It’s been more than three decades since Stephen Covey introduced The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to the world. Still, the book’s principles ring equally valid today. An entrepreneur-favorite, Covey’s literary offering provides irreplaceable insights to a universe dominated by social media and digitized initiatives.
As the title gives away, the author discusses seven meaningful habits every forward-thinking individual can cultivate to foster purposeful change. The entire book is 381 pages long, but its two fundamental core beliefs can be summarised into two virtues: the need to act on something and the necessity to be smart about it.
As living creatures, it’s easy to coast along what life has to throw at us but to make impactful remarks, we must make constant strides to stay on course and intentional. Without acting on our visions, we simply exist directionless and with no meaning. Furthermore, not putting solemn thought in our actions leaves us just as lost. In other words, it’s essential to keep working toward a healthy mindset filled with actionable steps.
It’s safe to say that during his time, Covey has built an empire anchored on the philosophies he lobbied.
Here are a few of our standout takeaways from the book:
It starts with your thinking.
Know every role you play in life and set goals for each of them. Altogether, you can be a son, a business mogul, an employee, a citizen developer, and a spouse. Know how vital your fill is in each of these facets and march forward with clarity.
Every person will prioritize different values, so know what yours are. Establish a personal mission statement and base your decisions off of them.
Think not only of being able to produce but the sustainability of your capacity to produce, as well. How profitable are your practices, and until when will they hold up? Better yet, until when will you be able to hold up to the practices you execute now?
Always know what the end-goal is, but be open to realigning your visions now and then.
Know what to prioritize.
As you progress in your career and relationships, you will find that you will need to prioritize different things in every life stage. Determine which ones are urgent and which ones can wait. Time becomes more valuable as you age.
Don’t be afraid to say no to projects, invites, and opportunities that don’t highlight your mission statement.
Planning regularly helps keep you stay on track. There is no shame in listing down your goals, both short-term and long. What matters is you never lose sight of what you know you were meant to do and create.
Learn to build relationships based on trust. That way, when you expand your enterprise and build your brand, it’s easier to network. People skills will always be second to none.
Make it a habit to always understand others.
There will be several skills in life you’re going to need to improve on, but none of them will ever be as close to the necessity of improving articulation. Aptly convening your thoughts, ideas, and emotions is a difficult skill that can take a lifetime to master. Be mindful of how you feel, and know when to talk about them.
It is impossible to be an articulate speaker if you are unable to listen with intent. Covey does a spectacular job highlighting the essence of meaning what you do and doing what you mean. That said, not knowing when and how to listen will always lead to downfall.
It is impossible to emotionally thrive without empathy. We are all extensions of each other. To succeed in building a network and establishing an enterprise, we must understand how the science and politics of human relationships work.
One will never successfully persuade another if he or she cannot understand the other’s upbringing, worldview, and origins. To win someone over, intentionally appreciate their story.
Be reflective of your actions, but don’t overthink every movement. It’s easy to amplify the little things when you’re anxious, but anxiety does very little in building your confidence. There is no substitute to a healthy mind, and for you to hold on to that, you must always know where you stand in life—whether relationships or careers. Keep a steadfast mind, but never let your pride consume you. Regularly asking necessary experience and character questions help remind you of the perspectives you’re supposed to foster.
Overall, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic that continues to speak volumes to both seasoned and upcoming business people. In all of its dated glory, Covey is a renowned leader whose values deserve emulation. Pick up the book when you can. It’s a fulfilling read.
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