Are you looking to become a more ‘well rounded’ person?
Do you feel something is missing? Or you have more to give, if you could only just activate it?
According to Stephen R. Covey, bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in order to be a truly successful human being in the future knowledge economy we need to be more aware of all our capabilities and learn how to activate them. (For a quick summary of the 7 Habits on YouTube click here.)
If we want to really excel and feel like we are excelling at life, we need to access all four dimensions of our human character. We must engage our mind, body, heart and spirit. Only then can we become truly effective. Then we find our voice and operate on a whole higher level of efficacy.
How do we become a more we’ll-rounded person, capable of achieving these higher levels of efficacy and effectiveness.
4 Ways to become a more well-rounded person
- Vision – engage the mind and activate mental intelligence.
- Discipline – work the body and use your physical intelligence.
- Passion – open your heart and communicate with emotional intelligence.
- Conscience – commit to the community and gain moral authority.
By engaging your four human characteristics, using your four intelligences and living these principles for life and behavior, you can become a truly effective person capable of achieving outstanding results in all areas of life.
You will also feel enlightened, inspired, and empowered as you work towards living a life that is truly rewarding and satisfying.
Read on to learn more about becoming a more well-rounded person.
4 Elements to becoming a more well-rounded person
I have recently been reading Stephen R. Covey’s The 8th Habit. It’s an amazing book full of many great insights. I recommend you read my previous studies of his work here at 7 habits, and How to find your Passion.
These are simple summaries and I genuinely recommend you get the full experience by reading the full version. (Click on the title above.)
Why become a more rounded person?
Why do we need to become more well-rounded and more capable?
Well here we’re basically meaning that by being a more well-rounded person, a more fully developed person, we become more capable. By capable we mean we are more adaptable to life, we are more employable, we live healthier, stronger, more productive lives and contribute more to our relationships and our communities as a result.
So more capable means we are better. We earn more, can handle more, can give more and are able to do more than we do now.
The short answer, become more well-rounded, more capable, and get a better life.
Four dimensions of humanity
Covey points out that there are effectively four dimensions that make up a well-rounded human being. They are basically the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual.
What I’ve learned by reading Covey, and others, is that each of these dimensions has their own intelligence, its own essence that we need in order to develop as whole human beings. Also, by utilizing these intelligences, we have access to different ways of knowing, thinking, experiencing and being. These ways help us to be more capable in the world.
As Covey states: “The highest manifestations of these four intelligences are: for the mental, vision; for the physical, discipline; the emotional, passion; for the spiritual, conscience. These manifestations also represent our highest means of expressing our voice.”(Covey 2004, pg. 65)
A rough translation of ‘voice’ is our purpose and our ability to be effective in the world.
Therefore, by practicing these four dimensions and developing them, we are able to broaden our understanding of ourselves. We become more by adding new layers of understanding and ability. Also, by developing them we become more effective, by being able to access different types of knowledge and abilities to every scenario.
SO by broadening our use of our four dimensions we become more well-rounded as full human beings, and therefore more capable of effectively acting in the world.
The Four Dimensions:
1. Become more well-rounded through VISION
The first, and for most of us, the most obvious dimension is that of the brain. We are thinking beings. It is our major advantage and what defines us as homo-sapiens.
“I think therefore I am,”
said Descartes, and it was this distinction that has defined us as ‘civilized’ beings.
We all know the advantages of developing our mental abilities, our IQ. We have countless schools, centres, courses, tutors, mentors, all offering intelligence.
And I totally agree with the need to develop our intelligence as a way of becoming more well-rounded, more capable.
However, Covey offers a further step when he discusses vision. Vision takes that intelligence and broadens the scope. Vision is not about becoming smarter so you can do a better job and get more money and solve problems better. Though all those things will make you more well-rounded, especially if you’re not a particularly intellectual being.
“Vision is seeing a future state with the mind’s eye. Vision is applied imagination. All things are created twice: first, a mental creation; second, a physical creation.”(Covey 2004 pg.70)
Here he is arguing going beyond being intelligent. Vision means to stretch intelligence, to become more imaginative and creative. Therefore, we should look for the great possibilities in people and situations and seek for new ways of doing things.
In this way, our vision can transform ourselves into something we could have only imagined possible. We can apply our vision to transform our job, our work, our workplace, the way we interact with people, our relationships and everything in our world.
To become more well-rounded, more capable, engage your mental capacities with vision. Broaden the way you see the world and imagine what can be and what you want your life to be like.
Envision your life as greater than it is today and that vision will take you to a new and better place.
2. Become a more well-rounded person through DISCIPLINE
“Discipline is just as important as vision, though it is second in the chain. Discipline represents the second creation. It’s the executing, the making it happen, the sacrifice entailed in doing whatever it takes to realize the vision.”(Covey 2004, pg. 73)
It’s the knowledge of PQ, physical understanding. It’s physical. It’s the actual actions you need to make a thing happen. It’s the hours of physical concentration, the sitting at the desk, the running around to get things done, the typing, the early mornings and the late nights.
Furthermore, it’s the physical drive. That feeling athletes know when they push to do that extra set. The knowledge that the feeling like you’ve given all you’ve got, is nowhere near what you can actually give.
It’s the actual action you need to do to get things done. And as much as you may not like it, the more physically fit you are, the more capable you are. You have the strength to work through, the confidence to go big, to push through barriers, deal with bad days, overcome pain, and smash through the wall to get to the point of satisfaction. And knowing what it takes to keep going, no matter how tired or unmotivated you are.
