In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about the concept of “active love.” The author relates an anecdote in which a married man tells Covey that he and his wife no longer love each other and that he needs Covey’s advice for how to proceed. Covey asks him if he’s tried loving her. The man reiterates that the love is gone and that they’ve given up. Covey says that love isn’t an object you find or lose but that it is a verb, an action. He asks if the man has tried to be loving to his wife by cherishing her, listening to her, and being there for her without expecting anything in return.
After reading this I was blown away. I’d always looked at love like a transaction: I give you this and you give me that. In fact, one of the major reasons my girlfriend and I got into fights was because of my expectations. I wanted to be a loving guy, but only if I knew I was going to get equal loving in return. I employed Covey’s philosophy right away. Whenever a situation that would normally rile us up arose, before we could get back into the same pattern, I made the effort instead to actively lover her by listening and cherishing her.
This was extremely difficult at first because I was so used to getting angry. I combined this method of active love with some additional techniques like sending thoughts of love her way. While there is no way of knowing if that had any effect on her, it certainly tended to curb my own anger.
Over time our relationship began to improve in every possible facet. The fights practically topped for good and I had one fewer excuse for my “writer’s block.” I am not surprised in the slightest that I became much more successful as a writer as our relationship mended. In fact, my girlfriend is one of my biggest supporters, helping me to design my book covers and offering me indispensable guidance.
If you feel that your emotions tied to your spouse or loved ones tend to get in the way of your writing or living, I fully recommend the process of active love. It is always difficult to break the negative patterns you have with a loved one, but once you do you may find a drastic improvement in your life and your creativity. It is true that “all you need is love,” just make sure it’s the right kind.
````````````````````````````` GIVEAWAY ````````````
Bryan Cohen is giving away 100 personalized writing prompts to one giveaway entrant chosen at random during the blog tour. Personalized prompts are story starters that cater specifically to a writer’s subject matter, strengths/weaknesses, etc. Cohen will create the prompts to cater exclusively to the winner. He is giving away free digital copies of his book The Writing Sampler to everybody who enters, which includes excerpts from each of his four books on writing. The book contains essays, writing prompts and tips and tricks to enhance your writing skills. In addition, for each of Cohen’s books that reach the Top 500 on Amazon during his blog tour, he will add a $50 Amazon gift card to the drawing (up to six $50 cards in total)!
To enter, simply post a comment to this blog post with your e-mail address. Entries will be counted through June 2nd, 2011.
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. Since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he has written four books (1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Sharpening the Pencil: Essays on Writing, Motivation, and Enjoying your Life, and Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job), several plays (Something from Nothing and Chekhov Kegstand: A Dorm Room Dramedy in Two Acts) and he was the head writer for an un-produced Web series (Covenant Coffee). His writing and motivation website Build Creative Writing Ideas has had over 100,000 visitors since it was founded in December 2008. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @buildcwideas.
Thanks Wendy for being a part of my blog tour! Feel free to comment y'all, to enter into the giveaway :). Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.comReplyDelete
What a neat giveaway! Thanks for hosting.ReplyDelete
lexigurl_17 (at) hotmail (dot) com
Count me in for the giveaway !ReplyDelete
raluk.93 (at) gmail (dot) com
i love to win this thank-youReplyDelete
I have that book"7 habits.." but I never read it. That is from my father's collection. Same scenario in my life I have so I need to read it now. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Crossing my fingers! Thanks for the great giveaway :)ReplyDelete
rnwpbriggs at gmail dot com
Don't enter many contests. Running around my chair 3 times. Does that really work? We shall see! Would really love to win this one! Larkin@gmx.comReplyDelete
That book, 7 habits of highly effective people is one of my most recommended, my dad bought it for me when I turned 18. IT's great.ReplyDelete
very interesting.. i may have to give this technique a tryReplyDelete
addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com
Very cool. And the Writing Sampler sounds great! Always in need of more help.ReplyDelete
reviewsbyabby at gmail dot com
I like that Stephen Covey work too!ReplyDelete
What a great giveaway! Thanks!ReplyDelete
melissamcnicol AT yahoo DOT com
When I first started blogging, I would sit down at the computer and log in and then sit there, waiting for the muse to tap me on the shoulder. Of course, when I was away from my computer, I had all kinds of great ideas for posts. So, I started writing down the ideas, or if I was at work, I'd email myself a thought or an inspiring article. Sometimes then, the blog actually got written. I think the prompts would help in much the same way.ReplyDelete
That's very interesting what you wrote about Covey and love and your relationship with your girlfriend. Sometimes, you just need something to make you look at your situation a different way.
A writing example of this -- as a broadcast news producer, I am often tasked with taking a press release and/or an interview and/or AP wire copy and re-writing it for my newscast. Other times, I have to take a two-minute packaged piece and cut it down to a 25-second anchor-read story, to make it fit the segment. When I first started producing, I could get stuck on a story and get really frustrated trying to make it work. After a while, I realized that instead of "cutting down" a longer story - slashing a line here, deleting a few words here and there - I needed to write it fresh, from the start. A new approach can make all the difference in the world. It's the obvious thing to do, and yet it took me months to figure it out.