Stephen Covey talks about what your center is, which is a super profound concept.
He asks if your center is your family, your marriage, your job, your church, your status, your job, etc. And then, he goes on to ask, what will happen if/when you lose those things?
Imagine someone who’s family is their absolute center… and then they get a divorce and their kids hate them (or go down very difficult paths and lose the relationship). Then what? What does it mean when your center goes away?
Brian Schnabel writes that centers are “those things that we derive our self-worth and identity from.” He says “[Covey] points out that many times our centers may change depending upon outside influences; leaving many people with a feeling of low self-worth and little to know personal identity.”
Oh. Well that sucks.
Covey is not saying you shouldn’t love your family, or have relationships with your family, or make them a big part of your life. What, then, is he saying?
He’s saying that your center should be but he is saying that your center has to be principle-focused. Look at this, on or around page 125:
Many JibberJobber users who feel devastated when losing their job have had their job, status, title, etc. as their center. And then it went away, and your self-worth evaporated. You questioned the very core of who you are and whether you have anything to offer to anyone. You feel lost. Your center was not stable, and the results were instability in every aspect of your life. Same thing if your center is any of the spokes in the image above.
If you are feeling lost and without any stability in your life, go to the library and read Chapter 2 of 7 Habits. Take notes, and ponder what you are reading. Define what your center is, and why it is the right center. Define why this center is better, more stable, and different than what you have had in the past, and how that will help you in the future.
This might be one of the most important career management tactics that you spend time on, ever.