How can 7 Habits change your life?
Stephen Covey seems to have the answer to this question. His book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” continues to be a business bestseller. It was published in the early 90s, and quickly it became one of the best-selling books in those few years. The readers showed their admiration and appreciation for the book by praising and recommending it to their relatives and friends (word of mouth marketing). The reason why so many people show their admiration for the content, was because it answered the mundane concerns known to every person.
The summary below brings in the front line the main ideas from the book. Read on if you want to find out by yourself why so many people found this book helpful in changing their lives.
Who Should Read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”? and Why?
“The seven habits of highly effective people” is a book published in the early 90s and not long after that, it became one of the greatest books ever written in that period. They were put on paper after more than 30 years of observation, practice, and study.
When asked how he came up with the idea of the 7 Habits, Stephen Covey admitted that these are like natural laws that he just put together and explained to the people.
One idea that is particularly interesting is the fact that he did not want people to become more successful after reading and implementing the habits. Instead, he tried to define leadership. To build character and thus to become better leaders.
His reasons were not focused on material wealth and success in one’s career. This is more about being a better person in all the fields of your life.
So all of you, read this book, become the best person you can be, and the rest will follow automatically.
About Stephen R. Covey
Stephen R. Covey was an American-born businessman, author, motivator, and a speaker that spent almost his entire life in the USA.
He was born back on October 24, 1932, in Salt Lake City, Utah, after a long contribution to society and tremendous career, Covey passed away on July 16, 2012, at the age of 79.
Stephen R. Covey was the vice-chairman of Franklin Covey Corporation and the founder and CEO of his Covey Leadership Center. He taught students the basics of Principle-Centered Living and Leadership, and above all, he will remain remembered as a writer and an author of several books including “The 7 habits of highly effective people”.
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary”
Let’s get these straight, competent people are not the rich ones; they are the ones who never give up. Always seeking ways to improve, always struggling to get to the next level.
Our book summary is only one small portion that indicates why you should become the next “Person” whose actions will create value. For centuries the world demanded such a life-altering masterpiece that finally came.
Sooner or later, you are bound to sorry for something you haven’t done, out of laziness or lack of ambition.
Stephen R. Covey handled the old, moral and ethical traditions that accompanied people for hundreds of years by enforcing a new vision based on ethical and traditional principles. That idea developed a concept which was appropriate to the modern era. By implementing the seven habits, you will manage to go from a dependent to an independent and finally to an interdependent stage. Independence is not the final line.
Before he unravels the first habit, Stephen Covey feels the need to give a personal example from his family life. And he used this particular case to explain the importance of the paradigms we use when we are looking at those around us.
His relationship with his teenage son changed for the better only when Covey was able to stop putting pressure and expectations on the young boy. When he accepted and loved him for who he was. That was the point when a dramatic change took place, and the boy started to flourish.
And that’s because we live in a society surrounded by other humans and we need to evolve to this higher state.
Be Proactive. This is the first habit. To inspire us to be more proactive, Stephen Covey describes the situation of Viktor Franklin, a Holocaust Survivor. In the darkest hours of humanity, Viktor Franklin managed to go on and find meaning in everything that happened. Being proactive means to accept our responsibilities.
Means to do the best we can with what we have and stop complaining about our circumstances. But we are the only ones that have the power to decide about how we will react to them.
The things we cannot control go into what Stephen Covey calls Circle of Concern. The things we can do something about, go into our Circle of Influence.
And being proactive means spending more time in the Circle of Influence than in the Circle of Concern.
“Begin with the end in mind.” This is how Stephen Covey named the second habit.
This idea can also be seen as “look at the bigger picture” of a project. But Stephen Covey wants you to think about every action, every decision you make, from a higher perspective. What you need is to think about the end of your life and imagine how you would like people to remember you. About what legacy you wish to leave behind. Every step is going in that direction, and you have the choice day by day to build a personality that will be remembered in a certain way.
