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Habits successful people use



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7 Habits of highly successful people by Steven Covey

Introduction

I want to start by saying these habits are good, yeah, like we heard this since forever, but, I hate most of them. Maybe that’s why I’m not successful, yet.

The Habits

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Focus on the things you can actually do something about. Change starts from within, and highly effective people make the decision to improve their lives through the things that they can influence rather than by simply reacting to external forces.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Begin everything you do with a clear picture of your ultimate goal. Develop a principle‐centered personal mission statement. Extend the mission statement into long‐term goals based on personal principles.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Manage your life according to your needs and priorities. Spend time doing what fits into your personal mission, observing the proper balance between production and building production capacity. Identify the key roles that you take on in life, and make time for each of them.

Habit 4: Think Win‐Win

Integrity: Stick with your true feelings, values, and commitments Maturity: Be considerate of the feelings of others Abundance Mentality: Believe there is plenty for everyone. Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial. In cases where a “win/win” deal cannot be achieved, accept the fact that agreeing to make “no deal” may be the best alternative. In developing an organizational culture, be sure to reward win/win behavior among employees and avoid inadvertently rewarding win/lose behavior.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Learn how to communicate clearly and listen to others. Stephen Covey presents this habit as the most important principle of interpersonal relations. Effective listening is not simply echoing what the other person has said through the lens of one’s own experience. Rather, it is putting oneself in the perspective of the other person, listening empathically for both feeling and meaning.

Habit 6: Synergize

“Two heads are better than one.” Through trustful communication, find ways to leverage individual differences to create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Through mutual trust and understanding, one often can solve conflicts and find a better solution that would have been obtained through either person’s own solution.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Allow yourself to grow by maintaining a balanced program in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Take time out from production to build production capacity through a personal renewal of the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions.

My thoughts

Be Proactive

I have always been told since I was young to “be proactive” but even that statement fails to define what action to take next. When you are young you haven’t seen enough to know what is beneficial or needed to be proactive. Maybe that’s an excuse coming from a rebel, I don’t know. For example, when I am given an assignment I take the longest possible time to think and pull together my thoughts of why, how, and what I will do to execute. I actually believe the last moment is the best moment. It’s the moment you have the most knowledge and skills to perform on a deadline. This doesn’t mean I do nothing between the time the problem is presented to me till the deadline. I believe, I had a misconception of what the word proactive meant. Here, it is stated as something you can control. When in the past, I had perceived it as something I had to do before it was needed to be done. In other words, see what needs to be done before it needs to be done. Which I think is anticipation. This is somewhat relieving to realize maybe we all naturally do this, or I would hope so. I hope we all are doing the things in which improve our lives through the things we can influence. I think in ways it is very challenging because external forces come from everywhere. It is almost impossible to live this way completely. I view the term external forces in this context as one that you do because someone told you to do it. Which actually is the exactly what I was referring to earlier as “given an assignment”. I feel what I was stating is being proactive, by internalizing and changing from within, then executing.

Put First Things First

This kind of bothers me. But it’s probably what’s best for me. I like living my life based on others needs and priorities as my priorities and needs. I get genuine joy out of being there for someone in full servanthood. This comes from my mother. She raised me this way. I think therefore I was good at serving at the four seasons resort and spa. The clientele is wealthy, with high, and specific demands. I really enjoy giving everything I have, to meet someone’s need as fast as possible, and as engaging as possible. I many times would engage in conversations about life with them like I was their friend. They really needed it. The only relationships most of them have been professionals. Even though they were paying for my services they got a friend for a week. Although this is something I like, I know I don’t want to do this only and forever. I realize the world is better off (hopefully) with me living out of my personal mission through my genuine passions in life not only “being” there for someone else’s needs.

This topic breeds the debate between the entrepreneur and the employee. Unless the employee is fulfilling his purpose and mission through that job, he can’t truly manage his life in a way to his priorities. I understand that job is a “key role” he takes on to provide for his needs but how then can he balance his life if that job only provides a little and takes a lot of this person’s time. Taking away from his personal mission.

I think using the principle from the next chapter to think “win-win” helps because you will try to find a solution to fit everyone’s personal needs and priorities and missions, but this is only a theory and difficult to find sometimes in reality.

 

Summary

Ultimately this book is no code that you input these habits and you will get success. Thank God, the book is not called “7 habits that guarantee success”. This book offers valuable thoughts and habits that successful people use that you could try too. It was a good thought-provoking book.

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