Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Higher Level of Maturity?

After attending a Covey Leadership Training earlier this week, I have decided to share my interpretation of what was learned.  My "spin" on "The 7 habits of highly effective people"....

I had read the book prior to going to the training, and what I took away from the book was simple... 7 habits (or steps) to achieving a higher level of effectiveness.   These steps were only quarantined (in my mind) to the business world.   This time going through the experience, it had much more of a broad level of application for me.

The 7 habits are:
1.  Be Proactive
2.  Begin with the end in mind
3.  Put first things first
4.  Think Win-Win
5.  Seek first to understand, then to be understood
6.  Synergize
7.  Sharpen the saw

The day was spent as we went from habit 1, and breaking it down and dissecting the habit, then advancing on to the next habit.  Various exercises to help make the point, and help with group participation to promote synergy and involvement.  Over all, I did enjoy the training, and took a great look at my life and have much to think about!

This time, however, I found them breaking the 7 habits into 3 levels of "DEPENDENCE"... That word was interesting to me, as I have thought much on the topic over the years. The REAL take-away that they wanted me to have, was to learn that:... As you master these habits, they allow you to graduate from being a "DEPENDENT" person, to an "INDEPENDENT" person, and then to (what they considered a higher level of "maturity") an "INTER-DEPENDENT" person.  I found that very interesting!  It isn't just 7 habits to master, yet they represent an evolutionary process to self mastery.

"We should all be in the pursuit of self-mastery...It is a life long pursuit."
Janice H. Davis

This is the first of 2 or 3 blog entries that I wish to write as I attempt to address these topics.  I admit that I feel quite confident in parts of what I want to say...yet other parts (that represent the areas in which I know I want to grow) I feel quite inadequate as I attempt to say something that might be meaningful.  Meaningful to whom?  Myself!  I write for me!  I feel it forces me to work it out in my own mind, before I will write/publish, any particular topis or issue.  I think of writing as a form of meditation, prayer, or a way to obtain clarity of thought.  One might ask..."Why put it out there for public display?"  My response to that would be:  To invite feedback and avoid delusional thinking.  To formulate a view or opinion, why not invite the feedback and perspective of others?  To think that I possess perfect perspective on my own in any matter, is simply delusional.  So I throw some topics out there for those that wish to listen and offer their thoughts in return... Hopefully mutually achieving a "Value for Value exchange."  Which should be the aim of any endeavor that involves more than one person.  Anyhow, I'll now get back to my desired topic :)
I wish to tackle these three levels of evolution, and write on each of them.  I choose this forum, to invite readers to please participate as I attempt to achieve even more out of the training (which is now days behind me)... I want it to be much more lasting, than a "feel good day, where we all sang Kumbaya"...only to go on the shelf and eventually be forgotten.
"That which receives energy grows."  I wish to give this content more of my energy, and hopefully include your energy as well...So it grows!  For us ALL!! :) 

DEPENDENCE
We all start out in life "Dependent" on others...  Some however, never entirely graduate from being dependent on others.  We are born 100% depend on others.  We depend on them for food, shelter, and every level of sustenance.  We eventually learn self awareness, and then we begin to do things on our own.  We begin to be proactive (the 1st habit) in many many ways.  We learn communication (sounds, speech, writing, etc...)  We learn to be mobile (creep, crawl, walk, run, then drive, etc...)
   
There are however, areas of growth that many people are never taught because of the way they are raised.
***Choice
Some are never really taught how to choose.  I believe that the ability to choose is often times taken away from kids, and thus they grow up not being able to think for themselves.  "Mom (or Dad), can i do this or that?"... "No!"... "Why?"..."Because I said so!"...  No explanation or logic even taught or mentioned... Never to learn the simple concept of cause and effect. Choices have consequences (good or bad).  Yet if kids are just told what to do, and scolded if they don't comply,.. never understanding the "Why" and logic behind instructions, then they never think for themselves!
Another area in which we are taught to be dependent, is work.
*** Work
Go to school, get good grades, so someday you can get a JOB, and then you'll be good.  I do believe in school and being educated!  Yet not for the culmination of getting a JOB!  How anticlimactic!!  Lets go through a very long educational journey to eventually have someone else (a boss) tell me when to show up, when I can leave, when I can have a break, how long I can have for lunch, how many days I can even be allowed to be sick, and how many days I can take (per year) to vacation and enjoy those that I love, AND (the worst) how much my time is worth per hour.  Who taught us that our hour is only worth X amount of dollars?  We are taught to settle and sell our time for X amount per hour... The employer provides the schedule, structure, timelines, daily activities, and expected levels of performance...thus leaving the employee dependent on the employer.
Ultimately,  I believe that this is dependence on the production of another.  I believe in education, to do what you love!... NOT to contribute to that which only others love.
***Emotional dependence
      Looking outside of self for validation, worth, love, etc... Someone who NEEDS another to feel of worth, or valuable.  This is a level of "DEPENDENCE"...  Those who say "I love you" not because they meant it and really wanted to say it, but because they NEEDED to hear "I love you too" in return...?  They are dependent.  People set these hooks out there in hopes that we'll feel loved in return.  When love is not shown in return, then  "I must not have worth." is the adopted mentality... They only feel of worth when an outside source, tells them they are of worth.  I think we all can work on this one to some degree or another.  Others have an emotional dependency on their work.  If I don't get this or that job, then I must not be good enough.  They wrap their entire identity and self worth in what position they have, the house in which they live, the car they drive, or the qualifications that their significant other might possess.    Lots that we could say on this topic.  All of this results in a person being emotionally dependent. 

