Self-scoring 7 Habits Assessment | Habit #1 | Be Proactive

Welcome to the self-scoring habits assessment! It took long enough for me to put this into blog form (podcast first), but here are three questions for you to answer and rate yourself in on a scale of 1-6. Here are the questions!

  1. I am in control of my life (rate on a scale 1-6)
  2. I focus my efforts on things I can do something about rather than the things beyond my control.
  3. I take responsibility for my moods rather than blaming people and circumstances.

So, rate them and tally your score up.

For “I am in control of my life,” I prepared myself an entire year for this moment. After seeing my job shut down again for the foreseeable future (thanks, COVID and irresponsible townsfolk), I knew that I was in control by a long-shot this time as compared to last time. I’ve been unbelievable proactive with putting out as much content and getting as many people as I possibly could for my online business. Last year, I was praying things would just happen by getting messages from people who really weren’t looking out for me (except one testing center). After canning three relationships, I realized that I now have control of my assets. When the shutdown came this year, I said “cool, let’s get it.” Last year was, “omg, I’m hopeless! I’m so stressed and sad!”

The other two categories are in my podcast down below.

Podcast

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 33 – Behavior #1 – Talk Straight

At one time I worked with a person who would never let you know where he stood on an issue until the decision was made and the wisdom of the decision was either validated or shown to be in error. You could never pin him down. However, once the decision was finally made and the results were in, he rode the winning horse and energetically asserted that had been his opinion all along.

At one point a very important proposal came up in our executive meeting. I knew that if we acted on this proposal, it would either be fantastic or it would bomb. As usual, this person said a lot in the meeting, but he really didn’t commit one way or the other.

Tired of his sidestepping, I wanted to have him on record as committing one way or the other. So that night I went to his home to talk with him. He knew that I was against the proposal. So when I asked him where he stood, he said, “oh, I am totally against it.”

The next day, in front of the entire group, I said to him, “Yesterday in our meeting it wasn’t clear to me where you stood on this issue. Would you please share your views?” The chairman of the company was at this meeting, and because this man knew that the chairman wanted to accept this proposal, he postured entirely differently than he had with me the night before.

Somewhat exasperated, I said to him, “That’s not at all what you said last night to me. You said that you were totally against it.”

“Yes, well that’s what I was thinking at that point, but….”

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

It doesn’t get any truer, does it?

Let me give you a story. I had a student who had come into my life back in June of last year. She was very open-minded and very friendly; however, during that specific course, she would say some things that would never be said in western culture. She would use ignorant gambits to try to bait me into getting angry about what she was saying. At this time, and following that, I should’ve dropped her and never taught her as a student. However, she requested me to teach her privately at the language center and she brought her girlfriend along.

All seemed well until days before Christmas when the bomb was dropped. Complaints were hurled and I was dropped as a teacher. Get this, just a day before, we spoke in the hallway as if nothing happened. It was head-scratching and laughable….and at the same time, I told myself: “if I ever have an overly friendly student, drop them.” Unless it’s on my personal website, I want to save the ignorance.

See, some people are two total opposites. I can careless about the situation, but I’m very scared about the individuals who have done that because if they’re planning on living overseas and do that, this can be a catastrophic problem. Yes, we do the same thing in America culture, but how they did it was completely unacceptable.

Guys, be straight. I shouldn’t have been teaching lazy, ignorant students past their due date. Yes, I stuck my neck out for them and tried my hardest to push them to getting a high score — only to get thrown under the bus. They surely should’ve had some problems dating back months, so why not drop me then? Why didn’t I communicate my ideas across before?

I learned.

Podcast

Stephen Covey: Season 4 – Episode 32 – Second Wave – Relationship Trust

Welcome back to another blog, people! We’re getting into another phase of Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust, and this one is going to be a very enticing one. It’s time to start getting into the relationship aspect of things and breakdown what behaviors are.

