You may well ask what Johnny Depp is doing here as the Mad Hatter, notwithstanding how i loved this movie.

Said Humpty Dumpty in Wonderland rather scornfully to Alice, ‘When i use a word, it means just what i choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’ Immortal words these. Words possess inner energy. That’s how they emote.

In this post, i examine the inner energy of words. let me restate some profound statements by a celebrated corporate guru Steven Covey. His ‘7 Habits for highly effective people’ has been called inspirational. I find them counterproductive. How so?

1. Covey says:  Be Proactive

I say: Let Go.

By ‘proactive’ Covey implies control. No one can control anyone. I believe in Tao. When we try to control anything, it’s like holding water in your fist and closing your fist. Open your fist and let the inner energy flow.  Let Go.

2.  Covey says: Begin with the end in mind

I say: Begin with NOW.

Should we begin with death, since that’s the end as far as we can all see? Of one’s mind body spirit, mind body leave letting the spirit carry on. END.

What’s the point? ? Be Present, say the Wise, the Zen & Tao. NOW is where the action is.

3. Covey says: Put first things first

I say: Do only what’s important to you.

This is the famous Covey Time Management maxim i posted about earlier. How does it matter what’s first or last if it’s not important to you? Each of us decides on what’s important based on one’s own life.

Covey says to delegate what’s urgent, even if it’s not important. Makes no sense to me. Why should i waste someone else’s time if it’s not important? When you focus on what you know is important to you, and only on that, your inner energy makes sure you succeed.

4. Covey says: Think win-win

I say: Put the Other first

Covey recommends coöperation. I agree. Win-win thinking requires a mind-set of thinking beyond oneself. How do we get comfortable leaving 50 cents of the dollar behind, when we have problems leaving one cent behind? How does one manage this, unless we place YOU above I?

5. Covey says: Seek first to understand and then be understood

I say: Become Self Aware.

Without knowing who you are, where you wish to go, you can never understand anything else. What you think, say and do will be a lie to you and others if you try.

Self Awareness leads to treating others the way you wish others treat you. Naturally you’ll think win-win.

6. Covey Says: Synergize (with others)

I say: Integrate within.

It’s far more important to be holistic and centered in one self than in trying to synergize with another. Synergy requires us to be aware of the other. Once the inner energy awareness occurs, and Self awareness is already present, synergy with others will be automatic. You need no effort. Just Integrate.

7.  Covey says: Sharpen the Saw.

I say: Be authentic

One can keep learning till one dies. Each learning makes us different. What remains constant is one’s authenticity, one’s Truth. Just be Truthful. This requires no effort.

People seem to accept whatever an authority figure says, without question. It may be true for that person, but not for you. Look for the meaning to you. Look for the inner energy of words.