How to evolve and move from Dependence to Independence (Habits 1-3)...

Habit 1: "Be Proactive"  We must often assess if we are being Proactive or Reactive in the decisions that we are making.  Do we wait until we are FORCED to change?...or do we identify what we want, and proactively go after it?...which are two VERY different ways of doing things!  Somethings we can't do anything about, yet there are somethings we CAN do something about.  I would say to focus on what we CAN do something about.  One thing we can ALWAYS choose, is our mindset.  Our Attitude.  I do believe that "Attitude determines Altitude!"  We can not be victims in life!  We can always do something! "Be Proactive"

Habit 2:  "Begin with the end in mind"   What do I want?  Where am I headed?  "All things are created twice:  First mentally, then physically."...Covey     Most people don't identify what they want.  They get stuck in the cycle of just existing and paying the bills.  About 5 years ago I was instructed to write my own obituary.  Although that may sound morbid in nature... I did write it, and it's something I often return to and read.  In the end...after all is said and done, what do I want said as the 'caption of my life'.  It was an exercise that caused me to finally get serious about what I wanted to do while here in this life.  Once that is identified, then ANYTHING you do that is not working toward that predetermined end, is wasting your time!  I understand that is a bold statement, yet think about that.  How does one get out of the cycle of "existing to just pay the bills"..?  First, one must decide to change!!
For those that want a better relationship?...Because that involves another individual it's not entirely within our power to make changes.  Same principles apply though... Are you stuck just "paying the emotional bills"..?  Here's an interesting question... Are you paying your own emotional bills, or are you paying your partners' emotional bills for them?  "THEY have a problem yet ask you to fix it."... Hmmm.  In the end, the process is the same.  Identify what it is that you want, and proceed accordingly. 
Be proactive, and decide what you want.  "Begin with the end in mind"

Habit 3:  "Put first things first"    We all know people that are always "busy being busy", that really don't accomplish much.  Are we one of those people?  Are we stacked full of "things to do", yet in the end NONE of those things move us toward what we really want?  We have to begin to let go of things that do not move us forward, and be disciplined enough to focus on the things that DO move us forward toward what we want.  The Covey training broke this down into 4 quadrants of activity.
1.  Things we do that HAVE to get done and demand our immediate attention.  Crisis, deadlines, angry customers, sick child, flat tire, etc...  These are things we HAVE to get to NOW.  So they tend to get done.
2.  Things we ought to be doing that move us toward our goals.  Planning and preparation, education, training and development, relationship building, renewing self, etc... This quadrant is very much the creative quadrant.
3.  Things that "come up" that really don't allow progress that we COULD avoid if we are disciplined enough.  Interruptions, pressing matters, some emails, meetings, and phone calls, other people's priorities, busy bee errands, etc... Things that are not contributing to our overall forward progress.  "Activity is NOT accomplishment"...Covey... (Love that!)
4.  Things that turn off the brain and are a blatant misuse of our minds and talents.  Excessive computer games, aimlessly surfing the web, mindless TV, meaningless conversations (gossip)... Things that will never move us forward EVER!

We should try to spend most of our time in the first 2 quadrants, and much less time in 3 or 4...  3 sometimes has to take our attentions, yet can we get back into quadrants 1 and 2 and be effective?
I found it interesting to analyze where my time might at present, be spent... and weather or not i am effectively advancing toward my goals and overall purpose.  "Put first things first"  prioritize your time.  "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!"

