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“I work hard each day to bring my performance into congruence with my Unifying Principles.” Me

And here’s a short list of the challenges (excuses?) that face us when we try to do that.

Social pressure – when those around us either doubt we can do it and say so out loud, or when they actively denounce your values and attack you for having them.

Distraction – in an age of immediacy through technology it is easy to be pulled away from a desired intent in the moment.

Influence – when the interests of other parties (particularly when they have power through wealth, the media (my favourite) or strength), are pushed at you constantly in an effort to drive your emotions where they want them to go and not where you need them to go.

Confidence – or more accurately a lack of self-confidence arising in the instant you need confidence the most.

Convenience – when the easier option shouts loudest.

There are probably lots more you can think about, perhaps the ones that affect you most in your own circumstances. But there’s an answer. Stephen Covey’s original 6-step weekly planning process (later slightly watered down for simplicity) included this step. It’s a simple phrase to remember, and it goes like this:

Exercise Integrity In The Moment Of Choice.

It simply means taking a moment to proactively make the better decision, a personal values-based and conscience-driven choice, the one that says:

“I will exercise, I love rain.”
“I won’t beep that idiot driver.” (Or ram him….)
“I won’t buy that burger, I’ll have the salad.”
“I won’t argue with my beloved.”
“I will write that letter/make that call/stretch myself/etc.”

It literally takes a second. The most effective ‘time management’ second you ever spend.

Not easy. In fact, quite difficult on occasion. But eminently effective and productive. And in the end, incredibly satisfying.


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