I’ve been re-reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and the very first habit is Be Proactive. Covey’s explanation of this habit is all about the responsibility over our own lives. He talks about our ability to choose how we respond to the circumstances around us, and how through our choice, we have the power to increase our influence over the things we have no control over.
This is the second time I am reading this book, but this time I am reading it as a part of a book club, so I am taking much more time to read and digest the information. As a result, it’s making a bigger impression on me. So as I have been thinking about how I proactively or reactively approach situations, I have been thinking about how it effects our ability to adapt to change.
Growing up I was extremely averse to change. We lived in the same house all of my childhood, I played the same sport, ate the same foods, because I was comfortable. If you asked me, I would say, “I just don’t like change.” If something changed in my world, I would blame my negative feelings, or any consequence from it, on the external circumstance. It wasn’t my fault.
As I grew up, I was fortunate enough to have mentors that taught me that change is inevitable, and how we react to change will determine the kind of life we live. Now cognitively I always understood that concept, but until I internalized and owned it, I was never able to seize opportunities in every situation. I caused more negative situations for myself because of my tendency to deflect responsibility.
When the pandemic hit the U.S., there was major change in everyone’s life. Jobs were lost or significantly altered, self-isolation was imposed, and life looked a lot different. I knew that my choice was either adapt, or join the masses in complaining, worry, and blame.
We took massive action at Coast to get as much of our daily functions virtual, as our people now had to be remote. We implemented systems and a new schedule to allow for the continued development of our employees. I watched the people in our company react in the most proactive way. They set up training calls, 1-1 meetings, and the book club that I am a part of in order to make the most out of the time that we are at home.
We know that there will be a big need for us from our clients once the pandemic has passed, but instead of waiting around for that time, I am so proud of how action oriented our team has been. The work that they are doing to keep themselves sharp is proof that we have the best people, and I am so honored to work with them. I hope that everyone uses this time as an opportunity to improve themselves and their life in some way. Changes will always happen, some good, some bad, but how we react to it will open up doors that we didn’t imagine, and improve our quality of life because we own our ability to choose.