Most of us, strive to become independent. It does feel empowering to be independent. Even I, have at some point in my life longed for same. There are however different layers or levels to independence. Some wants to be financially independent, others aim for independence in their businesses, relationships, from family, among others.
The more we grow and mature, we become the more independent both physically, mentally, emotionally and financially, until we can essentially take care of ourselves, becoming self-reliant and inner-directed.
As Stephen R. Covey explained, we individually move progressively on a maturity continuum from dependence to independence. But make no mistake, this progressive maturity continuum does not stop at independence, there’s another that is much better.
Stephen R. Covey
Through the maturity continuum, dependence is that stage where others take responsibility for you, they make choices for you. Dependent individuals, need people to get what they want.
Independence is when you take responsibility for yourself, you are self-reliant and you make your choices. Independent individuals, get what they want by their own effort. It empowers them to act, rather than be acted upon. But it is not the ultimate goal for effective living.
After becoming independent, what’s next?
We only aim toward becoming independent, but is that the best we can do? Is there some level else that we need to attain, which could be better than independence?
What could be more ultimate than independence?
Well, more than independence is what is called interdependence.
Interdependence entails we can cooperate or work together. We can combine our talents and abilities and create even better results. Interdependent people, combine their effort and that of others to achieve their set goals.
Why is Interdependence significant?
It increases efficiency and ability to achieve more success. It produces delegation, which is vital and sought for by many employers and organizations.
Stephen says, “as an interdependent person, you have the opportunity to share yourself deeply, meaningfully, with others, and you have access to the vast resources and potential of other human beings.”
So, don’t stop at being independent, but develop the character for interdependence.
Reference: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey