Like most people, we want to succeed. Succeed in business/carrier/school, marriage, relationships, etc. I truly believe the way we see the world is based on our perception, which determines the direction and quality of our lives.
In his #1 bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey presents an “inside-out” structure for personal effectiveness that is centered on principles and character. This approach represents a fundamental shift from Personality Ethic on toward Character Ethic. You cannot do too much to change your personality, but you can concerning your character. It is based on the habits we form which play a powerful role in our lives. Change your habits, change the quality and meaning of your life!
The character Ethic brings the idea that there are some absolute principles that exists in all human beings. Some examples are: honesty, integrity, fairness, human dignity, quality, potential and growth.
Habits consist of:
- Knowledge which allows us to know what to do and the why we want to do it
- Skill the ability to know how to do it
- Desire the motivation to want to do it
The 7 habits move us through these 3 stages:
- Dependence the model under which we are born, relying upon others to take care of us
- Independence the concept under which we can make our own decisions and take care of ourselves
- Interdependence the case under which we cooperate to achieve something that cannot be achieved independently
We are encouraged to become independent which is a good thing. However, to become interdependent is better because it is used in leadership and team player environments. To be interdependent you must first become independent, since dependent people have not yet developed the character for independence.
The 7 Habits are divided into three categories:
Habits for Private Victory
- BE PROACTIVE take charge of your life. Don’t blame other people or circumstances when things don’t go your way
- BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND define your goals and missions. Brush off bad days, knowing you have the choice to plan for your future. What do you want your life to be like?
- PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST Prioritize and do the most important things first. Don’t waste time. Do the things you need to do without procrastinating, so you’ll have plenty of time to do the things you want to do
Habits for Public Victory
- THINK WIN/WIN have an everyone can win attitude. Measure your success. Base it on what you want, not on what others want or already have.
- SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD listen sincerely to people. Make sure you understand what the other person is saying before you take your turn.
- SYNERGIZE work together to achieve more. Share your talents, your ideas and abilities to boost your chances for success.
Habit for Renewal
- SHARPEN THE SAW renew yourself regularly. There will be days where you don’t have time to take a deep breath. Make sure you have plenty of other days to make time to care for yourself. Balance hard work with downtime to look and feel your best.
Now that you understand the structure of the 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, spend some time reflecting on the role they play in your life.