Monday, 25 July 2011

Higher Ground

It's amazing what you can find in hotel rooms these days. I was on holiday in the last couple of weeks and spent a few nights in a decent boutique hotel located in the lower Soho district of New York. I'm used to seeing a few cups and saucers for the spare tea bags provided, plus a travel sewing kit for those emergency moments. This hotel, though, also threw in a few books in the rooms if you found time to read - and not even a Gideon Bible amongst them.

One book I couldn't put down was Stephen Covey's 'First Things First'. In the past I've glanced through his '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' so I was aware of his approach to personal development. But I have to say I was quite taken by this hotel find (which was just as well as the jetlag was quite brutal) and I spent plenty of time thumbing through it. Once I returned home I purchased the book. A quote that Covey lifted from George Bernard Shaw really works for me:

"This is the true joy in life...being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one...being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy...I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can."

The idea of living for a purpose higher than yourself may sound quite abstract but it's certainly an approach that will strip out some of the ego involved in personal development.

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