The truth is that in every relationship — personal and professional — what you do has far greater impact than anything you say. You can say you love someone — but unless you demonstrate that love through your actions, your words become meaningless. You can say you want to engage in win-win negotiation — but unless your behavior shows that you really mean it, you will come across as insincere. You can say your company puts the customer first. You can say that you recognize people as your most important asset. However, unless you actually do them, your words will not build trust; in fact, they will destroy it.

 

You have to build it. A lot of people ask “how can I do it.”

Well, remember the caring person thing? If you’re not a caring person now — but you desire to be a caring person — then go out and behave in caring ways.

It may take time, but you have to take the initiative.

Building Trust Accounts

Remember my famous blog “the Emotional Bank Account?” Yeah, these are similar to what Sean Covey’s dad had written about in his book 30 years ago. Let’s go over them.

Each Trust Account is unique

Recognizing uniqueness can help you build each account more effectively. A 12-year-old’s account will be astonishingly different from a mid-20’s guy.

All deposits and withdrawals are not created equal.

Often the little things can be disproportionately large. Getting an email from someone about a natural disaster or some type of imminent danger would be much different from forgetting your partner’s birthday.

What constitutes a “deposit” to one person may not to another.

I had a situation rise that was similar to this. One of my friend’s thought staying out late would be a deposit if I’m bonding with other people, but I considered that to be a significant withdrawal.

Listen to “Stephen Covey: Season 4 – Episode 32 – Second Wave – Relationship Trust” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 23 – The Final ‘S’ in Tasks

The biggest questions of a lifetime for business owners. You know, I was thinking about the time Jack Ma had to fire employees because of the problems he was having with Ali Baba. Through what Napoleon Hill has said, “Applied Faith,” he was able to see things through and work his way out of the rut, making a billion (and soon-to-be trillion) dollar empire. Here are your questions.

The biggest questions of a lifetime for business owners. You know, I was thinking about the time Jack Ma had to fire employees because of the problems he was having with Ali Baba. Through what Napoleon Hill has said, “Applied Faith,” he was able to see things through and work his way out of the rut, making a billion (and soon-to-be trillion) dollar empire. Here are your questions.

  • How effective is your current style in approaching problems and opportunities and interacting with others?
  • Does your approaching facilitate or get in the way of accomplishing what needs to be done?
  • What can you do to improve the way in which you go about doing things?

Lots of ideas came to mind about how well I handle situations. Room for improvement is wide-open, and I need to start feeling things gaps ASAP.

I can get considerably better when it comes to approaching problems. Example, there was an issue at an old job whereas a guy called me out in a number of ways. I shouldn’t have taken that lightly, and even more, I could’ve forwarded the emails and voice messages he had sent me to the owner. Regardless, because he’s white in a very pro-white country, he would’ve gotten a free-pass. But allowing people to get away with unruly behavior is even worse.

When it comes to interacting with others, I’m almost certain that I do an incredible job in that area because that’s one of my strongest points. I pick up energy signals very easily, and this is very important because if people come to me with jobs, I should be able to point them in the right direction of a good teacher, rather than one that would just tarnish my reputation.

An example would be a new employee (or new ones every week) at my job on the weekend. It’s none of my business, but because I’m good at picking up energy, there’s one specific new teacher that has “HORRIBLE” written all over him. If you guys listened/read my blogs from early last year, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t give a second look or anything to these teachers. I don’t introduce myself because they’ve been the bane of my existence here. If they’re not someone who has ideas or anything, why even bother? Most of them complain or say some very sick things that pertains to under-age girls (yeah, welcome to Thailand). So, OQP (Only Quality People).

That’s in the world of business.

When it comes to my entrepreneurial world, I can seriously learn to get better at appropriating time slots for when I should be on social media. I feel if I leave notifications on all day, I can lose maybe 1-1.5 hours. So, as of today, I’ve turned them off and they’ve helped me considerably. The only messages I receive are of importance from my graphic designer. Facebook messages in the morning while commuting (anytime while commuting) is enough. Other apps at the same time. No FB at home or during my core hours.

This is how you can identify what’s working and what isn’t….so I suggest all of you do the same with the questions above!

