How You Can Improve Your Life With Steven Covey’s” The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”
By K. Petit
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey is a book I reference often. Consider Mr. Covey’s analysis of characteristics shared by individuals who felt content and satisfied with their lives.
The first habit theses highly effective people had in common was being proactive. This means they always felt they had choices and took responsibility for their own actions instead of waiting for things to happen. They believed individual choices carry a lot of weight. A person who waits for actions to happen to him before making a decision is reactive, not proactive. He needs to realize his ability to be proactive before embracing the other six effective habits.
The second habit is to begin with the end in mind. Decide what will ultimately fulfill you the most, whether it be business success, having a family, or humanitarian endeavors. See where you want to be and work toward that goal. A lot of careers turn into jobs that offer little satisfaction and become drudgery.
The third habit Mr. Covey believes is a direct result of implementing the first two of the 7 habits. Make your own choices and make those decisions with your personal goals in mind. Then the third habit comes into play: time management and identifying priorities. You will be able to see what is important as well as unimportant in achieving your goals.
The fourth is a favorite of mine; it deals in finding solutions that can benefit both parties in a dispute. Mr. Covey cites instances where effective people create “win-win” situations.
Fifth in the 7 habits of highly effective people is ‘seek first to understand’. Everyone wants to be understood. Learn how to not only hear the other person, but listen to him, understand what is wanted, and doors will open.
Next comes the concept of synergy, a way to share ideas to find mutually beneficial solutions. People freely brainstorming ideas together often will find answers everybody likes that no one person may have thought of on his own.
The last habit is called ‘Sharpening the Saw’ and Mr. Covey uses four aspects to describe this habit: body, mind, spirit, and interpersonal. He found that effective people incorporate meditation, quest for knowledge and self-care into their daily lives. They tend to eat well and get regular exercise.
These 7 habits lead to personal satisfaction, healthy relationships and successful outcomes. The book is well worth reading and developing these habits will benefit anyone.
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