– STEPHEN R. COVEY
Genre: Self-help, Psychology, Business
What if I told you there were just a few habits that could potentially change your life forever? Would you be skeptical? But what if I provide you my own experience as an illustration? Will you believe me after that?
Rated as the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the 20th century, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold over 25 million copies – making it one of the bestsellers of all time. Stephen Covey has transformed the lives of millions of people with this sensational book.
The book has been divided into 2 parts – Private victory (personal transformation) & Public victory (interpersonal transformation). Each part consists of 3 habits each, and there is an additional habit at the end which unites both the parts.
NOTE: This is a different type of review than the ones I used to do. I found this book of great use for me, which is why I made this review much longer – I want you to learn from this book as much as I did.
In one line
With just a few, applicable habits, you will be able to transform your life.
Habit 1 – Be Proactive
- Covey mentioned that between stimulus and response, you have something that is known as the Freedom to Choose. This concept has prompted me to become more self-aware – leading to better decision making.
- This has given me valuable insights into why everything I do is my own choice – nothing is forced when I think about it deeply. Also taking responsibility for what I do has helped me to act, rather than be acted upon.
“I am what I am because of the choices I made yesterday.”
Habit 2 – Begin With the End in Mind
- This habit highlighted the reasons why you should learn about your destination, even before you actually start it. By knowing where you want to end up, you can then truly plan and guide the things that will lead you there. Without having a proper destination in mind, you will never know where you want to go.
- This is the habit that I have applied the most of all- in the forms of visualization, affirmations, and personal mission statements on a daily basis.
“All things are created twice. First a mental creation, then a physical one.”
Habit 3 – First Things First
- The 1st 2 habits have set the foundation for this habit. By prioritizing important things first, I am able to practice self-management effectively.
- Covey has presented the above matrix in the book, which is popularly known as the Eisenhower Matrix. It will aid you in learning the tasks that should be completed first.
- Most people focus their time on Q1 and Q3 due to its urgent nature, and I am no exception. But in the process, I neglect Q2 just because it isn’t urgent. Thanks to this book, I have realized the importance of prioritizing Q2. By making time for Q2, I know it will reap great dividends in the future – exercise, meditation to name a few.
Habit 4 – Think Win/ Win
- This is the start of public victory, in other words, improvement in our relationships. As the title suggests, you have to consider benefits for yourself as well as for themselves, if you want both the parties to win in the long term.
- I learned why cooperation often leads to better results than the competition in most circumstances.
“Let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way.”
Habit 5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
- How often do we really try to understand from their point of view, without having our biased judgment? Not often for most people, isn’t it? Well, I was no exception. I didn’t even know what emphatic communication really was, before reading this book.
- From this book, I learn that I shouldn’t expect the other person to truly understand my words if I cannot do the same for them, after all, it’s a two-way street.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Habit 6 – Synergize
- As the name suggests, this chapter is all about cooperating with other people and benefitting from what Covey called synergy. I used to think working independently will always yield better results, after all, there’s no one to disturb me.
- It wasn’t until I read this book that I started appreciating people whose perception differed with me. I now constantly endeavor to find diversified people whom I can work together and generate results that I thought wasn’t possible earlier.
“Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.”
Habit 7 – Sharpen The Saw
- This is the habit that surrounds the rest of the habits – making sure all of them are running productively. This short chapter emphasized the significance of having a balanced approach to our well being – physical, social, spiritual, and mental health.
- Learning these components were crucial to me personally, as I started to focus on each of them individually, which has improved my well-being.
“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Another powerful book on self-improvement, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been a real game-changer for me. Applying the core concepts of this book have changed the way I perceive things – thus changing my actions accordingly.
As effective it has been for me. I believe this book will also help you to bring great positive alterations in your life.
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