I'm no expert on habits, so let's look at some people that are. These people really have their lives together, and are willing to share their methods and perspectives.
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Of Course, Stephen Covey
Can't have an article about habit experts without the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, can we? Just wouldn't be right.
True to my nature, I've never personally finished the book. Yet what I have read changed my life. The second section reshaped the way I look at life (and parenting). It really took me to a higher level of thinking by being aware of my thoughts and the effects I hadn't connected to them. Section three introduced the concept of interdependence, which revolutionized the way I interact and consider others around me. And part four... part four formed the basis behind every success I've had in the last ten years. "Sharpening the saw" was exactly the view I needed to accept my habit of beginning anew as being a benefit, and not a curse.
And Jeff Olson
The Slight Edge. This one is less talked about, perhaps because many believe the lessons are too simple to be valuable. However, I disagree. Adamantly.
As one of the few books I've read cover to cover in the last ten years (multiple times, in fact), I can tell you honestly it is worth the time and money hands down. I can also tell you - as Olson says himself in the book - that there is indeed nothing new in the book. You already know. That, unfortunately, is the biggest deterrent to actually reading it.
But he wasn't writing it for people looking for a reason not to do something. He wrote it for people who are able to admit what they're doing isn't working. Knowing something doesn't imply you're using that knowledge effectively. Jeff Olson provides a simple, timeless perspective to help you organize and use what you learn in ways that will benefit you.
There's many more experts, to be sure, but these two have significantly helped in my life already. When it all finally clicks (and I have complete confidence it will eventually, it's really just a matter of time), I'll still look back and attribute everything to these two books as the foundation. Neither proclaim to be the be-all-end-all of self-help, but they both offer a stable foundation upon which to build any path.
If you've read these books, let me know your opinion on them below. See you tomorrow, 9a!
As I begin this anew, I know only one thing: that I know nothing. Learn with me, and together we will figure this out.
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