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Chief’s Corner - week of Aug. 21

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Be proactive

Many years ago, I had the privilege of attending a three-day course, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Initially, I did not think it was going to be a privilege and wondered what I could possibly get out of the course. After the first hour, I realized I still had a lot to learn on how to be an effective person. My next seven Chief's Corners are going to focus on one habit each article. I would encourge anyone who has not read the book to do so. I hope a brief explanation of each habit will help you be a more effective individual. For those of you who have read the book or attended the class, the articles should be a quick refresher.

Habit No. 1 - Be proactive

Simply put, this is taking responsibility of your life. Stephen Covey, the author of Seven Habits, used one great example, stop blaming everything that is wrong with you and your life on your parents or others in your life. I will offer one example to summarize Covey's thought and something a supervisor shared with me long ago, "You make your own weather." He told me if you decide to dwell on things you can't control or blame others for your bad moods, then you are not taking responsibility for your life.
Another example Covey used and I believe resonates with most people is the differences in language between a proactive and reactive person. A proactive person uses "I can, I will, I prefer." A reactive person uses, "I can't, I have to, if only." Think about these few examples when you are speaking and you will quickly realize whether you are proactive or reactive. Remember to be positive, think positive and speak positive and being proactive will truly become a habit.
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