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Habit 1 of 7 Habits

             Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine even the way we “see” ourselves (our self-paradigm). It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors, but also how we see other people. Until we take how we see others and ourselves into account, we will be unable to understand how others see and feel about themselves and their world. This limits our personal potential and our ability to relate to others as well. .
             If the only view we have of ourselves comes from the social mirror, our view of ourselves is like the reflection in the crazy mirror room at the carnival—disjointed and out of proportion. Their visions project the concerns and character weaknesses of people giving the input rather than accurately reflecting what we are. There are three social maps/theories of determinism to explain the nature of man, which are: genetic- DNA, psychic- childhood upbringing, and environmental- affected by surroundings. Viktor Frankl developed the first and most basic habit of a highly effective person called proactivity, which means taking initiative and being responsible for our own lives. Highly proactive people don’t blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, but their response to it is a value-based choice, which empowers us to create circumstances. Our basic nature is to act and not be acted upon. .
             Since our attitudes and behaviors flow out of our paradigms, if we use our self-awareness to examine them, we can often see in them the nature of our underlying maps. Our language is a very real indicator of the degree to which we see ourselves as proactive people. The language of reactive people absolves them f responsibility and becomes a self-filling prophecy. Reactive people feel increasingly victimized and out of control, not in charge of their life or their destiny. They blame outside forces- other people, circumstances- for their own situation.