The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

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What’s in it for me? Adopt the habits that distinguish highly effective people from the herd.

Sharpen the saw: Don’t work yourself to death. Strive for a sustainable lifestyle that affords you time to recuperate and recharge, so that you can stay effective in the long-term.Be proactive: You have a natural need to wield influence on the world around you, so don’t spend your time just reacting to external events and circumstances. Take charge and assume responsibility for your life.Begin with an end in mind: Don’t spend your life working aimlessly, tackling whatever job is at hand. Have a vision for the future and align your actions accordingly to make it into a reality.Put first things first: To prioritize your work, focus on what’s important, meaning the things that bring you closer to your vision of the future. Don’t get distracted by urgent but unimportant tasks.Think win-win: When negotiating with others, don’t try to get the biggest slice of the cake, but rather find a division that is acceptable to all parties. You will still get your fair share, and build strong positive relationships in the process.Seek first to understand, then to be understood: When someone presents us with a problem, we often jump right to prescribing a solution. This is a mistake. We should first take time to really listen to the other person and only then make recommendations.Synergize: Adopt the guiding principle that in a group, the contributions of many will far exceed those of any individual. This will help you to achieve goals you could never have reached on your own.

7 October, 2017 14:46 Share

In order to change, you have to address your character and not your behavior.

there are two routes to self-improvement and to changing your own life:One way is addressing the skills necessary for a certain desired behavior; that is, by studying communication skills or time-management techniques.Alternatively, you can take the long way round by digging a bit deeper and working on your character: the fundamental habits and belief systems which form your view of the world.

7 October, 2017 15:23 Share

If you really want to change, you need to work from the inside out.

7 October, 2017 15:23 Share

Working on character involves aligning personal paradigms with universal principles.

align your personal paradigms with larger, universal principles – values such as fairness, honesty and integrity.

7 October, 2017 15:30 Share

Paradigms are the building blocks of our character. They are our fundamental principles – the glasses through which we see the world.Our perception is not an objective reality, but rather a subjective interpretation tinted by the paradigm-glasses we wear.The habits which form a large part of our actions are direct results of those paradigms.Since they are the core of our character, paradigms are the key to making any change. If we want to change ourselves, we have to change our fundamental principles first. Only in this way can we change our subjective reality, and with it our behavior.You also need to be conscious of your own paradigms.

7 October, 2017 15:30 Share

“Sharpen the saw" if you want to keep sawing.

stay physically fit

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stay mentally healthy

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take care of your social and emotional health

7 October, 2017 15:48 Share

Spiritual health also contributes greatly to lasting effectiveness: this can mean praying or meditating, but it can also mean regularly confronting your own norms and values and reflecting actively upon them.

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consciously make time to recuperate and recharge

7 October, 2017 15:48 Share

“Be proactive" and take control of your own fate.

Many people, by contrast, are not proactive in life, but rather reactive. They react to external circumstances and their behavior and emotions are dependent on what goes on around them. Hence, for example, they can be in a good mood only if the weather is also good.People who are proactive, on the other hand, determine their own weather. They are propelled by their inner values and they assume responsibility for their own lives. Their personal decisions determine their behavior, and they do not allow it to be affected by external conditions.

7 October, 2017 15:49 Share

“Begin with the end in mind" – if you want to achieve something, you need long-term goals and a mission statement.

be clear about your long-term goals. To this end, it can be useful to ask yourself the Funeral Questions: What do I want people to say about me at my funeral?; As what sort of person do I want to be remembered?; For what do I want to be remembered?A person who is clear about what their major, long-term goals are will be able to align them with everything they do.It can therefore be useful to come up with a personal mission statement and write it down. In this mission statement, you set down your personal creed: the basic values and principles you believe in, and the larger goals you want to achieve in your life.

7 October, 2017 16:08 Share

In order to attain your goals, you need to visualize the outcome of every action as clearly as possible before doing it.

you should always be conscious of your long-term goals, your values and norms, so that you can align all your actions with them. You should always know for exactly which target you’re aiming.

7 October, 2017 16:21 Share

you should form as concrete a mental picture of what you’re about to do as possible: one which sets out exactly what should be achieved.

7 October, 2017 16:21 Share

If you want to be truly effective, always “put first things first."

"First things first" means rigorously prioritizing: the important things are taken care of, the less important things are put to one side and then delegated or dealt with later.How can we tell which things are important? The things which are important are those which bring us closer to our final goals, and those which are consistent with our mission statement – our values and our norms.

7 October, 2017 16:22 Share

“Think win-win" to get your share of the cake and build lasting relationships at the same time.

The majority of situations in life, however, don’t need to be a competition. There is usually enough cake for everyone, and it is far better when all parties work towards a "win-win" solution.

7 October, 2017 16:24 Share

The result, however, is a lasting positive relationship and the creation of mutual trust, from which all parties can profit.

7 October, 2017 16:24 Share

Forming stable relationships with others means investing in emotional bank accounts.

Each relationship is like a kind of emotional bank account which records exactly how much each person has invested in it.The greater the balance, the greater trust exists between the parties.To this end, you should aim to make regular payments and withdraw money only rarely from the account.

7 October, 2017 16:28 Share

If you want to be able to influence others, “seek first to understand, then to be understood."

If you want to be good with people, and to be respected as a listener and as an imparter of advice, you need to develop the skill of empathetic listening.

7 October, 2017 16:34 Share

Empathetic listening means active listening: repeating back to the person what they’ve said in your own words, mirroring their emotions and helping them to structure their own thought processes.

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“Synergize" by treating others with openness and respect.

Synergy with others means valuing differences and being open with one another. Each of us sees the world through an individual perspective. Each of us has particular strengths. And it is possible, through the use of shared resources, to compensate for individual weaknesses.

7 October, 2017 16:34 Share

When people really synergize, they listen to each other, they put themselves in each other’s shoes and they use the contributions of others as a springboard to create something great.

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Final summary

Being truly effective means being clear about what it is you want to achieve, and being proactive in putting your goals into action. This is best achieved by striving to synergize with others, to invest in lasting relationships and to maintain a balanced lifestyle.

7 October, 2017 14:45 Share

How can you make lasting changes to yourself and stay productive on a long-term basis?In order to change, you have to address your character and not your behavior.Working on character involves aligning personal paradigms with universal principles.“Sharpen the saw" if you want to keep sawing.How can you achieve great things and shape the world around you effectively?“Be proactive" and take control of your own fate.“Begin with the end in mind" – if you want to achieve something, you need long-term goals and a mission statement.In order to attain your goals, you need to visualize the outcome of every action as clearly as possible before doing it.If you want to be truly effective, always “put first things first."How can you integrate and synergize successfully with others?“Think win-win" to get your share of the cake and build lasting relationships at the same time.Forming stable relationships with others means investing in emotional bank accounts.If you want to be able to influence others, “seek first to understand, then to be understood."“Synergize" by treating others with openness and respect.

7 October, 2017 16:35 Share

About the book:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) introduces the habits which single out people who deal particularly effectively with the world around them. Covey believes that people who lead successful and fulfilling lives do not pursue the state of individual independence as their ultimate goal, but instead align themselves internally with universal principles such as honesty and integrity.

About the author:

Stephen Covey was an American author, advisor and lecturer. Aside from books on the subject of motivational skills and self-help, Covey also wrote religious texts. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is his best-known work.