One who is unable to master these 3 habits, tend to be dependent people. They do not think proactively.  They do not have direction.  They do not prioritize their time in the effort to move forward. 

"Someone who is "DEPENDENT" that enters a relationship (of any kind) with another who is "DEPENDENT", becomes "CO-DEPENDENT" which is not recommended and not even healthy. Two dependents together,.. the blind leading the blind, often do not go anywhere of significance in life, and do not generally accomplish much.
One who is "DEPENDENT" joining with another who is "INDEPENDENT"...this then develops a relationship that is "WIN/LOSE"...  A win for the "DEPENDENT" because they are experiencing the fruits, decisions, and benefits of their producing "INDEPENDENT" counterpart.  While the "INDEPENDENT" party is losing having to pull all the weight.  This is not a "value for value exchange" or "Win/Win" at all!  The producer will eventually realize they are not winning and begin to resent and lose respect those that do not provide much (or any) value.  "BOTH PARTIES MUST BE EVENLY YOKED"... If they are evenly yoked, mutual respect is merited, and a thriving relationship lasts, for both parties contribute. One party contributing while the other is not...often results in the contributing party no longer need the other, and to move their focus elsewhere.
I say....Rightly so! 

IF we are able to Focus on, and allow these 3 habits to become a part of us, then (according to the FranklinCovey training philosophy) we will have reached a level called "INDEPENDENCE"... Mastering the first 3 habits (1. Be Proactive  2. Begin with the end in mind  3. Put first things first) will then allow us to be independent and self starting and self motivating.  These people do not wait for others to start.  They have direction, and know where they are going.  They prioritize their time to get whee they wish to go, and reach their goals.  They live with purpose!!  They are "INDEPENDENT" of others to get there... Now, on the other hand...
IF we do NOT master these first three habits, we then React to whatever life brings... We do not have much direction... and we are busy yet never really accomplishing much nor are we really moving forward much in life.
Think of where you were 5-10 years ago.  Now think of where you are today.  Has much changed?  Or has much progressed with that on which you focus?   On a day-to-day basis it is hard to see the overall progress of life.  Yet when we step away and look at things over a 10 year span, we either see progress, failure, or a whole lot of "the same"...  We can either point our fingers elsewhere as to why, or we can be accountable for ourselves, and accept responsibility and decide to change. 

"Years know things that days never knew"... Gordon C. Peters

This is where I feel I am in life.  "INDEPENDENT"... What was revealing to me (as I went through this training) was that being "INDEPENDENT" is still a state of immaturity.  Although it is more mature than those that are "DEPENDENT", it still represents a limited level of existence.  Yeah, you don't need Mommy or Daddy (or the government) anymore.  You can think on your own and are proactive.  You know what you want out of life.  You can be disciplined enough to put first things first to get there... but guess what...how much enjoyment will one obtain alone, and with whom can they share?  Yes, you can get a certain distance on your own, but you could go so much further, WITH other producers.  This topic I will attempt to tackle in a future entry.
One who is "INDEPENDENT", joining with another who is "INDEPENDENT"... Then begins to see what "synergy" means.  Oh how that opens a whole new level.  Wow!!  Looking forward to exploring that topic!

In summary, can we move from "DEPENDENCE" to "INDEPENDENCE"..?  Can we stand on our own and be a producer in life?  A Creator.  (If you really think about it, it would actually be a Co-Creator with God!...) 
I appreciated learning these steps that break this process down, and teach us how to advance from one habit to the next.  Habits make up a life of progress, or a life of average and mediocre results, and even a life filled with regrets and failures.  Do we exist on the production of others?  or do we produce ourselves?  Do we offer value, in exchange for value? 

Good questions to ask...and always good (and sometimes hard) to have a deep look in the mirror!!

I invite your thoughts!!




12 comments:

  1. The one thing I took away from the book when I first read it years ago, and still guides my thought process today, is the Circle of Concern and Influence. You can change certain things so why worry about them (circle of concern). Yet, the goal is to expand your circle of influence; things you can control. This simple model has helped me mentally in so many ways. When I'm stressed, concerned, angry, anxious, et al., I do the self-talk, "Let's not worry about what I can't control; it's a waste of time. Let's focus on what I can control or influence and expand on that. It's such a simple yet powerful concept.

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  2. You are an INSPIRATION in every way! I hope that everyone knows that you operate in life with a 5***** attitude towards everything!

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  3. Matt, you are an absolute INSPIRATION! EVERYTHING you do is 5*****!

