The writer of the book ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ is Stephen R. Covey. It was published back in the year 1989, which is basically a self-improvement book. It is entirely based on Stephen believe that the way we see & feel about the world is nothing but based on our own insight or you might say it perception. If you need to change the current situation, you can easily do it by bringing the change in our own selves. How one can bring change in own self? Bringing change in ourselves is changing our own perceptions.
The basic purpose of the book is to let the people know how they can be more effective & happier in their lives. This book isn’t written in a month or so but it is the result of long-term & detailed study of the success principles.
All of us desire for success in our lives & we can easily achieve our aim to be successful in our lives if we identify these 7 habits in ourselves. Everyone out there is recommended to read this fantastic book however if you don’t have much time to read all of its 381 pages, you can have a look at this 7 Habits of highly effective people overview.
#1 Habit: Be Proactive
You are always given two options in your life. Either you choose to control your environment or the environment gets control over you. What does being proactive means? It means that you have to control the environment rather than allowing it to control you.
Stephen believes that the sign of highly effective people is that they make their own decisions wisely, that let them have satisfaction, that let them improve their own lives. They know that reacting simply isn’t going to work rather they have to influence the things around. In this regard, the very first step that you need to take or I should say the step you surely have to take is from dependence to independence. Just believe that you are your own life’s architect. What happens to you doesn’t matter in your life but it is your response to the situation that does.
Just keep in mind that whenever you face any problem in your life, don’t wait for the others to sort out the matter. Rather, you need to take quick steps towards solving your problem, once you have recognized it.
Also Study: 7 Habits of highly Effective People Summary
#2 Habit: Begin With End in mind
This habit ‘Begin with the end in mind’ is all about having a clear destination in your mind. In this regard, Stephen says that a person can make use of imagination power for the vision development of what he/she wants to be. Using your conscience can let you decide what are some specific values that can guide you on the way.
In our lives, we try our best stay victorious all the time, no matter what. All of us usually work hard for getting a win in business, higher income, promotions, and recognition but, none of us take to moment to think what we actually want.
To practice this habit, all you need to do is begin every activity or a plan with vision in your mind. This is the only way you can determine that you are on the right way or in the right direction towards your eventual destination.
#3 Habit: Put First Things First
This habit is all about organizing your activities the right way. It doesn’t only require you the time management but you have to set or follow your priorities as well. Make a discipline to prioritize everyday actions i.e. what is the most important thing to be done & what are the things that don’t require your urgent attention. The things that require urgent attention must be on your to-do list. Also, writing about those things that don’t need immediate action will let you keep your main focus on the things that need immediate attention. Then, determine the right steps to achieve your goals that need instant attention in your life.
We try our level best in this scenario to have the willpower to those things which require our immediate attention, even if we don’t want to do it. Set aside your desires for the moment & take action according to our values. All you need to do is keep your main focus on end results & relationships and the secondary focus on time.
#4 Habit: Think Win-Win
The win-win philosophy says that instead of seeing life as a competitive arena, rather see it as a cooperative one. This philosophy let you create a mindset that thinks in terms of mutual benefits when interacting with other people. You can simply think that getting success doesn’t always require someone else’s failure. It requires you to commit yourself to create a win-win situation, which is mutually beneficial and satisfying for both parties. It requires you to think like there is enough for everyone out there.
Stephen says that when we talk about human interactions, there are basically the six paradigms, which are the following:
- Win-Win: Both win.
- Win-Lose: If I win, you lose.
- Lose-Win: I lose, if you win.
- Lose-Lose: Both lose.
- Win: don’t care about success or failure of others. The thing that matters is own success.
- Win-Win/No deal: Can’t reach a mutually beneficial agreement? No deal.
From all the above options, the best thing is to develop a win-win situation, which is beneficial for both ends, as already mentioned.
When someone is suffering through a difficult situation, he also needs to understand that the problem doesn’t lie in the people, but in the system. When you choose to work for the betterment of the entire system & try your level best to make it work for all the people involved, a plenty of difficult problems will be resolved this way and you are more likely to avoid them in your future as well.
#5 Habit: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood
This habit is all about listening to others. Before you give your opinion, advice or suggestion to somebody else, always chose to listen them first to understand them and also their perspective. At present, the reason behind most of our disputes or problems is that we don’t consider listening to others rather try to impose our opinion on other party all of a sudden.
The successful and healthy interactions with others always demand to understand to understand the other person well that what he is actually trying to say. You can practice this habit by focusing on what others are trying to say, interpret them well & then give opinion or suggestion. Good listening skills are always necessary to develop & maintain the healthy & positive relationships in every aspect of your life.
The most vital thing to mention here is that this habit is really powerful because it is always great to understand the other person first and then seek to be understood. When the people all around understand each other will, it leads you to a third alternative, that is, win-win solution.
#6 Habit: Synergize
Synergize, the 6th habit is all about the habit of creative cooperation. You might have listened to the theory that whole is always bigger than the sum of its parts. Let us take the example of a plant from daily life. Let’s say, if you plant two different plants close to each other somewhere, their roots will co-mingle & the quality of soil will be improved. In this scenario, the resultant plant that grows from the combination of two will be much better than those that would have grown individually.
Creative cooperation is based on this theory as well. Stephen believes that when people decide to work in a crew, they can produce the best ever & matchless results than performing individually.
So, basically, this habit is all about open-mindedness & value of teamwork. The reason is that the interaction with others, listening to their opinions & working in a team always give you new insights. All you need to do is understand & value the differences amongst people & strive to construct creative solutions via interactions.
Summarizing all the above things, Synergize let you discover the amazing things altogether which are otherwise much less likely to discover by an individual working out on something alone.
#7 Habit: Sharpen the Saw
This last but not the least habit is about personal growth & renewal. For the moment, take an example of a machine. If not taken care well, it will eventually wear out and become useless at some point. So, you need to maintain it properly to make it productive for a long run. The same case applies to personal productivity. Always remember the fact that you need enough time to take care of yourself. It keeps you on the path of ongoing improvement, which consequently makes you productive & you become strong enough to face various challenges of your life.
In short, this habit is all about renewing yourself in the following four dimensions:
What ongoing physical improvement demands? It is about exercising on a regular basis so that our body could have the capacity to work & enjoy.
- Eat healthy & eat well.
- Take a rest & relax.
- Make regular exercise a part of your routine.
What ongoing mental improvement demands? It is all about renewing your mental health or to sharpen the intellectual abilities to continue expanding your mind.
- Read good books.
- Go for writing.
- Watch your favourite TV programs.
What ongoing social improvement demands? It is all about renewing yourself socially for the development of healthy & strong relationships with others.
- Seek to understand others well at a deeper level.
- Try to be the reason for improving the lives of others.
- Try to be the reason for someone else’s success.
What ongoing spiritual improvement demands? It is all about renewing our spiritual self to reinforce your commitment to your value system or to proffer leadership to your life.
- Daily medication.
- Communication or interaction with nature.
- Spiritual reading or music.
By improving or renewing yourselves in these four dimensions, you will for sure create growth, which will lead you towards positive changes in your life.