The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey
Aurélia Robert
By Stephen Covey

Why Read This Book?

You probably already know this book – a must in the self-improvement field – and if you don’t then here is your chance to discover it! Covey believes that our perception of the world defines the way we understand and interpret it.

If you want to change a situation to get the best outcomes for yourself, you first need to change yourself. And to change yourself, you need to be able to shift your perspectives of life.

​“We see the world not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it.”
 
– Stephen Covey
 

This book can help you if:

  • You want to take control of your life by being proactive.

  • You want to become more efficient and effective.

  • You want to understand people who surround you better.

  • You want to bring more positive results in your life.

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Short Summary

In a nutshell: Through 7 habits, this book helps you to stop reacting to life’s situations by taking control of your life and get the results that you want.

​​Habits 1, 2, and 3 focus on self-mastery and going shifting from dependence to independence.

​1. Be Proactive​

​You are the one in charge of your life, and results. You are the one choosing how you live your life and by becoming fully aware of it, you start taking responsibility for your actions.

You have the ability to respond to situations and you can do so by focusing on your Circle of Influence, which he explains in his book.

In order words: you go from being reactive “He makes me so angry” to be proactive “I control my feelings and I feel angry”.

2. Begin with the End in Mind

Our life is a journey, and you can decide to create smaller ones for different aspects of your life by determining a point B (a goal or a vision). Your imagination is only limited by you.

Once you free it, you can let it work for you to develop a vision and use your conscience to decide what you want to do and where you want to go while being guided by your values. By starting with the end in mind instead of letting yourself being ‘busy’ with a tremendous amount of ‘things to do’, you will become more self-aware, empower yourself, and thus shape your own life.

3. Put First Things First

​We tend to react too often to urgent things instead of important ones. And if we react to important things, we tend to focus on the important but non-urgent ones. Through a Quadrant technique, Covey shows you how you can focus and prioritize tasks that are important and urgent, to increase your effectiveness and focus on what really matters.

Habits 4,5, and 6 focus on developing communication skills, team-work, collaboration, and shifting from independence to interdependence.

4. Think Win-Win

​If you want to create interdependent relationships you need to commit to creating Win-Win situations, meaning that the agreement will be beneficial and positive for you and the other person.

​5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

​This habit is basically about active listening. It’s not about finding the solution that you think would work for that person or by projecting your world or by assuming things that the person didn’t even mention. This habit is about understanding the person in front of you, actively listening to her or him, and only then you can try to make someone understands you.

​6. Synergize

​Habit 6 is based on understanding and positively considering the other person’s perspective. That way, you will be able to establish a healthy synergy in order to create new alternatives that will be beneficial for yourself and others. Synergy enables you to create positive energy, be brave in interdependent situations, be creative to find solutions, and value others’ perspectives of the world.

Habit 7 focuses on on-going growth and development while embodying all the habits.

7. Sharpen the Saw

​To truly be effective, you need to create time for yourself to renew your spiritual, physical, social, and mental aspects. From eating healthy, meditating, reading to helping others, you will be able to greatly improve your mindset, which will impact your emotional state, your actions and so your life’s results.

Review

​By reading this book and becoming more proactive, I:

  • Became more efficient and effective.

  • Have more time for myself and the ones I love.

  • Understand people better.

If you’re not use to read non-fiction books, you might need to time to read this one. But don’t worry, it is easy to understand and to apply in your life!

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Aurélia Robert
By Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey

Stephen Richards Covey (1932 – 2012) was an American businessman, author, keynote speaker, and educator. His most popular book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey also wrote other books such as First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Family, The 8th Habit, and The Leader In Me – How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time. In 1996, Time Magazine named Covey as one of the 25 most influential people. He was a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University at the time of his death.