“The desire to love is not itself love …. Love is an act of will – namely an intention and an action. Will implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. No matter how much we think we are loving, if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen not to love and therefore do not love despite our good intentions. On the other hand, whenever we do actually exert ourselves in the cause of spiritual growth, it is because we have chosen to do so. The choice to love has been made.” ~ M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled, 1978
I love the above quote, which I first read in Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families. It is a powerful statement for work and for life. While learned the power of choice and attitude in my teens while working at a local grocery store, I didn’t really realize the reason why I had this ability until I read Covey’s description of our four unique human gifts.
We have four unique human gifts that allow us to make choices!
Stephen Covey notes that human beings are the only living creatures in the universe that can “think” before they act. We can CHOOSE how we are going to respond! We can decide to speak, act and behave in ways that create positive and memorable experiences for ourselves and for others.
Covey explains our four unique human gifts or attributes this way:
- Self-Awareness – Allows us to step back and observe our own behaviour!
- Conscience – Let’s us know deep down inside ourselves, whether we are harming or enhancing our relationships by our behaviour, and actions.
- Imagination – Allows us to visualize another way of acting. It lets us choose a better response, one that will have a longer-term positive effect.
- Independent Will – Let’s us take action and choose to take a positive road to enhance relationships!
These four unique gifts give us the ability to CHOOSE how we communicate and interact with each other. It gives us the power to build lasting and positive relationships at work and in life.
So what did YOU learn from Stephen Covey? Please share it here.
P.S. During our Leadership Program participants learn more about their style of leadership and communication, and learn about the choices they can make to build positive relationships with their staff, customers, and suppliers. And of course, these lessons can be applied to their own personal relationships as well. Contact us for more information.