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Version 3d

Home > Resources > The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
From: The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic, by Stephen R. Covey, Simon and Schuster, 1989.

1. BE PROACTIVE. Between stimulus and response in human beings lies the power to choose. Productivity, then, means that we are solely responsible for what happens in our lives. No fair blaming anyone or anything else.

2. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. Imagine your funeral and listen to what you would like the eulogists to say about you. This should reveal exactly what matters most to you in your life. Use this frame of reference to make all your day-to-day decisions so that you are working toward your most meaningful life goals.

3. PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST. To manage our lives effectively, we must keep our mission in mind, understand what's important as well as urgent, and maintain a balance between what we produce each day and our ability to produce in the future. Think of the former as putting out fires and the latter as personal development.

4. THINK WIN/WIN. Agreements or solutions among people can be mutually beneficial if all parties cooperate and begin with a belief in the "third alternative": a better way that hasn't been thought of yet.

5. SEEK FIRST TO BE UNDERSTANDING, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD. Most people don't listen. Not really. They listen long enough to devise a solution to the speaker's problem or a rejoinder to what's being said. Then they dive into the conversation. You'll be more effective in your relationships with people if you sincerely try to understand them fully before you try to make them understand your point of view.

6. SYNERGIZE. Just what it sounds like. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In practice, this means you must use "creative cooperation" in social interactions. Value differences because it is often the clash between them that leads to creative solutions.

7. SHARPEN THE SAW. This is the habit of self-renewal, which has four elements. The first is mental, which includes reading, visualizing, planning and writing. The second is spiritual, which means value clarification and commitment, study and meditation. Third is social/emotional, which includes service, empathy, synergy and intrinsic security. Finally, the physical element includes exercise, nutrition and stress management.

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