Investing on your personal growth on a consistent basis

covey_matrixIn his classic book entitled “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, the late Stephen Covey popularized the Important/Urgent Matrix. Covey noted that many people spend the majority of their time in Quadrant I tackling urgent and important things like meeting deadlines, addressing immediate heath issues, working to pay bills, and so on. On the other hand, highly effective people save time from other quadrants and spend it on the 2nd Quadrant- Important but Not Urgent. People in this quadrant consciously invest their time to prepare, prevent, plan, strategize, grow, and so on.

If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you’re a person who invests in Quadrant II. The only question I’ve for you is how much percent of your time is dedicated toward this quadrant, more specifically toward personal growth. Sadly, even if some people are committed to their personal development, when the going gets tough (When Quadrant I hassles for more time), they find themselves out of time, and thus, they first cut time from the 2nd Quadrant. On the other hand, when highly effective people are faced with the same pressure, they uphold the time they dedicated to Quadrant 2. They rather carve out sometime from Quadrant III & IV.

In my book, “The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued Success in Leadership”, I shared the story of the late Nelson Mandela who worked on his personal development on a consistent basis. Here is the excerpt: “…Mandela read many books and journals while in prison that contributed to his success in statesmanship. He used his underground moments to grow, plan, reflect, and strategize…He had grown himself proportionately: His body through regular exercise, his mind through reading, studying, reflecting, and his spirit via conviction…”

Mandela had outgrown the dire challenges he faced, and effectively led South Africans from Apartheid to democracy, inspired the world with his extraordinary endurance, forgiveness, and love, which cannot be attained without relentless growth. You don’t need to go to jail, or be a statesman to grow like him.

Don’t get overwhelmed and spend your quality time in just Quadrant I to deal with urgent things. Don’t also spend too much time in Quadrant III & IV. Save a fraction of time you spend in the remaining 3 Quadrants, and invest on your personal growth. Personal growth has ripple effects. Your quality of life increases as you keep growing. I like what Plutarch said, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” The more you grow inwardly, you see excellent results outwardly in other aspects of your life such as on your health, relationships, work performance, and more.

Let me ask you. In which quadrants do you spend the majority of your time? Write down the percentage of time you expend on each quadrant. For your information, highly effective people deliberately save time from other quadrants, especially from Quadrant III & IV, and devote it into Quadrant II. When you get a chance, come up with an action plan on how you could save time for Quadrant II, and then dedicate ample time to grow in the different aspects of your life.

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