If this is the area you’re lacking – then get physical. Get disciplined, and you will become so much more capable. It will also help to round you out as a functioning human. And trust me, no matter how much you might detest exercise, you’ll end up loving it; it’s a natural part of our human condition. It makes us feel better and leads to true satisfaction and fulfillment.
3. Become a more well-rounded person through PASSION.
“Passion comes from the heart and is manifest as optimism, excitement, emotional connection, determination. It fires unrelenting drive.”(Covey 2004, Pg. 75)
Passion is an element that many of us don’t live with. We may look for passion in romantic relationships – often mixing up passion for lust and causing a lot of problems. Or we think our love of drinking and partying is a passion that drives our lives, or some other such thing.
However, a truly well-rounded individual knows what really fills their heart. What lights their fire. The thing that can keep them working on regardless of the time, the day, the hunger, or the pain.
Great examples abound. Ghandi’s passion for equality and freedom for India knew no bounds and filled not only him but an entire nation.
Beethoven’s passion for music overcame the seemingly insurmountable difficulty of going deaf to continue making that beautiful music.
And so on and so on.
But how many of us live in a passion rich state on a daily basis.
I would hazard a guess that most of us “trade in our hours for a hand full of dimes” (Jim Morrison) And then try to make up for living without passion by excessive behaviours that don’t really satisfy.
“. … enthusiasm becomes a moral imperative, making the person part of the solution rather than part of the problem of feeling essentially hopeless and helpless.”(Covey 2004, Pg. 75)
These unsatisfactory behaviours are a result of this feeling of hopelessness and helplessness that Covey is talking about. When people live without passion and are simply doing what they have to do to kill time and pay the bills, there is a real human response. This response causes many of the problems of society. This is why he states it is a moral imperative.
If we can live with passion we live inspired and we seek to fix the problems of the world. People who feel passionate seem to be the type of enthusiasts who “believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it.” (Covey 2004, Pg. 75)
Here we might think of the Steve Jobs and Elon Musks of the world. They don’t complain about their jobs, they don’t curse doing the work, they see a problem in the world and they charge at it with passion, positive they can smash down the wall.
If you’re lacking in passion, you really should try to find it. It’s a game changer. It will change your life! Instead of thinking about all the problems you have, you’re charging into each new day looking to make a dent in the universe and make a positive contribution. At least that’s how I feel since my passions have been activated.
Passion is a human emotion. You owe it to yourself to develop it and grow into a more well-rounded, capable and empowered human being.
4. Become a more well-rounded person through CONSCIENCE
“Conscience is the moral law within. It is the overlapping of moral law and behavior… there is an innate sense of fairness and justice, an innate sense of right and wrong, of what is kind and what is unkind, what contributes and what detracts, of what beautifies and what destroys, of what is true and what is false.”(Covey 2004, pg. 77)
Conscience is the principle of the spirit. Many may want to deny spirit. And many may have serious issues with spirit because of the religious connotations. However, I believe in spirit. There is something with me that yearns for greater significance, that seeks community and believes that I share with all fair human beings an equal belief in all the points outlines by Covey above.
I believe there is a moral code that we know innately and intrinsically. We share it and it defines us as social beings. And as social beings we seek its recognition and we strive to build together and to contribute to each other and feel something more than an earthly reward, a sense of belonging that is spiritual.
However, I have to admit that this was the area that I was least understanding of, though in my mission to become more we-rounded, I have started to nurture it. I’ve started to feel a greater affinity with the universe. On a daily basis I try to understand the nature of things and I try to fashion my personal philosophy in an attempt to understand humanity and existence.
So far, I’ve come to believe that we all have an innate sense of goodness. Most of us want to live in the good and we want to share with each other. We also have wired into us a longing to contribute. When I think that my daily work is having a contribution to others and to the world, I feel inspired. I feel proud and honored that I can contribute in service to humanity.
This to me is being connected to the spirit of humanity.
And to connect in the right way, we need to do it with conscience. We must recognize the good and the right and we need to act in that way. And by doing so we feel empowered and righteous. And beyond that, the world will recognize in us our moral authority; that we do the right thing always, and we will have the authority then to achieve great things.
Moreover, when we feed our spirit and we act with conscious we invite community in. Then we will never be lonely. Then we will have a tribe of supporters who we support and who support us.
Conscience is not owned by religion. It is not written solely in old sacred books. Conscience is a human dimension. It is our link to the spiritual and to the community of all the people of the world.
If you want to be more well-rounded, and more capable, then engage your conscience. You could study philosophy and humanity and seek to make genuine connections with a community that you love. In this way, you will fill as a truly developed human being. This will give you the key to having truly great capacity.
Our mission in life should be to develop ourselves.
Only by seeking progress and self-development can we ever feel truly satisfied in all of our dimensions. And by becoming more mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually capable, we use the abilities that lead to satisfaction. Our human condition is designed to grow in these ways, by suppressing them we feel constrained or unfulfilled. However, by engaging them we can grow and feel satisfied.
Moreover, by stretching our capabilities we become more effective in all areas of human endeavor.
Seek to expand your capabilities.
Develop all areas of yourself to become a well-rounded satisfied and effective human being.
You can do this with vision, discipline, passion and conscience.
Through these you can ascend to a whole new level of efficacy.
If you found this study helpful, please learn more by visiting Success24x7.com.