7 Habits of Highly Effective People | Book Summary

Book Name- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Author- Stephen Covey

We often wonder how some people are highly successful and happy with their lives. We think they are just very lucky.

Are you the also one who thinks this way sometimes?

Well, the secret ingredients of the recipe for success do not include luck. The real golden secret ingredients are the habits.

But the basic thing is success does not come by copying some bullet list from successful people.

A real change always comes from inside.

The most fundamental way to change yourself is to change the way you look at the world.

For this purpose, Sir Stephen Covey has written a very wonderful self-improvement book named as “7 habits of highly effective people”.

This book covers the habits required for success in personal and social life.

Structure and Purpose of habits

The 7 habits are basically structured in three parts.

1- PRIVATE VICTORY (Independence)

For the purpose of self-confidence and self-knowledge require three following habits.

Habit 1– Be Proactive (Personal vision)

Habit 2– Start with the end in mind (Personal leadership)

Habit 3– Put first things first (Personal management)


2- PUBLIC VICTORY (Interdependence)

In order to cultivate, rebuild and improve relationships requires following three habits.

Habit 4– Think win-win (Interpersonal leadership)

Habit 5– Seek first to understand, Then to be understood (Empathic communication)

Habit 6– Synergise (Creative cooperation)


3- RENEWAL (Sustainable growth)

For the purpose of continuous growth and improvement.

Habit 7– Sharpen the saw (Keep improving)


7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 1- BE PROACTIVE

7 habits of highly effective people books summary
  • Being proactive means acknowledging the fact that you are the architect of your own life.
  • It simply means taking full responsibility and ownership of your life.
  • It is the exercise of the power of choice between the stimulus provided by the world and your reaction.
  • If you can control your power of choice then you can effectively create your own reality.
  • You cannot control what the world says or do. But you can control your actions and reactions (circle of influence).
  • If you will try to focus on things that you cannot control (circle of concern), you will only spoil your mood and waste time and energy.
  • Rather than focusing on the circle of concerns, try focusing on your circle of influence.

Habit 2- BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

7 habits of highly effective people books summary
  • Beginning with the end in mind means having clarity about what you want to be and what you want to accomplish in life.
  • This is a habit of having clarity of vision, principles, values, goals, and purpose.
  • First of all, comes the mental creation then comes the physical creation. This way our thoughts become our reality.
  • Taking into consideration the principles and values, you will approach every decision or event of your life with a higher level of confidence and clarity.
  • In order to make sure that your values and goals are aligned, Sir Covey recommends you to write down a personal mission statement.
  • Your mission statement should include what you want to be and what you want to accomplish with your principles and goals.

Habit 3- PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST

7 habits of highly effective people books summary
  • To put first things first means focusing on the most important or high-value activities first.
  • This is the habit of priority management. This way you must know what your priorities are and whatnot.
  • Once you are clear about your goals, it’s all about your actions, focus, discipline, and integrity.

Habit 4- THINK WIN-WIN

7 habits of highly effective people books summary
  • Thinking win-win means taking actions in such a way that creates a winning situation for both sides.
  • This basically happens when you realize that even being independent, you can accomplish more by cooperating with other people.
  • For this habit, you must move from scarcity mentality to abundance mentality (there’s plenty for all).
  • By harnessing this habit you will search for solutions in case of conflicts so that there are no losers.
  • This will help you to build and improve relations that will fulfill a deep desire to give and receive love.

Habit 5- SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD

7 habits of highly effective people books summary
  • Listening is the most important skill if you want to win people.
  • You must try to understand the other person first then put effort into being understood.
  • The foundation of influencing people is to understand them first. Always listen empathetically.
  • Doing empathic listening means putting yourself in their shoes feeling what they are feeling.
  • Empathic listening requires you to remove your own reference frame as much as possible.
  • You must try to understand their emotional well being with their body language, voice tone, and non-verbal gestures.
  • Listening and understanding other’s points of view is kind of utmost respect you can give to anyone.

Habit 6- SYNERGIZE

7 habits of highly effective people books summary
  • The approach of synergizing is fundamentally based on trust, respect, and cooperation.
  • This is the most important thing when working with others as a team.
  • When working in a team. the energies of all members are synchronized. This way the team works as one.
  • The idea of effective group synergy is to learn to embrace differences as strengths.
  • The basic objective is to find a solution in case of conflicts that will strengthen the team instead of weakening it.

Habit 7- SHARPEN THE SAW

7 habits of highly effective people books summary
  • Consider yourself as the most important asset.
  • You should keep sharpening or improving yourself. Taking care of yourself is completely your own responsibility.
  • Sir Covey also recommends you focus on four major dimensions of your life.
    1. Physical- Nutrition, exercise, and rest.
    2. Social/Emotional- Make meaningful connections, give, and receive love.
    3. Mental- Learning, visualizing, acquiring new knowledge and skills.
    4. Spiritual- Meditate, spend time in nature, prayer, service.

Conclusion

The only way to create a better future is to create better habits first.

The 7 habits of highly effective people not only provides a way of success but also provides a great way of life to live by.

Cutting the chains of dependency, this book helps to pave the path for independence and inter-dependence.

Start implementing habits today that will shape your future.

This is a matter of constant practice and getting better day by day.