Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, published in 1989, forever revolutionized the field of self-improvement. This book immediately became a best-seller around the world and a go-to resource for everyone looking to better themselves. The book was recommended to everyone from top executives to students.
The book's main theme is that you must master a few basic behaviors before moving on to bigger and better things. Changing your behaviors can influence not only how you see the world, but also how others perceive you. The lessons in Covey's book can assist you in the following ways:
• Taking charge of your life
• Making smarter, strategic decisions
• Managing and enhancing your relationships with family and friends
• Breaking bad habits
• Increasing productivity
• Strike a healthy work-life balance
• Be your most joyful self
Each of the seven habits is synergistic and complements the others in distinct ways. When you understand that these habits are a part of two major habits: taking action and structured preparation, it becomes easier to think about cultivating them.
Habit 1: When you adopt habit 1, you commit to taking action in your life by being proactive. You are making a physical and mental choice to recover control over your experience when you begin to accept responsibility for your life and how you experience it.
Habit 3: You are taking decisive actions when you choose to prioritize the actions that will assist you to achieve your goals whether on the academic, professional or personal side. Habit 3 supports habit 1 because, while being proactive is vital, it's also important to take action on the things that will help you get there.
Habit 5: It may not appear that you are taking action when you learn to listen first. Active listening, on the other hand, is one of the most crucial active choices you can make. Active listening prepares you for not only future planning but also future action. It's amazing how much of a difference it can make when you choose to pay attention to those around you.
Habit 6: As a student and a future professional, you would not escape working in a group. The ultimate approach to take action in a group is to work on your team's synergy. It's vital to keep in mind that you can't just throw a lot of string instruments together and call it an orchestra. If there is no synergy between the players, they are simply folks who happen to be performing complementary sheet music. You are more likely to achieve greatness once you achieve that synergy.
Habit 7: The seventh habit is all about taking action to safeguard yourself. Making intentional decisions to look for yourself will enable you to make conscious decisions to look after others.
Habit 2: You learn to define your goals and your mission in life. This is an integral part of the planning process because you cannot create a set of directions that guides you to success if you do not have a final destination in mind.
Habit 4: Back to the teamwork again, when you learn to think in terms of a “win-win” scenario, you learn to plan for several possibilities. Committing to a “win-win” decision is important because it helps everyone on the team feel valued. Learning to prioritize the health of the team over the health of the individual takes serious planning, compromise and flexibility.
To summarize, Covey's work is at the heart of an oeuvre that has resulted in hundreds of books, some of which have completely transformed people's lives and careers.