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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This book is amazing. I always believe that things happen because they are meant to happen. I believe that this book landed on my hands the best time possible. I love everything about the book. I dislike very long books because sometimes I simply do not have the time to read them. The first thing that thrilled me about the book is that it is small. Despite containing a few pages, the book is a treasure. I also like the very personal nature that the book is written in. The writer is not pretentious and is a realist. He is not afraid to tell his and his family’s stories of struggles to get through to the reader. Some motivational writers write like they have had the best life ever and like their life is devoid of problems. However, Stephen Covey is not showy, just down to earth and tells his story like a normal human being. He is expressive with his feelings and does not hide behind a veil of pretense.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Before reading this book, I did not know that there were different types of successes. I got to learn the difference between primary and secondary success in such a simple way. Covey uses simple analogies such the natural systems of a farm to explain how primary success works. He uses stories from the life of his son which makes relating easy. These personal stories are also important because they make the reading easy and a reader will want to know what happened next. The use of suspense and little bits of his son’s journey creates an interest as one continues to flip through the pages of the book. I learnt that primary success comes from good character and is trained in the different seasons of life. I learnt that secondary success is superficial and eventually people see the real you because a person cannot hide forever.

The author also uses a variety of short stories of other people to communicate a point. This is effective in not only in keeping a reader entertained but the points sink in deeper and people never forget a good story making it last longer in memory. The author uses everyday situations to explain a point. The subway narrative of his experience definitely shows paradigm shift and now I will never forget what paradigm shift is even though I might forget the definition. I love the fact that with each step, if it is the son’s journey, he will report on the experience as well as the results showing the reader that there are good results and that change is possible. The book is not merely written from one person’s point of view but Covey ensures that he quotes other writers as well as discusses in depth the work of writers that came before him. This way a reader has an opportunity to make a follow up on how authors have evolved and why that is the case. Covey also uses dialogue well to explain perceptions.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Part two of the book is the beginning of the journey on the seven habits. He begins by the good strategy of asking the reader to try and stand apart from themselves. By giving the reader an activity, the author ensures that the reader not only reads but exercises the mind and concentrates. Habit one was ‘Be proactive.’ From this habit I learned that I have the ability to unlearn all that I have learnt my whole life about myself and cultivate new habits. I loved the way the author used motivational stories such as Carol the cancer fighter and Frankl the Holocaust survivor to show how they changed what they had believed about themselves all along when they faced life threatening situations. I learnt that unlike Carol and Frankl, that I can be proactive now and not wait till I face trouble to believe that I can.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

It feels good to learn that I have the power to choose how I feel, how I reason and most importantly my moods and reactions to any situation. It feels good because many times, I am a prisoner of my own mind and finding out that I have a choice is a good way to motivate myself anytime I face challenges. Nothing is too big to overcome. Learning that action oriented people have an added advantage is a good thing because most times, taking initiative is important. The author gives step by step accounts of how his team goes about solving their problems by taking initiative. This step by step process of solving problems might not help a reader in all situations but it gives them hope that every bad situation has a solution. The writer also does a good job at giving the reader previews of how we think as human beings especially when we are bringing ourselves down. When a reader reads such monologues, they can immediately identify themselves in the conversations and comfort themselves that there is hope after all because people with their same kind of mentality did the right thing eventually. The described circle of concern was definitely interesting. I have always had a circle of concern but without realizing that it has a name. Thinking about a bigger problem that I have no control over, definitely makes me feel better about my current problems. I love that the author emphasized that some problems cannot be changed and that all a person can change is their attitude and accept the situation. This is especially important because some people go to the extent of taking their own lives in vain when all they should have done is accept the situation. There is definitely power in self-acceptance which makes life so much better.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I learnt that the choice I make in not being proactive might affect the ability of others to change too. Covey is one author that does not just tell his story but gives away even his weakest and intimate moments. As an example, he admits that sometimes he can be weak and choose to be petty. By giving an example of how he deals with his wife’s weaknesses, the reader gets a preview of how they can influence others positively by choosing to be proactive. I now know that succeeding in changing my habits involves keeping commitments and promises. Learning this important factor ensures that one becomes a highly effective person. At the end of the first habit, the author does an amazing thing. He gives the reader tips on how to achieve proactivity within 30 days. This shows that the author believes in what he preaches and wants his followers to practice what they now believe.

