7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers (Part 2)
In the previous article, we spoke about the first habit, ' Putting first things first'. It highlights the importance of prioritization. In this article, we shall take a look at the next 3 habits namely ' Be proactive' , 'Begin with the end in mind' and ' Think win-win'.
There are two ways in which we can face any situation.
This is an approach where you just react to the environment. You let outside factors completely determine their actions. People who are highly reactive do not have strong core values. They get easily carried away. They just let life happen to them.
This involves taking responsibility for one's own life and actions. This involves being consistent with our core values. It involves focusing on the things you can control. Proactive people are not easily carried away. They make life happen.
You have a fight with someone.
- Reactive approach - He/she ruined my day
- Proactive approach- I will not let the fight ruin the rest of my day.
You face a major setback or failure.
- Reactive approach - Complain about how life is unfair. Blame it on others and give up.
- Proactive approach - Take control of the situation. Work hard to get better at it. Use failure as a motivation to work harder.
Everyday we face 100 situations where we can choose to be reactive or proactive. To be successful, you must learn to be proactive. You should also start taking responsibility for your own life.
Begin with the end in mind
A teenager often has no clue where his/her life is headed. It is an age where we experience a lot of confusion. A lot of things change. It is easy for one to slip off the path. We have to make important decisions with respect to relationships , career etc. So it's important to figure out our end goals.
Short term goals
I am not suggesting that we should have our entire lives planned out. But it is important to figure out where we want to reach in the next one year or half a year. Instead of aimlessly going about life we need to follow a certain path. After following this path for a while, one can choose to change paths or continue. As teenagers we can afford to experiment with our lives. But to do this, we need to start setting weekly and monthly goals for ourselves. Having short term goals fills us with a sense of purpose. Something that we struggle to find as teenagers.
Having clear end goals also acts as a great motivating factor. When you feel low, you can always think about why you started. If your reason is strong, you will definitely find a way to make it happen.
In sports, if one wins the other must lose. But life is not that way. We can start thinking of creative ways in which both the parties are happy. There are four ways in which we can resolve every issue.
This suggests that you win at any cost. You do not care about the interests of others. This is an egocentric approach to problem solving. A person who is worried only about himself / herself cannot have good relationships with others. It is important to make sure we hold our stand. It is important for us to win. But we should not make it a point to win by making someone else the loser.
This is called the doormat syndrome. Some people always compromise. They would rather take the blame on themselves than escalate the issue. They just agree to what everyone says. They give in to people's opinions and succumb to peer pressure. These are people who desperately try to please others. Often these are the nice guys that girls end up rejecting.
One must remember that this is a sign of weakness. You might value your friendship over your personal interests. But it is important to let people know they are wrong when they are at fault. If the people around you don't accept their faults and keep blaming you, move out of such places. These friendships can be really toxic to you.
Have you heard people saying, " If I'm going down, I'm taking you with me". This is an example for a lose-lose situation. People who have this approach are often insecure. They can't stand to see others succeed. They can't accept that someone is better than them. Instead of trying to improve, they try to bring others down to their level. This must be avoided at all costs
These are the kind of situations you must seek to create. It is not the easy way out. It requires some efforts. But it makes sure that everyone leaves the table happy. You don't put the other person down. You don't compromise your own interests. Both of you find a way to gain from the situation. Once you start creating situations like this, you relationships will significantly improve.
" What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? "— George Eliot
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