If not now, when?


Procrastination is the thief of time. Were you to travel in time to the day you die so you can write a biography from the present through to that day, how will you be remembered? A mere hyphen separates the birth and deceased dates on grave markers.

I respect Stephen Covey's talent in writing his best work-of-heart"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". When I began my career as a CPA with one of America's Big Four CPA firms Ernst & Young, I wholeheartedly embraced the character attributes presented herein.

Covey argues against what he calls "the personality ethic", seen as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He promotes "the character ethic": aligning one's values with timeless principles.

In doing this, Covey is deliberately and mindfully separating principles and values. He sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Behavior is the outcome of values, while consequences are the outcome of principles.

Covey teachings are a series of habits, manifesting as a progression": 1) dependence 2) independence3) interdependence.



2) Begin with the end in mind

3) Put first things first

4) Think win-win

5) Think first to understand, then to be understood

6) Synergize

7) Sharpen the saw

I knew a clean standup comedian, Guy Owen, who gave a presentation to the employees of prominent corporations entitled:"The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective People."Guy began by telling his audience that he wrote a book with this title and that the first sentence of chapter one reads as follows:"Go on to chapter two because I'm yet to finish chapter one!"

By making fun of anyone foolish not to manifest these character attributes in their personal lives, he actually inspired his audience to live wisely!

Why not live your life backward by starting right now to write your biography? How would you title the chapters? How many of your dreams and visions will make it into your greatest work; the story that reveals who you are?

Mark Henderson