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  4. Interesting. They recommend this book in Oregon's unemployment workshops. Been meaning to read this book all the way through. Your post is inspiring me to.

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  5. O.k. so I had a bit of a deja vu moment reading this and have a ton of thoughts on what you talked about, but I'll just share this quick thought. I totally agree with the concepts of "Choice" in someone's life. It is interesting to me that we fight for this freedom to make choices, but refuse, many times, to be accountable for the consequences of those choices. I'm been wanting to learn more about accountability. How to take mature accountability for my life. How to really break down the source of my actions and responses to people, events etc. I agree with becoming independent in order to become interdependent, because I think this creates necessary vulnerability in us.

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  6. Maryse Canovas PART 1 - For me , one can summarize the book of S. Covey into three parts:

    1 . Domestic victory
    Habit 1 : Be proactive >principles of individual perception
    Habit 2 : Know from the start where you want to go >principles of individual leadership
    Habit 3 : Give priority to priorities >principles of individual management

    2 . Public victory
    Habit 4: Think Win / Win> Principles of interactive leadership
    Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood> Principles of Communication
    Habit 6 : Enjoy the synergy> Principles of creative cooperation
    3 . the renewal
    Habit 7: Sharpen your faculties> Principles for a balanced personal renewal

    Indeed, the direction you choose may exercise the necessary influence on the effects of regulation related to your motivation and your well-being . This means it can identify the causes of problems , which will be used to establish your priorities for actions leading to desired changes , if necessary . Invest in research initiatives of our quality of life is not a waste of time , but is indicative of the age period in which you find yourself .
    In fact, the mid- life crisis 35/45 years leads us to revise our existence ... it is a state of normality, we analyze what has happened in our lives and reassess our priorities as we see our loved ones age and unconsciously we project them through some anxiety ... we look at our personal values and are looking for stability both on the material , physical and relational .

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  7. Maryse Canovas PART 2 - Who he was wrong to want to review or priorities or want to stop a moment to take stock of our journey of our personality ? No , on the contrary because this mobilization involves appreciate and recognize that we are at some point , and if we want to reach another ( / our goals) we will have to deal not only with our inner faculties of perception but also interdependencies with our environment (whether at work, at home, or even in our leisure ... ) , and it is not within the reach of everyone, far from it!
    You just need to remember that life in society need two things:

    1 . similarity search : Life in society requires a basic similarity between
    individuals. (" I like to think that other people think like me, I feel the same emotions , aspirations than others. " It , Matt , This is a fundamental need for community life
    2 . search singularity not be a copy of another ... ( to be relatively similar, but also have the original ) and it is to be a "social being , is having his own identity ;

    It comes down to choice and motivation , but also at the level of maturity of others, we can not always master or understand at first.
    For example, Love is there an obligation to be faithful to someone or the freedom to choose who we will be faithful ?
    (Personally, I would say that love is unconditional , it means that you give and receive unconditionally ( it 's not like anyone anyhow ) While addiction has its conditions : . " I give you that, but I want it in return . "

    Maryse CANOVAS

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  8. PART 3 - You mention in your blog Covey : "Activity is NOT accomplishment " ... Covey ... ( Love that ! )

    I understand, and it is true that , as Napoleon said :
    " Strategy is the art of winning the war , the tactic is the art of winning a battle. " The Strategen do not participate in the war and the battles on the ground. But our life is full of struggles, so that we must first be a good tactician and win our personal battles to win the war , to reach your goal .

    Indeed , I think that there are contingencies (physical, relational and family as our friends ) we can not ignore or relegate to the background , because we need to give ourselves in varying degrees ...
    So the question to ask is : " Are we really dependent on others ? "

    We depend to a certain extent other ... yes ! But to talk about addiction ... it is subjective ... let me explain:
    Why some situations affect us more than others ?
    For the same experience , each of us reacts in its own way . Everyone has a different interpretation of what he is going through and everyone will adopt a behavior based on what seems most fair .

    This is proof that we interpret things in our own way according to our personal "filters" . These filters are our conditioning . Whether we like it or not, our life experiences pass through this filter.

