Its a beautiful day that started early. I was up at 5:00am this morning in time to get me up to London for my breakfast meeting with Stephen Covey.
I had been invited by a friend - Anthony Warren as his guest. The event was run by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of which Stephen is a member. I am not religious myself - but I would say I was 'spiritual' - whatever that quite means - I keep meaning to define it in my terms.
Anyway it was good to see Stephen again. I first discovered him through his book The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People over 10 years ago when I was working in Boston and was later privileged to attend one his Principal Centered Leadership courses a few years later at the Sundance resort in Utah.
Although Stephen's work has influenced me in many ways - I was thinking last night about what was the one single thing that had had the most impact on me. And it was this - the idea that between stimulus and response there is time for thought - time to choose your response and that it is an abdication of responsibility to say but "I had no choice". We ALWAYS have a choice. Everything that we do we chose to do. And if we accept that - it is hard to deny responsibility for our actions.
That was one thing I learnt from him over 10 years ago - and what is the first point Stephen makes in his talk this morning on "Achieving Balance in our Lives" - that very same point. If our lives are out of balance - if we spend too much time working and not enough with our family - then that is OUR CHOICE. We can change it instantly if we CHOOSE to. Its not that it is necessarily easy but we cannot avoid the issue by saying we have no choice. We have plenty of choice.
If you have not read any of Stephen's books then I would urge you when next in a bookshop to take a look - they contain deep wisdom.
Anyway Anthony and I walked back to the tube station together after the event and stopped for a coffee - it was a beautiful spring morning and we sat at a table outside on the pavement - talked about life and watched the girls go by (well at least I did!)
I then decided it was too good a morning to miss - so I came here to the RSA to do little reflection and a little writing - I'll be heading back after lunch - I have lot of work to do.
One of those special mornings.