7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Sep 12, 2019

A Short-Cut to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I attended a workshop a few weeks ago that featured a short recap of the best-selling book (25 million+ copies), first written in 1989, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. He obviously gets full credit for the information to follow, but as I listened to this particular presentation, the seven habits continued to ring very true and relevant. I also wondered how many young people may not be familiar with this classic self-help book?

So, because the key points are still very relevant today, and because a new generation may want to read and learn from the book, I thought it was worth sharing the seven habits:


1 – Be pro-active.Take responsibility for your actions and decisions; not blaming circumstances and external conditions for your behavior.


2 – Begin with the end in mind. Picture and articulate the ultimate goal. What is the big picture? On a very personal level, write your own eulogy or obituary and then live your life to match what you wrote.


3 – Put first things first. We are all so distracted these days. We can’t seem to sit still and we convince ourselves that are effective if we can multitask all day long. Because of that, we often lose sight of “the end in mind.” Work to eliminate distractions that aren’t in line with your ultimate goal.


4 – Think win-win. Highly effective people find a way to find mutual benefit in all human interactions. Doing so leads to healthy and trusting relationships.


5 – Seek first to understand. Listen. Not to reply, but to understand. I love the rationale that there is a reason humans have two ears and only one mouth!


6 – Synergize. As the book states, Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals that no one could have done alone.


7 – Sharpen the saw. I love this one. Invest in yourself. Stay sharp. Keep learning. Explore new things. Seek continuous improvement in yourself.


Finally, I really liked what the workshop presenter said towards the end of his presentation as it related to making yourself better. He said to trust him on the mathematical formula, but if you improve just 1% every day, after 365 days you will have improved just under 38%. That seems like something I can do!

So whatever your goal might be, know that it’s not insurmountable. Chip away at it a little bit every day, and before you know it, you will achieve your goal.

Hopefully, this short summary motivates you in some small way. Perhaps it motivates you to read (or re-read) the full book. It’s definitely worth your time (see, already sharpening the saw!).