#Agile: Improve your daily life while working on your basic roots of paradigms

Vacation is reflection time for me as well, so I bought a classic from Steven R. Covey. For some some of you this might be boring or bathetic, but Covey taught me a real big lesson about attitudes and behaviors. For most of you, it may be an easy one to understand that attitudes and behaviors are based on paradigms. Covey describes paradigms to see them as maps. But a map does not fit to all territories. For example if you have a map of Frankfurt and you are in Berlin, it will be hard to get to the center or even frustrating.

“You might work on your behavior – you could try harder, be more diligent, double your speed. But your efforts would only succeed in getting you to the wrong place faster.

You might work on you attitude – you could think more positively. You still wouldn’t get to the right place, but perhaps wouldn’t care. Your attitude would be so positive, you’d be happy wherever you are.

The point is, you’d still be lost. The fundamental problem has nothing to do with your behavior or your attitude. It has everything to do with having a wrong map.”


And Covey explains paradigms by an easy illustration:

“Do you see a woman? How old would you say she is? What does she look like? What is she wearing? In what kind of roles do you see her?”

Young Lady


“But what if I were to tell you that you’re wrong? What if I said this picture is of a woman in her 60’s or 70’s who looks sad and has a huge nose? Who’s right? Look at the picture again.”

Young Lady in Black

Try to focus on the nose – it is important to see the old lady first, before you continue to the next picture.

For those who are not able to see the old lady in picture 2, there is another one here:

Old Lady

This simple example brings up discussions about what you see and what you don’t – and they are not logical, they are psychological, based on your paradigms.

I wrote about the post The right attitude for #scrum and #life a view weeks ago which are based on my paradigms. So the next step will conclude into this:

I believe Covey shows a basic example in the daily life of everybody. I deal with similar issues every day when it comes to customer requirements, discussions about user stories, tasks and priorities. So I hope those simple examples helps to improve our daily life.

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