The Importance of Self-Determination

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Something that adults have been telling me for most of my school life is the 7 habits for highly effective people. These habits were made by Stephen Covey. These determination habits are Be Proactive, Begin With the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood, Synergize and Sharpen the Saw. I remember having assemblies every Friday in which classes would present, we would read books about the 7 habits and would get certificates. Sometimes it would get boring but at the time I just thought “At least we’re missing class”. However, now I understand why it was so important for us to learn these skills at a young age because it truly shapes who we’ll be in the future.

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Firstly, let’s talk about being proactive. It means to be in charge of yourself. If you’re going to be determined you can’t let others opinions change your own opinion. You are yourself and is no one else. So, make your own choices. Don’t let others dictate it for you. Begin with the end in mind means to have a goal and make a plan so that you will be able to reach that goal. How can someone that is determined not have a goal? They need to be determined about something. We need to put first things first when we have a plan for a goal. What is important to do now and what is important to do later? This is important for achieving one’s goal. Think Win-Win is to have an open perspective. Just because someone else succeeds doesn’t mean I can’t. It means that both sides can continue to grow and improve.

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood means that an individual is listening to understand and not to reply. When someone that is determined uses this skill, they listen only to constructive criticism and understand that so that they can keep improving. We all need to learn how to synergize and work with different people with different ideas. If we can’t then that might put us down. Surround yourself with like-minded and determined people as well. Sharpening the saw is what keeps us going. The need to always improve is important because there will always be room for improvement. We need to sharpen our skills and knowledge when trying to improve. All these habits instill values such as determination, goal setting, effective communication, teamwork, and continuous improvement.

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