The reason I have started reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" essay was because I had an assignment about the habits the author presents and it was a mandatory task. Reading books and making essays was never my cup of tea, but I gave my best in doing it.
I started, since the beginning, to enjoy it because I have finally had to read books that help me learn something, not just like the ones we were used to read in high school. Frankly, I was a bit skeptical at first, but in the end the book turned out really helpful. I really enjoyed the way the author made this book because he gave some really good and strong examples that had a big impact on me. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a self-improvement book and it is composed on Covey's conviction that the manner in which we see the world is completely founded on our own observations. Therefore, in order to change a given circumstance, we should change ourselves and, in the same vein, in order to change ourselves, we must change our observations.
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A Reflection on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
The book opens with a clarification about the number of people who have accomplished a high level of outward achievement and still end up battling with an internal requirement for creating individual adequacy and developing solid associations with others. The book itself explains how to become independent and, therefore, how to become interdependent.
The first 3 habits explain what independency is and how to achieve it. The first habit presented in the book is “being proactive”. What recognizes us as people from every single other creature is our natural capability to analyze our very own character, to choose how we see ourselves and our circumstances, and to control our own viability/effectiveness. Reactive individuals take an uninvolved position/a passive stance - they accept the world is transpiring. They make statements like: 'There's no other viable option for me.' 'That is only the manner in which I am.' They think the issue is 'out there' - however that contemplation is the issue. Proactive individuals remember they have duty which Covey characterizes as the capacity to pick how you will react to a given stimulus or situation.
The second habit, “begin with the end in mind”, guides us to start with a clear goal in mind. The author says we can use our creative mind to build up a dream of what we want/need to become and utilize our conscience to choose what esteems will control us. “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover that it’s leaning against the wrong wall.”
The third habit, “Put first things first”, is about pursuing the goals set in the second habit. So as to keep up the control and the focus to remain on track toward our objectives, we have to self discipline ourselves to accomplish something when we would prefer not to do it. We have to act according to our values instead of our wants or impulses at some random moment. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”, says the author.
The fourth habit, “think win-win” guides us to create win-win situations that are beneficial and satisfying to both parts in order to create interdependent relationships. The author explains the six paradigms of human interaction: Win-Win, Win-Lose, Lose-Win, Lose-Lose, Win, Win-win or No deal. He also points out the fact that “to go for win-win, you not only have to be nice, you have to be courageous.”
The fifth Habit, “seek first to understand, then to be understood”, basically tells us to listen to understand the other people. I must not manipulate, so the person will feel safe opening to us. “Seeking to understand requires consideration; seeking to be understood takes courage.” The sixth habit, “synergize”, recommends us to understand and value the differences in perspectives in order to create synergy. All the other habits prepare us for this habit. Once you obtain all the other habits, you have the capacity to understand.
The seventh habit, “sharpen the saw”, tells us to be devoted in order to achieve everything. Basically, take your time to “sharpen the saw”. The first three habits, definitely persuaded me in taking decisions which change my life. I am now more interdependet than I was before and I am in a continuous self-development procedure. Now, I am more proactive and I am trying to do everything on my daily list of tasks to accomplish my goal. I no longer find excuses to avoid doing my work and I would never do that again. Everything I have learnt from the book gets through my head everytime I have to take a decision or set a new goal. The fourth habit made me think about the other person as well and made me less selfish than I was before.
A few days ago I had to make a decision regarding the business itself and I took this decision based on what the book said and not what my first impulse was. Now, my business partner is happy that I made this decision and we will have a successful business together. This book turned out to be helpful not only for business, but also for daily life. All the things that I have read are working in my daily routine. Thanks to this book, I now understand that you can change someone’s life with just a decision you make at some point.
Creating win-win situations is definitely worth in every human relationship. For instance, in 9th grade I wanted to become a psychologist and I learnt how to feel humans, understand them and also how to persuade them, so habits 5 and 6 aren’t new to me. As I said earlier, I’m in a continuous self-development and I’m taking into consideration every little aspect of the book and applying it in my daily life/ routine.
As far as I am concerned, I think the habits that I have learnt in this book are good for every single person in this world, whether we take into consideration the business domain, or any other profession. Human interactions happen all the time and it’s much better to keep everything cool, organized and real. The real fact is that normal people are usually unaware that interdependence exists. Therefore, the only option they see is independence. The habits themselves aren’t very hard to apply separately, but it is very hard to put them in action all at once. Consequently, my advice for everyone else is to take small steps in order to grow as good as possible.
This book really influenced my daily life. The author showed problematic situations that never occurred in my life and I didn’t know about them, but now I can avoid making those mistakes. The book created a big impact over my relationship with my girlfriend because now I observe many things that I didn’t notice before.
In conclusion, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey is a good self-development book, not only for business purposes but also for people which have no interactions with the entrepreneurial domain. I have definitely learnt a lot from this book and all the learnings, all the tips and all the tricks that I got are now transposed in my daily thoughts. This being said, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about themselves and, at the same time, develop a more accurate perspective about how interactions improve your life.