Podcast

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 22 – The K in Tasks

Welcome back to another Stephen Covey blog with lots of explanations! Here are some questions for you to answer.

What is your current level of knowledge in your specific field?

What are you doing to NOT stay current?

What other areas of knowledge are you pursuing?

So, lately I’ve been having some hot sweats — hot sweats of the feelings I used to feel doing things that I absolutely hated to do. 2004, a year where I was DEAD BORED with school. 2005, watching TV all day long and not learning a damn things while saturating myself with sports and other things to keep me busy and away from making rash decisions.

Hell, even when I lived in Australia, or on those boring Saturdays and Sundays off from work…..it was a life of misery, while I was going to college.

Throughout my life, I was never asked about my purpose. I was never asked “do you really like what you’re doing?”

Karen Mulcahy, an ex-university professor, asked me “why do you want to become a dental assistant?”

I replied, “well, I’ve never had a nice smile and I would love to change others smiles because that’s the first thing we see.

First part was wrong, I’ve always had a nice smile, excluding my bottom incisors. However, I didn’t have the ability to change smiles as a dental assistant.

As a dental assistant, what could I have done to improve my knowledge and skills? Oh, ok…let me learn the different types of softwares related to the dental field and possible get paid more.

Get paid more….and then?

It was a dead-end job from the beginning and I was able to escape the rat race of just saying, “let me just making money for the weekend and travel twice a year…enjoy my life only twice a year before going back to a horrendous career.”

Some of you are in that career right NOW! Doing the same tasks and hating your life. I’m inviting you to take the leap.

For those of you who have already made the leap, ask yourself your questions about your specific field.

I was just having a conversation with another English Language tutor, and she said she wanted to go back to university to learn about business, reading, and writing — three things that I’ve learned ON MY OWN. The information is everywhere. I improved my knowledge of subjects taught out here in Thailand and was paid more for doing so.

That was 4 years ago. Since then, the amount of knowledge I have now is unbelievable and continuing to increase.

Don’t Stay Current

You stay current and you will lose. Apple has taken catastrophic hits. Sure, 245 billion in hard cash, but they’re now #3 in the world because they’re no longer innovating and hiking prices even more…with the same functions. This is a dead company.

If you’re not looking 5-10 years ahead and not innovating, you will fall way behind.

The areas I continue pursuing is insight and revelation. I want to continue learning and learning from people as much as possible because i know with experiences and collaboration brings some of the greatest heights of anyone’s life. That will be talked about in another blog, but please take these questions into account and start jotting down ideas.

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 22 – The K in Tasks” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 20 – The A in Tasks

Here’s the blog on the A in TASKS.

Let’s kick it off with important questions.

  • What are your attitudes about work?
  • ABout life?
  • About learning?
  • About yourself, your capabilities, and your opportunities to contribute?
  • Are there more productive attitudes and paradigms I could embrace that would help me create better results?

Huge questions for everyone to ask themselves.  See, the majority of us have a poor attitude about work.  Let me give you an example.  At the beginning of 2018, I was shoulder-shrugging my old job off.  I would go into my classes and not put ANYTHING into my lessons because one, I knew I was gone.  Two, my students weren’t putting any effort into what I was trying to teach them, so why would I even try?

Poor attitude, right? Sure….I was aware of it, but I was a month away from resigning and finally, that was the end.

However, I get paid about 15% less at the job I’m at right now.  Do I have that same attitude? Nope. Why? Because I love what I do.  I have clients around Bangkok that pay far more, so why would I still work at a place that’s unworthy of me, my purposes in life, and my goals? Because I love my students.

It’s not about the money….everything is about perception.

Are you ambitious about learning? I constantly buy new English learning books everyday to help better not only my teachings, but my students who receive the information.

I’m proactive about contributing, thus why I have a podcast that I’ve been paid only once in the past 3 years (and it just came a week ago).  I’m giving out this information essentially for free, but also paying to give it out.  See, it’s all about perspective.

Let’s look at some changes to our language.

It’s all about reactive versus proactive, right?

I have to go to work             or              I’m genuinely excited to go to work. 

