The Words We Use

I was so saddened to hear about the death of Stephen Covey a couple of weeks ago.

I remember seeing him speak when I was much younger and being so impressed.

Then over the years I have read some of his books. My favorite however was listening to his audiobook of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families”. I love that book and I loved hearing him read it as he has a great way of making it all come alive. It was really a life changing book for me and I find myself referring to it so often – to myself as well as to others.

So, it is no surprise that a couple of months ago I stumbled across “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” written by his son, Sean Covey, and decided to buy it for us to read together during Family Home Evening. I figured since the original book(s) influenced me so much, it would likely benefit my kids as they approach the teenage years.

We have read a few chapters already, and just this week started on the first habit “Be Proactive”.

In this chapter, he shares the difference between being “Reactive” and “Proactive” and gives examples of the language that is used:

Reactive…………………………………….Proactive
I’ll try………………………………………….I’ll do it
That’s just the way I am………………… I can do better than that
There’s nothing I can do…………………Let’s look at all our options
I have to……………………………………..I choose to
I can’t ………………………………………..There’s gotta be a way
You ruined my day………………………..I’m not going to let your bad mood rub off on me

I could tell we all sat there and felt a bit guilty about how often we use reactive language!! But – the point is to learn how to do better!

It is amazing to see how the words we choose can affect a mood, an attitude, or an outcome.

The goal this week for us is to choose our words a bit more carefully.


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