Freedfom of Choice
Submitted By rojoelizabeth
Freedom of Choice
Freedom of Choice “Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose” (Frankl, 2002). Personal responsibility is recognizing that I have the freedom and control to choose my actions and accept the consequences that come from these actions. These actions can be as simple as determining what my attitude will be for the day all the way to choosing to have a great, motivating, and inspirational life. Covey (1989) explained, making the choice to choose our response we powerfully could affect the results. Personal responsibility links to everything in my life, my family success, my professional success, and my educational success. In this instance, personal responsibility’s associations with the actions I must take to be successful in college are show initiative, be proactive, manage my time effectively, and create effective habits.
There are multiple methods and attributes to ensure my educational success, taking the initiative to choose to be a successful student seems to be the first key point. A study performed by Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons (1986), comparing advanced students and lower performing students found that the lower performing students often give reactive statements such as “I just do what my teacher tells me,” compared to the academically achievers that use statements such as, “If I’m having difficulty motivating myself to complete my homework, I just work harder.” The findings indicated a lack of personal initiative in the lower performing students whereas the over achievers show initiative in every aspect of their learning endeavors. By choosing to apply initiative to my college achievement and doing more than what is expected and is necessary will enhance my college success. Proactive Going hand-in-hand with initiative, my next step is choosing to be proactive. This also will contribute to my goal of being successful not only as a student but also as a human being. According to Merriam-Webster.com (1933), proactive is acting in anticipation of future problems, as needs or changes. According to Covey (1989), proactive means more than taking initiative, proactive is focusing on the things we can influence and not on circumstances that we have no control over. There are three different categories of problems people face, direct control, indirect control, and no control (Covey, 1989). Direct control problems involve our own behavior, indirect problems include other people’s behavior, and no control problems contain situations that we can do nothing about, such as events that happened in the past (Covey, 1989). In other words, I must focus on the circumstances I can affect. For example, I cannot fix a teacher’s bad teaching methods (indirect problem) but I can be proactive and further study the materials on my own so that I can ensure that I receive a good grade. By applying proactivity to indirect problems, I influence the results of the circumstances and turn them into direct control problems.
Time management I understand the first steps I must take for my college accomplishment, I must take my next course of action, which is choosing to manage my time efficiently and schedule my priorities. This will allow me to read, study for tests, execute research, and complete all of my assignments. According to Covey (1989), time management has evolved in three generations; each generation builds on the one before it, each moves us toward greater control of our lives. Notes and checklists distinguish the first generation while calendars and appointment books with an effort to look ahead recognize the second generation. Adding to the previous generations, the third generation includes prioritizing, setting goals, and includes the concept of daily planning. One of my objectives is to classify myself as a third generation, set goals, prioritize, and plan daily. I partially have completed this objective, as I am not only a full-time employee but also a full-time mom and presently a student. These three occupations require managing my time efficiently and prioritizing so that I can ensure success. Let us say I just got off work and I have to make dinner and study for a test that I will be taking the next morning. I can choose to either make dinner or study for the big test, both important tasks. What do I do, I delegate one of my responsibilities by asking my husband to cook dinner fulfilling my obligation and making time to study for my test. I know that studying for my test is more important than cooking dinner so by prioritizing and delegating one of my tasks I managed my time effectively. Covey (1989) stated, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” (p. 161).
Another critical strategy I must implement is creating effective habits. According to Merriam-Webster.com (2008), habit defined as an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically. Habits play a significant role in my life; they consistently display my character, demonstrating my effectiveness or ineffectiveness. Jacobs and Hyman (2010), presented 14 habits that top-notch college students must poses; “Have a schedule, divide up tasks, are organized, hang out with smart friends, don’t kid themselves, manage their feelings, challenge themselves, are consistent and persistent, are open to feed back, ask when they don’t understand, aren’t too shy, look out for Number One, keep themselves in tip-top shape.” The habit that I found most relevant was habit number 14, “Have a goal-and a plan.” To create an effective habit a person must apply the three elements of a habit; knowledge, skill, and desire (Covey, 1989). Knowledge is the what to do and the why, skill is the how to do, and desire is the motivation to want to do (Covey, 1989). For instance, I know I must study to get a good drade on a test but knowing is not enough. I also need to know how to study. Even if I know I have to study and know how to study, I must also want to study. By carrying out all three elements, I will be creating an effective study habbit. Creating efficient habits and replacing my unefficient habbits will play a role in my success in class, in school, and in life in its entirety.
Choosing to be a successful is only part of the equation by putting into practice all these methods and charteristics will help me reach my ultimate goal of college succes. I will continue to improve myself, accept my responsibilities, and take the necessary actions not only to get me across the finish line but also across to the other side. Personal responsibility is recognizing that I have the freedom to control and to choose all of my actions and accept the consequences that come from these actions. Choosing to show initiative, be proactive, manage my time efficiently, and create effective habits will ensure my college success.
Covey, S.R. (1989). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Habit. (2008). In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habit
Jacobs, L.F., & Hyman, J.S. (2010). The Secrets of College Success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Proactive. (1933). In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proactive
Zimmerman, B.J., & Martinez-Pons, M. (1986, Winter). Development of a Structured Interview for Assessing Student Use of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies. America Educational Research Journal, 23(4), 614-628. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1163093