I work like crazy and live for the weekends. 

or

I have a balanced life in which work, recreation, and rich relationships are all important parts. 

 

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 18 – Core III – Capabilities Part II

So, this is a follow-up of what I’ve already written and talked about on my previous blog post. Let’s look at some of the people I’ve come across.

You could be the individual who has enormous capabilities, but be lacking in integrity, intent, or results.

For instance, you might have tremendous potential….and it remains just that — potential.

Let me give you a few examples.

There was a colleague I worked for who had a Masters in Business and Finance, yet he was in Thailand. It didn’t make much sense. Honestly, he was one of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever come across and gave me the original idea to start doing a podcast…..but he was never walking his own walk.

Another individual, who my content writer is in talks with (and has been for a while) has an insane amount of potential, is extremely smart, and the sky’s the limit….but she lacks self-trust and dooms everything right out of the gates.

Kenny, an ex-colleague at the College of Southern Nevada, was SOOO unbelievably smart. He knew about investments and anything you could ever imagine…yet, just worked as a slave in the front office of a dental faculty practice. An UNBELIEVABLY ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF POTENTIAL….but never walked his walk.

Guys and gals, capabilities mean everything in this globalizing and technologically advanced world. We’re outdating skill-sets faster than ever before. So you need to ask yourself some questions.

  • What capabilities do you have that make you credible and that inspire the trust and confidence in others.
  • What experience have you had (or not had) in developing capabilities that affects the confidence you have in yourself?
  • What impact are factors such as technology and globalization having on the relevance of your current capabilities.
  • What is your attitude and approach toward improving your current capabilities and gaining new ones?

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 18 – Core III – Capabilities Part II” on Spreaker.

 

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 16 – Choose Abundance

Abundance means that there is enough for everybody. The opposite –scarcity — says that there is only so much to go earound, and if you get it, I won’t. While scarcity may be a reality in some areas (such as competitive sports or forced grading curves), in most of the important things in life – such as love, success, energy, results, and trust — abundance is not only a reality, it is an attractor and generator of even more.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

Extremely hard to believe, huh? I just went through a breakup, and although it feels like I have moved on, I’m not accepting that the other half has moved on, too. It’s almost as if I don’t want her to move on. It’s almost if I want her to regret making the decision to move on.

Ridiculous, huh?

Back in 2009, and with the last probably REAL relationship I had, I did everything it took to be ahead of her — to act more happy and everything would eventually follow. She got into a rebound relationship, and because I still hadn’t moved on at the time, I was crushed. Beyond belief.

Abundance, in terms of love, is something that is very hard for me to see. However, the other areas are definitely everywhere around us.

Questions

  • Do I believe that if i love other people, my own supply of love will be replenished — or diminished?
  • Do I believe that there’s room for other people to see things differently than I do…..and still be right?
  • Do I believe that, whatever my economic circumstances, I can share with and benefit others?

I love this following story about Oprah Winfrey.

Some role models show us clearly that whatever our past experience — even if it includes a painful and unfair childhood — we can rescript ourselves to create abundance in our lives and in the lives of others.

Consider Oprah Winfrey, who was raised in rural Mississippi by her grandparents and abused by a relative as a youth. She chose to reframe her circumstances and rise above them.

 

“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprive ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and i had to make good.”

 

“You should not be satisfied with being a victim, nor with being a survivor. You should aim to be a conqueror. there is an extraordinary quality of spirit that leads one to aspire to conquering rather than surviving. I hope you discover that spirit in yourself.”

Stephen Covey

These powerful role models serve us as powerful practitioners.

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 16 – Choose Abundance” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 15 – Examine and Refine your Motives

Guys, it’s a human tendency to rationalize lies. This often happens when we try justifying our intent with others. There were plenty of times where I tried justifying who I was as a teacher and individual…..however, the guy sitting across from me didn’t want to hear a cent. Obviously because he had a hidden agenda in terms of trying to get back at me. Nonetheless, let’s try some questions that you can ask yourself regularly.

