This is the start of a new series: Squares of Quotations. Every posting will focus on the balance between two good things and on their respective exaggerations (see info box below).
Today's topic: Destiny or Self-Determination?
Lots of attitudes we find annoying (in others as well as in ourselves) are maybe just exaggerations of an element of truth. When we give such an attitude a closer look, we feel that there is simply a need for a counterbalancing attitude.
As soon as we feel annoyed by how another person behaves, we might as well look for the element of truth in it and show our appreciation for it. That will make it easier to suggest a counterbalancing behavior, in order to highlight a path of improvement.
Of course one can also exaggerate the counterbalancing element of truth, possibly in an attempt to compensate for what was found to be too extreme, in the first place. Obviously, such an overcompensation isn't helpful either.
Two elements of truth plus their respective exaggerations form a square of values, describing paths of positive development. The concept of a Square of Values was first described by Paul Helwig (unfortunately, link in German only). Later, Friedemann Schulz von Thun extended it to include paths of positive developments, too. Only the form of a Square of Quotations is my own invention.
Self-Determination versus Destiny
|«If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.»
|| «God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.»
«What the mind of man can conceive and believe, It can achieve.»
«Fate rules the affairs of mankind with no recognizable order.»
(5 v. Chr. - 65 n. Chr.)
What are your thoughts on this? Please leave a comment!
Lipstick © Simon EvansDo you need what Stephen R. Covey calls a «Personal Mission Statement»? What for?
Let's leave aside what companies or political parties want to tell you about their so-called mission. Compared to these, drafting a Personal Mission Statement (and updating it from time to time) can be real fun. If you do it well, the statement will give you
- Orientation: What are the values that guide your life?
- Identity: How can you unfold your personality in a world that gets more chaotic, every day?
- Decision support: What should you stick with when you find yourself in a complicated situation?
- Sound relationships: What can other people expect of you?
How do you draft a great Personal Mission Statement? After some thinking, I arrived at a simple set of criteria. My statement shall be »
Search of Amber © Maciek PelcWhat are the values you live by? If such a question catches you off guard - welcome to the club! A few years ago, I would not even consider writing down a list of my values or even figuring out a personal mission statement, as recommended by Steven R. Covey.
How can we become aware of our values? It doesn't look like a great idea to pick them from a list of all potential values ever uttered by mankind. Use simple triggers instead - events in your life that make you think. There are direct pathways to discovering your values, like: »
Goodbye © woodley wonderworksEach time you travel by plane, you are bound to experience a miracle. As the plane takes off, the busy throng of life is gradually scaling down, as houses melt into cities and cities sink into the patchwork of the earth.
Your spirit is unclamped. That sensation is so overwhelming that I wonder what astronauts (cosmonauts and taikonauts as well, of course) feel when they talk about the moment they saw the earth from space for the first time. You simply want to transcend your individual existence and do something (anything!) of lasting value.
Well, you are made to be great! Master productivity authors like »
Xavier Borges, World of Warcraft orphan © miguelbHave you ever asked yourself why that K-word is used so pervasively? It's because destroying something is easier than building something.
Killing is the choice of the clueless and uninspired. Wit may not be at one's command, but killing always is:
- Did you know your reliable GTD system is worthless, unless it is blessed with a killer setup? By the way: Whom or what exactly is your system going to kill, and why? Will it annihilate your coworkers' Moleskines in a sea of flames or what?