Saturday, April 5, 2008

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

 I recently rediscovered this amazing book, and I have seen some of the most beautiful changes in myself, my family, and the feeling in our home! It is written by Steven R. Covey, who has a warm tone to his writing, and really makes me feel that "I can do this!"

Some of the things that really spoke to me are:  

Habit #1-- Be Proactive He speaks of a quote he read while on a Hawaiian sabbatical that says, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness."

I have decided to memorize this quote, because I have a real problem just immediately reacting to things my kids do. I never used to take the time to think and choose a response. I know that my kids were not being given help, real discipline, or a good example when I would fly off the handle. I have since made a conscious effort to improve, and the results have been astounding to me. My children now listen and obey more often than in the past. I find that I am hugging them more, and losing my temper less. When things get crazy, all I have to do is close my eyes, and think, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space..." In that instant, I can step back and trule analyze the situation and check myself. If all I got out of Dr. Covey's book was this one concept, it would be worth its weight in gold!  

A Family Mission Statement We have worked on a family mission statement in the past, but have never had one "stick." This is something that continues to evolve and change over time, with our family.

In his book, Dr. Covey states, "For the most part, families don't have the kind of mission statement so critical to organizational success. Yet family is the most important, fundamental organization in the world."

I definitely agree with him, that the family IS the most important organization in the world. In reading further in the chapter, I found that he believes that the mission statement can come in many forms, like a song, a poem, or a piece of artwork. I then realized that my grandmother knew what she was doing when she chose a "family song" years and years ago. I have sung it with my amazing extended family time and time again over the years, and it still reminds me of who I am, and what I want out of life. Every time I hear it or sing it, I am inspired to stand a little taller and be a little better.

In our own immediate family, we have finally-- after years of trying-- created our unique family crest. I have done years of study in the art of heraldry, and we have finally come up with something that speaks to us, and represents what our family is all about.

Dr. Covey says this about a family mission statement: "The mission statement itself has given us a clear, shared vision of the destination where we as a family want to go." This thought has impacted me tremendously. I am now examining what my goals are for my family. Where do I see my kids is the next five, ten, or even twenty years? What kind of "beautiful family culture" do my kids need in order to meet those goals and the vision we all have for our futures? He has some great tips and ideas on how to create a family mission statement in his book.  

We CAN Be Successful Lastly, I love this quote in his book, which was originally given by Marianne Williamson: 
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." 

We are all, truly, destined for great things, as are our husbands, and our children. We can be a light to them, and to our friends, associates, and the world. I want to be the woman that God believes I have the potential to be. I know I can do it, with His divine help.

1 comment:

  1. I was so happy to find this post!! It came up in a google search for "7 habits of highly effective families". Thanks for your encouraging words.


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