Returning once more to the computer metaphor, if Habit 1 says "You're the programmer" and Habit 2 says "Write the program," then Habit 3 says "Run the program," "Live the program." And living it is primarily a function of our independent will, our self-discipline, our integrity, and commitment -- not to short-term goals and schedules or to the impulse of the moment, but to the correct principles and our
own deepest values, which give meaning and context to our goals, our schedules, and our lives.
As you go through your week, there will undoubtedly be times when your integrity will be placed
on the line. The popularity of reacting to the urgent but unimportant priorities of other people in
Quadrant III or the pleasure of escaping to Quadrant IV will threaten to overpower the important
Quadrant II activities you have planned. Your principle center, your self-awareness, and your
conscience can provide a high degree of intrinsic security, guidance, and wisdom to empower you to
THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE Brought to you by FlyHeart use your independent will and maintain integrity to the truly important.
But because you aren't omniscient, you can't always know in advance what is truly important. As
carefully as you organize the week, these will be times when, as a principle-centered person, you will
need to subordinate your schedule to a higher value. Because you are principle-centered, you can do
that with an inner sense of peace.
At one point, one of my sons was deeply into scheduling and efficiency. One day he had a very
tight schedule, which included down-to-the-minute time allocations for every activity, including
picking up some books, washing his car, and "dropping" Carol, his girlfriend, among other things.
Everything went according to schedule until it came to Carol. They had been dating for a long
period of time, and he had finally come to the conclusion that a continued relationship would not work
out. So, congruent with his efficiency mode, he had scheduled a 10- to 15-minute telephone call to tell her.
But the news was very traumatic to her. One-and-a-half hours later, he was still deeply involved in
a very intense conversation with her. Even then, the one visit was not enough. The situation was a
very frustrating experience for them both.
Again, you simply can't think efficiency with people. You think effectiveness with people and
efficiency with things. I've tried to be "efficient" with a disagreeing or disagreeable person and it simply doesn't work. I've tried to give 10 minutes of "quality time" to a child or an employee to solve a problem, only to discover such "efficiency" creates new problems and seldom resolves the deepest concern.
I see many parents, particularly mothers with small children, often frustrated in their desire to
accomplish a lot because all they seem to do is meet the needs of little children all day. Remember,
frustration is a function of our expectations, and our expectations are often a reflection of the social
mirror rather than our own values and priorities.
But if you have Habit 2 deep inside your heart and mind, you have those higher values driving you.
You can subordinate your schedule to those values with integrity. You can adapt; you can be flexible.
You don't feel guilty when you don't meet your schedule or when you have to change it.