Stephen Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has been sitting on my bookshelf for a few months now. I’ve skimmed through it, but for one reason or another, I had not sat down and truly read it. It was on my list of personal development materials, one that would improve me, thus improving my business and my life, yet I didn’t read it. Last week, I picked it up; I was drawn to it by the old adage when the student is ready I think.
I am on a journey and I had come to a fork in the road. I knew I wanted to go on, to keep forging ahead, but I also knew there were things I just didn’t know how to do. No matter how much I want the end goal, the steps to getting there are ones that require more growth, more work on me from the inside-out.
Today, I read about dependence, independence and interdependence. I’ve always considered myself an independent person – and I was proud of it. And, I’ve always said, I’m not really a team player or I’ve always been sort of a loner. Well, as it turns out the real success, the road to “maximum effectiveness” is indeed through interdependence. I sort of think of it as a well oiled machine humming along, all the parts working together, none of them really independent of another.
Covey writes, “Life is, by nature, highly interdependent. To try to achieve maximum effectiveness through independence is like trying to play tennis with a golf club – the tool is not suited to the reality.”
As I read, it slowly dawned on me. I’ve always thought of my independence as a good quality, yet I always knew – deep down – that when I said I’m not a team player that there was something missing. I didn’t think of myself as one, yet, I knew that those who were had something special; they had a quality that I didn’t. So now, I see that perhaps it was a little bit of fear that was holding me back – maybe a lot of fear.
Covey writes, “Interdependence is a far more mature, more advanced concept. If I am physically interdependent, I am self-reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone. If I am intellectually interdependent, I realize that I need the best thinking of other people to join with my own.”
And so, as I move into the heart of this incredible book, I am excited about my journey. To move from independence to interdependence, to learn self-mastery. I know that personal growth is all about being uncomfortable so I welcome the challenge and I will pay attention as I move into the next three habits. When you reach your fork in the road, close your eyes and pay attention and focus on what you really want, what your heart says, and your own teacher will appear on your path.