    FROM THESE FILTERS :

    - Our parenting and / or school
    - Our own experiences that our successes and "not successful " ( The failure is another matter )
    - Our social, professional and is also called "collective unconscious" (which requires us codes, and customs - In are a good way to do it)
    - Our acquired injuries ( ancestral ) or created ( and painful experiences that grief is not)
    - Our natural personal sensitivity
    - Our irrational fears

    A PERSONAL VIEW AND SUBJECTIVE :

    Thus , faced with the same situation , we have different ways of reacting and we'll select one: one that seems the most just , the best , most logical , that it is good ( from our point of view) set up to that time .
    All this is very subjective and varies from one person to another. This is so that each person is unique, and fortunately we do not sum clones !
    Do not confuse " Reply with consciousness" and " respond to "
    The concern is not the fact that everyone is different, quite the contrary. The concern lies in the fact of thinking, believing firmly that His way of thinking is good , and most importantly, this is a "reaction" to something and not a "decision" in consciousness.
    Let me explain: you know the phrase " kicking back " on things or " get high ." This means that in a situation , an event or a person : Either you have the height and you do not react , or you're not high, the situation will "touch " has the impact and there you es in response thereto !

    ACCEPTANCE OF THE " IS "

    Kicking back does not mean being insensitive ! Absolutely not. Kicking back means I am present at the event, I feel it makes me , what it does , and I can , if I wish to express or not, my perspective on the situation ... .

    In other words, it is sufficiently present and anchored to recognize emotions without identifying them, be aware of what it is we , and finally respond if necessary, mindfulness (not respond ) .
    Beyond intellectual understanding , this mechanism is lived more than he understands .
    Integrate well that a reaction ( or expressive silence ) is an emotion generated by automatic response. This emotion touches us because it relies on an unconscious part of ourselves.
    This response is then done automatically and most of the time we identify with it . "I like it ", "it is not me and it " ....
    As it will be an automatic response , it will prevail on you. At this point , you will eventually not really free because your reaction is dictated by this automatic ...

    Maryse CANOVAS

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  9. PART 4 - For OUR MOTIVATION and OUR HAPPINESS depends on us and our desire to find us, to do what we did , to flourish in our lives every day , and most importantly, to believe ...
    Our happiness depends on our vision of the world!
    A major source of our happiness comes from our ability to see life as beautiful rather than treating it as a hard and / or complicated view dangerous.

    Glass half empty or glass half full
    This is the story , well known to all , the glass half full or half empty .... Faced with the same situation , some will see the positive side ( half full ) , while others tend to see what 's wrong! ( half empty ) ..
    What is also remarkable is that the people who used to see the positive side of situations experience more positive situations and are happier . While negative situations tend to " go after " the people of a negative nature , which also gives them good reason to be wary and continue to see what was wrong ... ! Interesting right? ... !

    In fact, the situation is never " positive " or " negative" in itself . This is a situation with features .. And the rest, it is yourself that will create ...
    That is to say, if , from our point of view, what happens to us is negative, then we will label "negative situation" and that if this happens to us, is rather positive connotations , then we say that these are positive things.
    And , whatever the situation , however serious it . This is what we call "filters personality ."
    That is to say that according to our beliefs, our worldviews , our experiences, our education, we have an idea of things and normalizing it.

    This standard, which does not belong to us, is very subjective and dictates what is positive and what is negative.

    For example, if something very serious happens to you, it is normal to be affected.

    But it is your choice to consider :
    That because of this event your whole life is now more bloody and nothing good will ever happen to you and your life in its entirety is never destroyed , all fields ....
    Or ... To accept the situation as it is there anyway , even if it's hard . To welcome as an experience from other experiences. Continue to develop in your life , including this event , all that is necessary for your own happiness. This is not to deny anything or try to escape any situation whatsoever. Is to be present to what is around you by taking a seat as an observer and see "what it makes me ." Knowingly to tell you : " my life so far and I still put in place that is good for me in it" ...
    There is not no more "over- bright side ," denying the obvious problem of the situation is as dangerous as collapse with the situation. When you are present to yourself , it is less likely to happen to you.
    Understand that when an event occurs, it is therefore for the past, as has already happened . It is not in this because there 's already happened a few minutes or hours and not for the future either. This is the past, and the action on arrival or already past thing is impossible! Everything is possible with the past is to ruminate and to live with. The only consequence of this act is to " miss " of its present and repeated in its present this memory of the past. Suffice to say that happiness is no way in this direction.
    This is not resignation and the idea is not to give up .

    Because the idea is to be honest with the situation, with what "is" simply . If this is illusion, deception , lying to oneself .
    Once done , our lives can reorganize, because you can not build in the past. One thing replaces another , and recomposed with the new situation. This mechanism is there all the time and we do all the time.

