I joined a virtual book club with a few gal pals. We span about three states and are in various seasons of our lives. Our ultimate goal: fill our spirits and minds with something more than a quick Facebook post. We voted on the Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book has been on my radar for some time but life happened and here we are. Twenty-six years since its original publication (I was a freshman in high school when this book was first published), I am long overdue.
In the first section, Covey identifies the Character Ethic versus Personality Ethic paradigm. For the first 150 years of this country’s existence, literature relied heavily in discussions and ideas about the essence of who man is. It’s only been in the last 50 years that thinkers have deviated from valuing the merit of character and leaning more towards how personality and subterfuge can yield better results.
Make people like you. Pretend that you like them. That’s how you influence and change your environment. Just as long as you get results, it doesn’t matter how you get it. By hook or crook. Forget your personal values. Forget your faith and relationship with God. Forget Galatians 5:22 (fruits of the Spirit).
Covey states, “Secondary traits alone have no permanent worth in long-term relationships. Eventually, if there isn’t deep integrity and fundamental character strength, the challenges of life will cause true motives to surface and human relationship failure will replace short-term success.”
Simply put, your five dollar smile and charming ways will only get you so far. When you are long into your dentures and that twinkle in your eyes has faded, it will be your character, your essence, your true self that people will remember.