor Frankl, in his seminal work about his experiences in a concentration camp during WW2, Man's Search for Meaning, wrote, When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

In receiving feedback from my co-workers, and by looking at my behaviour on the first morning of the course (and at other times in my past), I have some pretty powerful evidence that my reality is out of sync with the world. It's up to me to change myself so that I can be more congruent with my world and thus create greater harmony in my life.

The question is: Where in your world are you acting on your belief the world is as you see it, not as it truly is? Where do you ignore feedback from those who care about you and hold yourself to a belief that is not in step with the world around you? Where are you refusing to challenge yourself to change behaviours that are not working for you?

1 comment:

Tim said...


I'm going out to get 7 Habits right away because it's also on the Choices reading list. Obviously you're finding it excellent, but why and how is the question. Thanks.