The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a book by Stephen R Covey published in 1989.The book has sold over 25 million copies and has been translated into over 30 languages.
The main idea behind the book is that if you want to be successful, you need to develop the seven habits of highly effective people. This summary will discuss the seven habits and how they can help you succeed in your personal and professional life.
One of the essential things in this book starts in the chapter Inside Out, which discusses the power of a paradigm shift.
This introduction is one of the most powerful chapters in the book because it talks about how we see things, which is not the way it is because of old maps in our minds; we see the world through these wrong maps we have in our heads.
Stephen R Covey talks about a personal paradigm shift that he had when a man and his kids got onto a train, and the man’s kids started running around the train, making a lot of noise and messing with other passengers on the train.
The man just sat there while his kids were doing all of this, not paying attention or correcting his kids. Covey got irritated and started judging the man because of the lack of awareness the man paid to his kids.
After a while, he had enough, and he approached the man and told him he needed to take care of the situation with his kids.
The man looked up and told Covey that they had just come from the hospital where his wife had just died, and he didn’t know how to handle it, and the kids didn’t either.
At that moment, Covey stops judging the man, and he starts to feel love and compassion for the man. This experience taught him that we usually judge ourselves and others according to wrong information we have programmed in our minds about a situation or event.
Another powerful example is a photo he shares in the book that one of his professors shares with his class in business school.
The point is that two people can look at the same thing and see it differently according to the past programming they have stored in their minds.
Can you see the older or younger women, and which one did you see first?
We must learn that we always see things from our points of view, and so do other people. That chapter opened my eyes wider and caused me to put myself in other people’s shoes. And to always seek to understand first before seeking to be understood.
A summary is a great start, but you will not get all the tips and stories from a summary. I have included a link at the end for you to buy the book from Amazon.
The 7 Habits, short but sweet :
Habit #01: Be Proactive
The first habit is to be proactive. Being proactive means taking the initiative and responsibility for your own life. You can’t just sit back and let things happen – you need to make things happen.
This means that we need to dictate what we do and don’t let old patterns and people control what we do. We need to be the one who decides what we are going to do, not the other way around.
Habit #02: Begin with the End in Mind
The second habit is to begin with the end in mind. The second habit means you must have a clear vision of what you want to achieve before taking action. Without a clear vision, it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your goals. Otherwise, you will just be wandering aimlessly and not getting anywhere. If there is no vision of where we want to go, we will not have the energy or effort it takes every day to go after our goals.
Habit #03: Put First Things First
The third habit is to put first things first. Putting things first can be difficult if you have many things on your plate, but it’s important to remember that not all tasks are created equal.
The third habit means you must prioritize your time and focus on the most critical tasks.
Once you know the crucial things in your life and prioritize those things as the first things in your life.
Habit #04: Think Win-Win
The fourth habit is to think win-win. Think win-win means that you should always seek solutions that benefit everyone involved. Win-win situations are the best way to build relationships and create lasting success. Relationship building is the key to succeeding in life or business. If one person wins and the other loses at any time, start over again. Come up with a win-win solution.
Habit #05: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
The fifth habit is to seek first to understand, then to be understood. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood means that you need to listen more than you talk. Only when you truly understand someone else’s point of view can you hope to be understood yourself. In relationships with other people, remember people want to be understood and will feel if you only want to get your point of view across first.
Habit #06: Synergize
The sixth habit is to synergize. Synergize means that you need to find ways to work together with others to produce results that are greater than the sum of the individual parts. People can create something unique when they come together and share their ideas. You cannot achieve extraordinary levels of success without the heart and minds of other people.
Habit #07: Sharpen the Saw
The seventh and final habit is to Sharpen the Saw. Sharpen the Saw means that you need to take time for self-renewal. You can’t keep going at full speed all the time – eventually, you will burn out. It’s essential to take some.
Sometimes, as business owners and producers, we want to get the most work and projects done as quickly as possible. If we don’t stop and rest to produce quality work, we will have to go back to correct and make better subpar results.
There you have the seven habits of highly effective people summary. To create a better business or personal life, you must read the whole book. If you have not read it before, I promise it will change your outlook on business and life.