7 habits of Jess

Preface: I believe that (perhaps unintentionally) you introduced a great deal of uncertainty into my life. When we had tea, you spoke about foothold here in GA, the potential costs both literally and figuratively of moving to California, and my value within an education system. Last week, two things happened: I was told I could not apply to the Doctoral program here at UWG as the deadline passed (there was question of an extension due to the PhD program being announced a mere 5 days prior to the deadline). Also, I was invited to interview at a Doctoral program at the University of San Diego. I didn’t allow myself to get excited about it because I did not want to grieve it if denied admission, or provision to attend. I realized in doing this, I was not being true to myself. I worked extremely hard on my applications and have been researching programs and faculty tirelessly, I allowed uncertainty to take over. I do want to interview, and providing I am given an assistantship I would like to attend USD. So many reasons lead me to the decision to apply and I’d forgotten them. I do thank you, a lot, for introducing the uncertainty though. As a result I can see, more clearly, what is for me and what is not. ((Not that USD is definitely for me, but the opportunities it afforded–such as international travel and mentorship development and research–ARE for me.)) So again, I want to offer very sincere thanks.

Seven habits of highly effective people, at least to me, makes a great deal of sense. I understood it somatically before I understood it cognitively, which I found curious. The 1st: Be Proactive is a decision I distinctly remember making at the age of 20 during recovery from my car accident. I grew very tired of not being ale to do for myself that I used the time to plan for when I could. During that time I had to quit school, but I secured a summer internship in New Hampshire and got myself into University of Tennessee. I haven’t stopped since, sometimes I get detoured, but I see the result and know the satisfaction that comes from being proactive. #2 beginning with the end in mind speaks to my “N”ness. I am a big picture thinker and need to know end results and what I’m working towards at all times. When Angela told the adage about the funeral I laughed internally because I think of my funeral often. Not in a morbid way, but as a reminder to make my time count. #3 first things first…score one point for “J”ness. Prioritizing and planning are my lifeline, but I think to become even more effective is to (in every good plan) employ a great deal of flexibility. In the plan itself and in you. Yes the most important things must get done, but what if in doing something goes wrong? You must be able to take a breath, allow yourself a mistake and adapt. #4 win-win. I like this one best. If everybody wins, everybody wins. Reminds me of economics, John Nash’s correction to Adam Smith. Smith proposed that the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what’s best for himself, and Nash refuted that cooperation was best for the group. That everyone should make the best decision he or she can with consideration to the group. Game theory and Tao…ha!
#5 seek first to understand, then to be understood. I am beginning to learn this more via my relationship with my boyfriend. In a conflict we had about a year ago I was so eager to share my pain and have him understand ME that I missed how he was hurting too. It completely changed the way we communicated to each other, especially during conflict. This is a HARD lesson. To listen rather than waiting to speak. #6 Synergize. This just reminds me that everyone has something to offer..in a drum circle if one drummer stops the song is different.  Everyone brings their own energy to a task and it is so important that everyone know the value of their offering. My favorite job was one at a restaurant with one manager, Oscar. He ran the place and was a millionaire but you would never know it. He would do dishes, mop floors however we needed help, talked with everyone and encouraged support throughout our staff. We had such cohesion and *synergy* that even the busiest nights ran smoothly. That is a gift. To create a space where people feel safe to shine, and everyone recognize each other and support one another; that’s rare. Lastly #7 sharpen the saw. Ironically this was a large portion of my doctoral application, the importance of self-care. Still a work in progress in practice, but I understand the need.  Its ironic that it falls last, yet is such an important concept. I think, though, that when you are becoming a highly effective person you can tend to forget #7. Introducing it too early may be to the detriment of those learning self-efficacy.

Though physically this was the most challenging night of class, this was my favorite class to date. I even think our discussion felt better than in past weeks. Perhaps we’re synergizing.


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