The 3rd habit is called “Put first things first.” This chapter focuses on developing leadership abilities and explaining the difference between management and leadership. It’s all about setting our priorities before we start working on something. You will see in this part of the book, the four quadrants of Time Management.
Many people believe that the activities presented in the first quadrant, the ones that are urgent and important should have our primary focus during the day. But it’s the second quadrant, the activities that are important, but not critical, that you need to take care of.
These are usually preventive activities, small steps that you need to take day by day to achieve your personal development goals or to prevent something terrible from happening. If you want to be healthy, you need to eat right and exercise regularly.
Otherwise, illness or obesity will appear as emergencies in quadrant 1.
The 4th habit called “Think Win/Win” shows you how important it is to listen actively when you are in a meeting and to try and do the best you can do for your business partners. By showing them a Win/Win solution and developing an attitude that wants to collaborate and find answers, not just gain profit, in the long term you will achieve great success.
The 5th habit is in perfect continuity and accordance with the previous one, and it’s called: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
You have to pay close attention to what the people around you want, and also you have to sit and reflect on their needs rather than just be in a hurry to give back an answer.
Soon you will realize that they open up so much more and they relate to you differently. Especially in business meetings, try to understand what your partners need. Make things clear by asking a lot of questions and show them your desire to understand really.
Habit 6 is called “Synergize”: This is a part that challenges us to deal with the difference we find in others. To try and see if we can find common ground. And maybe even to create something new and unique.
When you have two entirely different points of view, you can look for a 3rd one. This alternative represents the synergy of those two ideas. In a company, for example, it’s crucial to combine the strengths of more people. And it is also vital to focus on teamwork to achieve better results than if the task would have been done by a single individual.
The 7th and last habit is called “Sharpen the saw”. This is the habit that, as Stephen Covey likes to say, surrounds all the other habits and makes sure you know how to take care of all your needs.
Key Lessons from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”:
1. Effectiveness vs. Passivity- Be Proactive
2. Reach your goals effectively- Begin with the End in Mind
3. Know when and how to act-Put First Things First
“Effectiveness vs. Passivity- Be Proactive.”
Highly effective people are not the passive ones, the effective ones take the initiative, they are born leaders, not bosses, or in other words, they are simply proactive. Delayers always complain, when they encounter an obstacle down the road, they’ll just give up.
Leaders or active individuals, however, are those who act all the time, those brave enough take full responsibility for their own life’s success and failures. The leaders notice the inner strength that dwells within them, that strength is combined with freedom.
For a person to define itself as free of mind, first that individual must be able to cope with different situations and be prepared to face the consequences of personal choices. Not even leaders have the power to influence the surroundings, but they are more than capable of making the best out of them.
“Reach your goals effectively-Begin with the End in Mind.”
Analyze your goals carefully and see if they are realistic. A Large portion of the population spends a lifetime meaninglessly without having any long-term ideas, and if they have some, quite often these ideas are proven to be meaningless, unrealistic or even harmful.
For example, You probably have a celebrity that you admire and love (secretly or publicly) with all your heart.
You see them on television, covers of commercial magazines, and Covey is sure that you’ve noticed so far that these so-called “successful celebrities” are more prone to depression and anxiety issues than a normal person.
They’ve become rich and powerful, but that came with a price. Effectiveness is not just reaching a goal is much more than that; efficiency is achieving a goal without having to pay a big price for it.
“Know when and how to act-Put First Things First”
As explained earlier Covey wants you to act, but what is more important than an active person? – Knowing when and how to move, be determined and enthusiastic when you meet obstacles along the path and adapt your approach to different surroundings if necessary.
But what stands behind all that habits? Can The seven habit work on their own?
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“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Quotes
Our Critical Review
This book gives intuitive tips for people who have already worked on their productivity. Hence such readers may find a significant portion of the content repetitive. However, for people who like researched guidelines to a better life, this may be just the read they need.