Habit two is ‘begin with the end in mind.’ The author begins by tipping off the reader that they will require enough space away from distractions in order to get the best benefits of this chapter. This tip is useful because the reader needs to know that they need to have maximum concentration. Beginning with the end in mind is a powerful way of informing people on the power of the creation of their minds. Everything a human being does begin in the mind. However I learnt that creating twice is not necessarily by a person’s design as others can contribute to the first creation without the person taking notice. My best quote from this habit was that effectiveness is not really about the amount of energy spent on something but instead is focusing the energy to the right things. In this topic, he uses a new technique to drive his point home. He uses a testimonial from a past seminar attendee whose story clearly defines the difference between leadership and management. The use of a testimonial is a good way to convince a reader that the teachings not only work, but that they have been tried and tested.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit three continues with the work suggested in habit two. The author aims at giving the reader tips to further the process they begun earlier. Habit three is about prioritizing. After one knows exactly how they want their end to look like, they have to know what should come first and what should follow up to the realization of the end. Habit three is about personal management and the author would not have done any better than discuss time management in such great detail. Procrastination is the thief of time and for a person without a plan on time management will not get to the end.

Habit four is all about engaging the public or the people around you. This not only helps a person achieve their dreams but also helps the next person or group of people achieve theirs too. Sometimes, a person’s winning depends on the help of others. Feeding off each other’s energy and strengths is a sure way to help everyone win. This habit however is challenged by unnecessary competition, stubbornness and ego. Cooperation in this situation is best practice. Just like every other habit, sometimes people need to practice working best with others for a common goal.

Habit 5 is all about being unselfish. Many people are selfish in that they want others to understand them and meet their needs. This habit however is all about being the bigger person and getting to understand others before expecting the same from them. This way, a person wins bigger because the human being likes to reciprocate one good deed with another. Understanding the other person first, gives them an example to follow. Communication is part of understanding others and choosing their best understood communication style is best. Often times, the people we are in communication with just hear the words but do not truly listen. People like to be listened to and as a person seeking to understand another human being, listening is essential. Listening is important because it helps in the analysis of the other person so that one can meet their needs by identifying their problems and finding solutions for them.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 6 is all about synergy which is the combined energy of different people. Habit 6 engages with habit 5 which is communication. In a group of people trying to find a solution to a common problem, communication is important if the task is to be accomplished. Without truly understanding habit 5, habit 6 would be an uphill task to accomplish. Synergy understands that other people are different but not impossible to work with. Dealing with negativity early improves coordination. Finally, Habit 7 is all about enhancing the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of an individual. Having learned all about the above habits, habit 7 is all about renewing the body in anticipation of being the best a person can be. Eating well and exercising is as important as meditation and as important as all getting an education. An effective person does not hold one state of the body more important than another one. They understand that the overall well-being of the mind, body and spirit is important. So long as the body is fine, then a person has an opportunity to practice all the habits that make them a better person.

The strengths include a step by step process on which habits to focus on. At the end of each habit, the author provides an application process which can be followed for effective change. The author concludes with a personal note with is a noteworthy way of leaving his reader with the courage to follow through with their plans on the journey to being an effective person. The discussions are also properly detailed so that no one has questions after reading about a particular habit. The book also flows unhindered and utilizes subtopics to properly organize the work. The arrangement of each habit is also strategic because as one moves to the next habit, they realize the importance of the previous habit. The book is good and only has a few challenges. The introduction was too long and I kept flipping the pages to see when the habits were going to be discussed.

Overall the book is so good that I would recommend it to anyone on the path to being an effective person. Reading the book was mind opening and I now believe that I am fully equipped to begin practicing the seven habits of effective people. High effectiveness and success go hand in hand and no one wishes to be a failure in this life. Steven Covey is an excellent writer. This is the best motivational book I have read so far.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People