The Third Alternative

My Pondering

I am listening and pondering the book The 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People). He says this concept is the most critical, which I tried to summarize in the above info-pic.

It’s quite a noble pursuit and one I think we should always pursue. It is the essence of relationship with everyone and should be our goal in every interaction and dispute.

Mr. Covey says that its the #1 problem solving solution in existence.

It not like an mathematical algorithm but more so a paradigm of thinking.

We need a new way of thinking to solve the most challenging problems we face. We need to lose our natural selfish innate inclination of ‘me verses you’ but strive for ‘me times you’ where we both win and true synergy happens.

For this to occur, it requires mutual respect and trust. A shared perspective is required. A willingness to see and listen is paramount.

Covey asks us to start like this (my interpretation):

See me – We need to know thyself first. We need to examine our purpose, motives, inclinations and so forth first.

See you – We also need to seek to understand others, gain their perspective and want to see others prosper. A rising tide lifts all ships. We need to see life as one of ever increasing abundance and not limited win / lose. It’s not a zero sum game and no man is ‘self-made solely’ nor ‘an island to himself’.

Seek you – Seeing is not enough. We must seek and pursue. Like most everything, we find what we look for. Wanting is not enough, we must do. The best way to gain friends to be one. To be one, we need to seek. The Good Book tell us, ‘Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you.’

Covey discusses the concept of Ubuntu, an African derivative word. It basically means that we are all interconnected as we relate to one another. That at a deep level, people groups are interconnected. That our actions effect one another. It’s a spirit of unity and connection.

There are natural opposition to everything. Covey recognizes this but seems to downplay the differences merely on having a different perspective, a flawed paradigm. No doubt, this is a huge problem in that just because we are different doesn’t mean we should be at odds. This is one of America’s greatest challenges being the proverbial melting pot of the world yet it is our greatest strength.

Together, in proper synergy, we are stronger than apart. He references the integrated strength of combining three separate metals, iron – nickel – chrome provide 70% greater strength than separate. And geese flying in a V format fly faster with less effort with their collective updraft from the groups wings.

So yes, let’s pursue that but what if the other party doesn’t see themselves, doesn’t see you, nor as an interest in being sought?

What if the other party is principally at odds, not preferences but hard core essential principles? What if irreconcilable differences exist?

A tried and true saying I especially like goes like this:

Unity in principles

Grace in preferences

Love in all

Sometimes love needs to be tough. If we can be unified in principles, true core essentials, then separation is required at least until reconciliation is possible, which should always be the goal.

Final Thought

This blog is two dimensional thinking, linear which ain’t bad but when we seek God first and foremost then whew! That’s 3D thinking and abundant living. Check this out Rainbow

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