The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

15-minute summary of Stephen R. Covey bestseller

Timer4 min

Stephen R. Covey first published “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” in 1989. This book has changed the self-improvement world for the better ever since. The book is an international bestseller and a great reference for people that seek to improve their lives. The behavior principles explained in this fantastic book are of high value to anyone looking for success in their family, career, or other areas of life. You will learn good habits and beneficial tips for your professional and personal communication with others. You will experience a change in no time once you implement the immense amount of valuable and practical tools in this book.

To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.

Stephen R. Covey

Chapter 1. The easiest way to improve your personal and professional life is by developing the right habits

Humans are creatures of habit. Our routines define our character, and they exert an invisible force on our behavior. Whatever we do is a function of our practices. Therefore, the best way to achieve any worthwhile goal is to train ourselves to do the things that will lead to the goal effortlessly.

There are 7 key areas where we all need to pay attention to become highly effective. We need to learn to:

  • Choose to be proactive rather than reactive
  • Visualize the end of an endeavor before undertaking it
  • Schedule our priorities instead of prioritizing our schedule
  • Seek what is beneficial for everyone involved
  • Try to understand others first so that they can understand us
  • Work with others to achieve exponential results
  • Keep an effective system running

Millions of people all over the world are full of praise for this highly influential book. You, too, can share in the precious resources embedded in it.

Chapter 2. Sustainable change comes from character change and not behavioral change

Real change comes from the inside out. A lot has been written on how to be successful, improve your life, and how to act on it. Going as far back as 1776, Stephen Covey found that fiction can be divided into two major groups:

  • Promoting personality ethic
  • Teaching character ethics

The idea behind the personality ethic is that you can learn specific skills that will produce behavioral change. Understanding the intricacies of verbal and non-verbal communication will bring about desirable change. Personality ethic provides a shortcut. The only problem with a shortcut is that it doesn’t endure. Sustainable change doesn’t come from taking the personality ethic route. 

Character change is more sustainable than behavioral change.

The method of personality ethic is superficial. It is attractive because it provides a quick fix. To be highly effective for a lifetime, you need a more dependable approach to change. The character ethic is a route that leads to lasting growth and consistent success.

Working on our character is not easy. It requires identity change. We must adjust our worldview, belief system, and habits to put us on the right course for sustainable success. For example, virtues such as fidelity, integrity, and honesty can only come from within. They aren’t techniques to learn. Instead, they are character traits that come from a particular belief system. Change your core. But how?

Chapter 3. The journey toward lasting change begins with a change in paradigms

Paradigms are the filter through which we see the world around us. Two people might look at a crowd and see entirely different things. It is a function of the paradigm they use. When your worldview aligns with the basic principles upon which the universe operates, you will be able to navigate life successfully. A person with a negative paradigm will continually see negativity, while a person with a positive one will find comfort even in pain. 

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