My personal notes on the book First Things First.

  • Nature is evenly balanced. We cannot disturb her equilibrium, for we know that the law of Cause and Effect is the unerring and inexorable law of nature; but we do fail to find our own equilibrium as nations and as individuals, because we have not yet learned that the same law works as inexorably in human life and in society as in nature—that what we sow, we must inevitably reap.
  • Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
  • Our lives are the results of our choices. To blame and accuse other people, the environment, or other extrinsic factors is to choose to empower those things to control us.
  • The best way to predict your future is to create it. You can use the same power of creative imagination that enables you to see a goal before you accomplish it or plan a meeting to create much of the quality of your own reality before you live it.
  • Out of the paradigm that principles exist—and that we’re only effective to the degree to which we discover and live in harmony with them - comes a sense of humility. We’re not in control of our lives; principles are. We cease trying to be a law unto ourselves. We cultivate attitudes of teachability, habits of continual learning. We become involved in an ongoing quest to understand and live in harmony with the Laws of Life. We don’t get caught up in the arrogance of values that blinds us to self-awareness and conscience. Our security is not based on the illusion of comparative thinking—I’m better looking, I have more money, I have a better job, or I work harder than somebody else. Nor do we feel any less secure if we’re not as good-looking or have less money or prestige than somebody else. It’s irrelevant. Our security comes from our own integrity to true north.
  • Doing more things faster is no substitute for doing the right things.