Tribute to Stephen Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Highly effective people, and all those who aspire to be, are mourning the death of Personal growth expert and best-selling author Stephen Covey.

Covey died on Monday at age 79 from injuries he suffered in a biking accident.  He made a huge impact on the world through his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, which inspired millions in their personal growth.

In honor of Covey’s passing, I’m taking some time this week to review the 7 Habits and apply them afresh in my life.  In this post, I’ll share a brief overview of each of the 7 Habits, plus the 8th Habit, which was added some years later in a book called The 8th Habit. [Read more…]

Today’s Personal Growth Lesson: We All Need to Stretch More

Personal growth life lessonI learn personal growth life lessons from some of the most interesting places – including the locker room at my local health club - The Salvation Army Kroc Center of Grand Rapids.

I had just finished doing a family exercise class with my wife and kids right before lunch, and went to the locker room to change.  I greeted the other man who was already there in the locker room and I asked him, “What kind of workout did you do today?  Weights?  Treadmill?  The bike?”

He replied that he did the weights and the treadmill.  I told him that I usually do those too – earlier in the morning – but this time I did a Piyo class with my family (Piyo is part Pilates and part Yoga), and I discovered my hamstring muscles weren’t as flexible as they needed to be because some of the poses were difficult for me to complete.

As the other man gathered up his belongings and walked out the door, he said:

“Yes, stretching is more important than many people realize.  I believe we all need to stretch more.”

When he left, I just presumed he was still talking about stretching our body’s muscles.

But a few seconds later, I wondered, “Did he mean something more?”

Not just the stretching that results in physical agility and strength, but the kind of stretching that results in personal growth and development too?

Stretching Your Personal Growth Muscles

The kind of stretching that results in our personal growth and development keeps us agile and ready for anything that comes our way.  It helps us go farther than we ever thought was possible – helping us reach our full potential.

Unfortunately we often experience our greatest personal growth through times of trial and adversity – when we get out, or are pushed out, of our comfort zone into unfamiliar territory. When we take a risk or experience a circumstance that turns our world on its side.

Adversity is often the greatest motivator for life change. Tough challenges spur us on to action.  When we stand up to our challenges, we will often be catapulted to new heights and go farther faster than we could have otherwise.

Which is why Doug Weed said:

“Goliath was the best thing that ever happened to David.”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’ve tried to avoid or ignore challenges and trials in my life in hopes that I could just maintain the status quo of my current reality.

What I’ve discovered, though, is that you can’t really stay static – you’re either moving forward or backwards.

If I don’t allow myself to be stretched when difficult circumstances come my way, or if I don’t stretch intentionally stretch myself through my personal growth & development plan, I won’t just maintain my current position, I’ll actually lose ground.

Are you being stretched by a Goliath-sized challenge right now?  Don’t shrink in the face of it.  Stand tall.  Face it.  Let it inspire you to take bold action and move to the next level in your life.

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5 Life Lessons Learned from Monopoly

Personal Growth LessonsTim over at Faith and Finance recently shared 5 Business Lessons Learned from Monopoly.  It didn’t take me long to realize that these lessons he’s identified from Monopoly aren’t just for business, but personal growth lessons for life too.  Here they are, with my “personal growth” take on them. [Read more…]

Personal Growth Tips from Dr. Suess

Personal growth life lessons from Dr. SuessMarch 2 was Dr. Suess Day – a day to commemorate Dr. Suess’s birthday. A lot of my friends were sharing their favorite Dr. Suess quotes on Facebook.

By the way, if you’re on Facebook, please do me a favor and “like” our Life Compass Blog Facebook page – thanks!

As I read their favorite quotes, I was reminded of how much Dr. Suess wrote about personal growth and life change. [Read more…]

Overcoming Obstacles and Adversity in Life

Overcoming obstacles in lifeHave you ever faced obstacles or problems that kept you from moving forward and achieving certain dreams or goals in your life?

Sometimes these obstacles seem so huge and formidable that we feel there’s no way we could ever overcome them.

But within each obstacle – big or small – lies an opportunity waiting to be discovered, if we know how to look for it.

Maxwell Maltz, the author of Psycho-Cybernetics, said:

“We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.”

Most of us, I think, would like to avoid obstacles, problems and pain. But Maltz says we need obstacles to conquer.

Life would be dull, and our growth limited, if we never experienced obstacles, problems, or pain…and, most importantly, if we never learned from these challenges and discovered within us the ability to overcome them. [Read more…]

Do You Have a Vision for Your Future?

what's your vision for your future“If you don’t have a vision for the future, then your future is threatened to be a repeat of the past.”

Those words from A. R. Bernard, an American clergyman, remind us of the importance of dreaming of what our lives could be…of what kind of impact we’d like to have, and what kind of difference we’d like to make.

What’s your vision for your future? What kind of life do you want to have? What kind of difference do you want to make? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

If you don’t have your life vision written down, take 15 minutes right now to write down five things you’d like to be true in your life in the next five years. [Read more…]