The author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey presents a comprehensive and fundamental approach for solving personal and professional problems. Covey points out observations and real life scenarios in which makes the reader open their eyes and actually think about what if they were put in a difficult situation. He reveals a step-by-step pathway in order for us to adapt to changes in a world with honesty and morality to take advantage of the open opportunities that change creates.
Habit 1: Be Proactive- The most important thing that we as humans have is that we have the ability to think. We have the ability to choose our thoughts and control our minds. We have the capability to be able to control our moods, feelings, and thoughts and by doing this we are able to control our circumstances and conditions. As we may already know, proactive means taking initiative. According to Corey, we should become proactive in order for us to take full responsibility of our life.
We make things happen when we take action. Also Corey discussed how there are two types obstacles we face in our life. The first one is that there are problems that you can do something about it in order to reduce it or eliminate that problem and then there are the problems that we have no control over them. Corey, advices us to focus our time on the problems that we have control over and take action instead of wasting time on events that we can’t control.
Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind- For this habit Corey encouraged the reader to imagine being in a funeral and the one in the casket is ourselves. How would we like to be remembered as? This really made me think about all my achievements and contributions if I have really been doing something and I realized I haven’t done as much as I could. This made me develop a personal mission statement that focuses on what I want to be and do in life.
Habit 3: Put First Thing First- This is the most powerful and effective habit because it is about time and life management. Corey suggests that we should divide all the things we do into two categories which would be the important and not important. In order to be able to do this we need to know the one thing that we could do on a regular basis that will make a positive difference in our life. We should not spend our time doing unimportant tasks. In order to be more proactive we need to set priorities.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win- This habit teaches us to work together in order to seek mutual benefits. This encourages us to see other people as cooperative rather than competitor. Most people think about a win-lose mentality however that is not the case. To become more effective we should work with other people to get leverage of the abilities and strengths of other people. This is essential to become successful.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood- Covey explains that communication is the most important skill in life. There are four basic types of communication which are reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Listening to what others say is the most important factor in good communication. To become effective we need to listen and understand what other people are saying. Corey gave a few examples such as a good salesperson first understands the needs of others, a good doctor first understands the problems of the patient, a good lawyer first gathers all the facts to understand the situation.
Habit 6: Synergize- Synergy is almost as if a group of people collectively wish to work together to create some productive things. Synergy is making improvements and creating something new with the cooperation of others. To be effective we need to value the physical differences between people to create new opportunities for each other.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw- This last habit encourages us to take some time off to improve our skills because according to Covey the greatest habit we have is ourselves. Covey recommends that we need to invest some time and money on ourselves to improve our skills because this will be the best investment we can make. Some suggestions to sharpen our saw is to exercise, meditate, formal education, leadership, and communication. The book is very fascinating because it has solid advice that can improve our life. This teaches the reader to become more productive and effective.