Under this heading Stephen Covey explains to us that he had studied success material that had been published in the United States of America from 1776 forward. He tells us that he noticed in this material that up until about World War One the material taught success principles that were based on things like, integrity, humility, loyalty and patients. Prior to World War one; we are told by Mr. Covey that other things along those lines were emphasized, which would be considered traits of character rather than personality, as well.
However, Stephen shares with us here that, by the time World War Two was over, things were changing to a more artificial concept of success. This change was geared more towards manipulation of others and using techniques to get out of other people the things one wants. And, “When you stop and think about it,” he certainly does have a point. These days, when you read a lot of the available material teaching principles of success; the more honest universally acceptable approach of working on one’s own character and moving towards success with integrity isn’t too heavily emphasized.
Stephen points out that if one is taught to conduct themselves based on positively instilled character traits and principles they tend to move through life more freely because their image of self is more solid. Can you imagine for a moment that what you do is good enough based on what you feel you want to accomplish rather than what someone else feels you ought to accomplish? If you can than you are on the right track to understanding what Mr. Covey is saying here.
A person who has a strong character ethic can move ahead of the crowd more easily because it matters not what the crowd thinks of them. Their own satisfaction with the accomplishments they achieve in life is the only true thing that does matter. “The crowd’s opinion is just senseless noise!”