    Maryse CANOVAS

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  10. PART 5 - Last point :
    Our brain has to manage a lot of decisions giving one day : we spend our time managing events and reorganize . We take to do this, decisions about 5000 days! (Source: Neuroscience / Peter MOORKENS )

    It is therefore sometimes necessary to say that WE CAN NOT MANAGE ALL front and be able to stop this time and PRACTICING " DROPPING - HOLD" .

    Therefore, and this is my conclusion, we must first know his character, get to know , otherwise all efforts to try to review the event and its impact in your life will be in vain ...

    Maryse CANOVAS

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  11. In answer to your final question: YES!!! We can move from being dependent to independence!!! All of my life I was afraid of my own shadow. I literally could not walk through a public setting alone, I was that afraid of life! Thankfully I married an Independent who was patient enough with me to continually push me out of my comfort zone. I now am a public speaker, and just the other evening sat at dinner with our state senator and had a great conversation! I you'd told me that I'd be sitting there talking to someone of that caliber 10 years ago even, 8 years ago, I would have laughed... or maybe passed out ;-). I finally have a LIFE!!! I have become so active now that I have had numerous people tell me I need to run for a state office. That is not who I was and I am thankful to finally be living an independent life. I love it! But your post has also reminded me that I am not where I used to be, also I am not where I want to be yet! I'm no longer satisfied and I hope I never will be!

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  12. I didn’t know Stephen R Covey but Maryse, my best friend, has lent me his book, just to see what he’s talking about... For now, I just started reading it, so, to discuss maturity and level of maturity I’m not now the best qualified, but I can say how I see it and it’s my own view of course. For me, maturity is primarily a conscious choice because everything we do has an impact and we are responsible and accountable for our actions. To make this choice, we have to be self-aware, not only in the sense of "introspection" but in our totality, our "whole" with our qualities but also our faults, all these points we need to improve but can also be a part of our strength. So, for me, maturity is the result of a good self-knowledge. I had the opportunity to have this complete knowledge through handwriting analysis I had done and that allowed me to have a real and objective picture of me (and, I must admit, sometimes that's a bit hard & irritating because it highlights things we know and we don’t always want to see, but hey, with honesty, it’s just reality :D - Frankly, I didn’t think my handwriting revealed so much about me and it was a true revelation).
    And now, with that knowledge, I am my own partner. I use the full range of my emotions, without artifices, & I can interfere accordingly and respond appropriately, with confidence, without letting myself be overwhelmed by negative feelings and living fully those who bring me moments of full happiness. I’m nonconformist, progressif, direct & sure of myself. Say it like that, I know this can seem arrogant but I’m not, it’s just that I’m aware of the games of power that can be expressed in the relational sphere and there is no question that I leave someone lead me by the nose. When something displeases me, I say it. I express always what I have to say (and sometimes it’s not very "politically correct »). Even though I clearly express my position, I keep an open mind about differents points of view but, sometimes too, if someone wants to force me to do what I don’t want, I can show my teeth. In short, I know how to be respected and make my voice heard ! I think this attitude is very healthy. It allows me to remove emotion to preserve the balance of my inner world. And as these tantrums are rare and specific, they allow my loved ones to realize the limits they must not cross. I hate injustice, mediocrity and especially dishonesty and I know react with people displaying these behaviors. I see life as full of opportunities to learn and grow & I take it as it comes. I trust my intuition. She rarely deceived me and I use to make quick and safe decisions. I easily assess what’s priority and what’s not and I reason from facts and not with the "if" that lead nowhere. I go to reach my goals without letting me slow down by obstacles and I didn’t hesitate to join with other to enhance my energy to these objectives.
    Yet, while I respect the social norms and values, I’ve an adaptable morality and I don’t feel unmotivated guilt or any of the 3 « R » (regret, remorse and resentment). Anyway, I can’t change what happened and rehash tirelessly leads to nothing, so it curtail the intrusive thoughts. I can just try to not make the same mistakes and act on what I can control and influence. I’m « Here and now » and that allows me to let go. You say writing is for you « as a form of meditation, prayer, or a way to obtain clarity of thought », I take breaks to untie myself and see alternatives (I can stay on the couch to enjoy my favorite music of the moment - your album now ☺ – that for hours, laze without feeling the least bit guilty, just to take time for me and recharge my batteries).
    I have gained a certain maturity but my personal development is my life priority... I still have to reach a certain wisdom :D
    "The value of a man is not measured in money, status or possessions. The value of a man lies in his personality, his wisdom, creativity, courage, independence and maturity. " (Mark W. B. Brinton)

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