The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a #1 National Bestseller book on personal development, written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 15 million copies since its first publication in 1989.
In this book Covey describes seven habits of successful people. Habits are the activities that we repeatedly do in the same manner, day after day. Our character is a composite of our habits. If you want to become successful, you need to adopt these seven habits.
The author says that whatever your present situation is, you are not your habits. You can replace old destructive habits with new habits of effectiveness, happiness and trust-based relationship. There are many honest people in this world like you who are willing to change the destructive habits. You just need to examine and find out your bad habits to replace them with these seven habits.
The seven habits described in this book are based on natural laws and if you adopt them, they will surely bring the maximum long-term beneficial results for you.
People perceive the world differently. We all have our own paradigm and we see things according to our paradigms. Look at the picture on the right side, some people would say that it is a picture of an old lady while others see a beautiful lady in this picture.
If you want to change your life, you must first change the way you look at the things, you should focus on improving your personal attitude and behavior. After describing the importance of attitude and behavior, the author reveals the seven most effective habits that are following:
1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with the End in Mind
3. Put First Thing First
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood
7. Sharpen your Saw
1. Be Proactive
The most important things that the humans have is their ability to think. Animals do not have this ability. Only humans have the freedom to choose their thoughts. You can control your mind. You have the ability to control your moods, feelings and thoughts and by doing this you can change your circumstances and conditions.
Proactive means taking initiatives. You need to become proactive, you need to take full responsibility of your life. You have ability to take actions and make things happen.
There are two kinds of problems or obstacles we face in our life. First type are the problems you can do something to reduce them, while other problems just occur in your life, you don’t have any control on them.
The author suggests to focus your time on what you can control instead of spending your time focusing on events that you can not control. Take some actions to reduce your problems.
2. Begin With the End in Mind
In this chapter, you need to imagine, what the other people are saying and thinking about you if you are dead and they have come on your funeral?
What character would you like them to have seen in you? What achievements and contributions would you want them to remember? The things you want them to say about you, are your core values so from now you should work on those values.
You should develop a personal mission statement that focuses on what you want to be and do in your life.
3. Put First Thing First
All the things you do daily can be divided in two categories they are either urgent and important or not urgent and not important. You should ask yourself this question “What one thing could you do that if you do on regular basis would make a tremendous positive difference in your life?”
You should remind yourself the Pareto principle that states that 80% of the results flow out of 20% of the activities. You need to focus on those most important 20% activities that generate 80% result. You should not spend time doing unimportant tasks. Set priorities to become more productive.
4. Think Win-Win
It is based on the theory that there is plenty in this world for everybody and one person’s success should not be achieved at the expense of the success of others.
Normally people think that if I win you lose. Most people have been deeply scripted in the win-lose mentality since birth. We are being programmed that this world is a zero sum game where some people win while other lose.
To become more effective you should work with other people to get leverage of the abilities and strengths of other people. This habit is essential to become successful.
Final Thoughts on This Book
This is just a brief summary of this amazing book, the full book is very fascinating and comprehensive. It has solid advice that can improve your life. Everyone who wants to become more productive and effective should read this book.
No personal development book’s list can be complete without including this book. I highly recommend this book to you, buy it, read it. Be proactive. This is a super success book.
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