In an interaction with a child: Are my actions motivated by genuine care and love? Am I really seeking the best interests of this child? Am I humble enough to admit it if I am wrong? Or am I really trying to impose my will on this child?

In an interaction with a spouse: Am I sincerely listening to what my spouse has to say? Am I genuinely open to his/her influence? Do I understand where he/she is coming from? Or am I focused on explaining my point of view, being right, or getting my way?

In an interaction with a work team: Am I quick to see and acknowledge the contribution of every team member? Am I focused on a “win” for the entire team? Or am I primarily focused on my own “win” — on being the “hero,” on being recognized for my own ideas?

In a business deal: Do I genuinely want what’s best for us both? Do I really understand what constitutes a “win” for the other party? Have I clearly thought through and can I express what constitutes a “win” for me? Am I open to synergy and third alternatives? Or do I really want to “win,” regardless of what happens to the other party?

 

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust

Five Adaptations – My Story

  1. Why am I feeling unappreciated and undervalued? Because I don’t get paid what I should get paid and I never get a “thank you,” rather a complaint, which is blown up.
  2. Why do I think they don’t see the good work I do? Because they focus only on the negative rather than the results.
  3. What makes me think they’re focused on that? Because two weeks ago I had two, two-faced students say the most egregious things about me and requested a change of teacher.
  4. Why do you think they said that? I wish I had a clue, but I don’t.
  5. Why would I talk to my boss about it, or what should I do in the future to protect myself. Keep it as professional as possible, document everything, and never take anyone for granted.

These are the five whys you can use to figure out the real intent.

If your intent is based on principles (caring, contributing, seeking mutual benefit, acting in the best interest of others), it will bring you trust dividends: if it’s not, you’re going to pay a tax — which is what happened when my students ultimately snubbed me.

Three Ideas by Stephen Covey

First, make sure you have identified the principles that will bring the results you want.

Second, recognize that you may need help to create this deep inner change — and seek it.

Third, behave your way into the person you want to be. Example, if you’re not now a person who cares much about others — but you have the desire to be — then act on that desire.

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 15 – Examine and Refine your Motives” on Spreaker.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 14 – The Trustee Standard

When we believe people truly are acting in our best interest, we tend to trust them. When we believe that they are not acting in our best interest, we do not trust them.

Let me give you an example. I had always gone to a suit shop in old Bangkok. I loved going there to warp my wardrobe into what it should have been. After the last couple of times, I felt that one of the guys there was going for a quick money grab. He wasn’t acting in the best interest of me. So, one day I went there to pick up some clothes and he was pressuring the hell out of me to buy an additional suit. No eye contact, no nothing. He even charged me almost double for the suit, which I would’ve gotten for a much cheaper price if the other guy was there.

I remember being on the skytrain, angry, and I messaged the guy who had taken the day off saying, “could you please cancel my last order I put in. That guy hustled me for my money and this is why I don’t come as often as I did.”

That was probably March/April of 2017. I never went back, and yes, I still do have 300$ worth of clothes to be picked up (and I will go back to pick it up and close the deal), but since they didn’t act in my best interest, I’m certainly not going to do the opposite.

How to Improve Intent

Fundamentally, intent is a matter of the heart. It’s something you can’t fake — at least not for long. But it is something you can definitely work on and improve.

Some people genuinely have poor intent. Though they may not be aware of it or even admit it, deep inside they seek their own profit, position, or possessions above people, above principle, above everything else.

Others have good intent — they sincerely want to do what’s right and seek the welfare of others — but their expression and execution of intent is poor. Though we may not realize it, most of us deal with at least some degree of challenge in both of these areas. If we’re really honest, we have to admit that sometimes our motives are not completely pure. Sometimes we approach situations with hidden agendas — even tiny ones — that keep us from being appropriately transparent with others. Sometimes we manifest behaviors that don’t demonstrate caring, openness, and concern. To whatever degree these challenges are part of our lives, we are being taxed, both personally and professionally.

It’s time to get into those accelerators on the next episode.

Listen to “Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 14 – The Trustee Standard” on Spreaker.