The 8th habit was written as a response to the profound changes that we are experiencing in world since the author wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Dr. Covey believes that finding our voice in life will help alleviate much of the pain and frustration that so many people are experiencing in their jobs and relationships in this new Knowledge Worker Age. He believes that by following the advice and path that he lays out in his book the reader will be able to discover and give voice to their deepest passions and talents. By discovering and harnessing our passions and applying it to the great needs of the world we will find the true calling in our lives. This will provide us with a great sense of satisfaction and will help inspire others to discover their passions and calling in life.
Dr. Covey goes on to describe the significant changes that are occurring in our society. We are entering into an age that more and more people are being given the ability to make a variety of choices in their lives. However, we are poorly prepared to make these choices in self-management. This is causing much pain and frustration in the work world, in our communities and in our relationships. We have organizations that respond by controlling people and we have people not knowing how to change the system so as not to be controlled. The author then proceeds to outline a path where one can begin to make the changes necessary to change their own environment. By successfully changing one’s own environment you will inspire others to follow. This will eventually create the paradigm shift that will allow the majority of people to find their voice in society and live a fulfilled productive life.
What Dr. Covey presents in this book is really nothing new. I believe human kind has always desired to find his/her voice in this world. Man was created for a purpose, and only finds true fulfillment and satisfaction when that purpose is discovered and lived out. Perhaps because of the tremendous amount of information and knowledge at our fingertips we as a society are more aware of the possibilities and have a better venue to voice the frustrations of life, but as the author of Ecclesiastes tells us in chapter one verse 9 “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” This book does provide some good insights into the work world and how we have a tendency to deal with problems in our work place as well as in our relationships. Unfortunately, much of what Dr. Covey encourages people to do, will take a tremendous amount of discipline and courage. Most people that are frustrated and discouraged in the workplace won’t make the effort to follow his advice.
The one theme that resonated with me was the concept that one person can make a difference. By being courageous and steadfast in pursuing what’s right in a particular work environment, walking in grace and compassion for people and leaders, changes can happen and others can be inspired to follow in your footsteps.