November 13, 2006

Trying harder, reviewing more OR being more effective?

Greetings AP Calculus! From your BOBs, it appears you are really working hard and feeling that to be more successful, you need to "keep trying", "review more", and "figure it out". My sense is you are really doing that now; I wonder if you think you could be more effective in your efforts? I know from lots of experience (60 years worth) that habits can ensure my reaching my goals or not. And often, I've tried harder, and reviewed more, but not really effectively. Given that, I think I've found 7 habits, that if I've worked at them, have helped me be more effective! Have you seen these 3? Do you think these habits can be of value to you too? Or are these a habit for you already?
I think this short autobiography is a good introduction to Habit 1.
by Portia Nelson
Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost.... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in.... It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

Habit 1: Be Proactive®
Take responsibility for your life.


Does this cartoon say it all for Habit 2?

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind.®
Define your mission and goals in life..


Finally, Habit 3: Rocks, Pebbles, Sand, Water—And Calculus is which?

A time management specialist was asked to give a presentation on her specialty. She decided to do a demonstration. First she asked her assistants to bring a big bucket and put it on the table in front of the audience. Then she asked for large, grapefruit-sized rocks and filled the bucket with them.
"Is the bucket full," she asked?
"Yes!" said the crowd, but she asked for more to put in anyway. This time her assistants brought in pebbles. She poured the pebbles in the bucket and it held a surprising number in the space between the big rocks.
"Now is the bucket full?" she asked.
"Yes!" "No!" "Yes!" "No!" said various persons in the crowd. Some people were uncertain; some were getting suspicious. The time management specialist asked for more. This time the assistants brought her sand. She poured sand in the bucket and it filled the spaces between the pebbles.
"Now is the bucket full?" she asked.
"No!" they answered. By now, everyone was suspicious. So she asked for water and poured in quite a lot. Now no one could think of anything else that could fit in that bucket.
"What does this process demonstrate?" asked the time management specialist.
One member of the audience spoke up: "No matter how busy you are, you can always fit in one more thing."
"I can see how you might think that was my point, but it is not," said the specialist. "I was trying to show you that if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all!"

Habit 3: Put First Things First®
Prioritize and do the most important things first.

What do you think?

And by the way, these come from 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.


christian said...


I thought your post was very valuable. I wish I could read Stephen Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens". My mom gave me "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" when I was about 12. It makes sense a lot, but at the time I read it, I didn't think it was relevant to my life. Maybe the teens version would suit me more =).

ashlynn said...

hi Lani,

You post was cool. I can definitely relate to these. I especially can relate to habit #3 because we are in our last year in high school and all. It's scary thinking about what your going to do for the rest of your life, even though we don't have to decide RIGHT now. But we still need to have an idea of what your most interested in. Habit #1 is interesting. I often find myself in that situation. I know now that it's your own responsibility to take control and learn from your mistakes.

Again, where is everybody? I feel so alone =( ... except for Christian.... Hi christian :D

christian said...

Hi Ashlynn =)!

(for my comment, I meant "Sean Covey's" book... instead of Stephen Covey's. 7 habits of highly effective PEOPLE is the one written by Stephen Covey. Or are they the same people? I don't know -_-...

Lani said...

Ashlynn mentions: "I especially can relate to habit #3 because we are in our last year in high school and all. It's scary thinking about what your going to do for the rest of your life..." Ashlynn, I feel the same way at 60 years old! I too, find Habit 3 pretty important and it is my thinking that if I remember to think of all I do in terms of "the time quadrants", it really helps me to be more effective. Time quadrants are here.

I'm afraid I seem to fall in the "Yes Man" at times these days as hard as I try to prioritize; I know that it keeps me from being as effective as I would like. I need to focus more on prioritizing now. Where do you fit?

And can these quadrants help you in your calculus studies? Where does the blog, practice tests, study groups, and reviewing your notes fall?

Christian, Sean is Stephen Covey's son. The "Teens" book is a much lighter read than "7 Habits of Highly Effective People". One of my favorite pages (and I have many) in the "Teens" book is the last page. I wonder how it strikes you?