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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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When Stephen Covey first released The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the book became an instant rage because people suddenly got up and took notice that their lives were headed off in the wrong direction; and more than that, they realized that there were so many simple things they could do in order to navigate their life correctly. This book was wonderful education for people, education in how to live life effectively and get closer to the ideal of being a ‘success’ in life.

But not everyone understands Stephen Covey’s model fully well, or maybe there are some people who haven’t read it yet. This is definitely true because we still see so much failure all around us. Now, I am not saying that by using Covey’s model, or anyone else’s model for that matter, you can become a sure-shot success, but at least we should have seen many more successes around us already judging by the number of copies the book has sold! So, where is the shortcoming?

There are two main problems here, and we are talking only about the people who have read the book already. The first problem is that most people are too lazy to implement the ideals of Stephen Covey in their lives. They consider his masterpiece of a book as a mere coffee-table book or a book that you use for light reading when you are traveling and then forget all about it. They do not realize that this book contains life-changing information. Or, they take the information and do not make the effort to actually utilize it so that it becomes knowledge for them.

The second problem is that a lot of people have a myopic view of Covey’s ideals. These are people who are impressed by the book already. If you ask them what the seven habits are, they can rattle them off end to end, but then they miss the larger picture. They do not understand that Covey was trying to tell more than he wrote in words. There are hidden implications in this book, yes, and a lot of people have just failed to see through them.

That is what we are trying to do. We are trying to show you how Covey’s book, or rather, his model, was a complete model in itself. There was nothing amiss about it. If you implement it, there should be no aspect of your life that should go untouched. The only thing is that you have to understand these ideals and try to implement them in your life.

But, before we barge into that area, it is extremely important to understand what these ideals are. What was the model that was propounded by Stephen Covey in his mega-famous book? We shall begin by trying to understand his model first, and then interpret it in such a way that it pertains to every aspect of our life

372 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1988

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About the author

Stephen R. Covey

559 books5,551 followers
Stephen Richards Covey was the author of the best-selling book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". Other books he wrote include "First Things First", "Principle-Centered Leadership", and "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families". In 2004, Covey released "The 8th Habit". In 2008, Covey released "The Leader In Me—How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time". He was also a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. You can purchase Stephen R. Covey's books and audios at http://www.7habitsstore.com

Covey died at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on July 16, 2012, due to complications from a bicycle accident he suffered the previous April.

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Profile Image for C.
1,078 reviews1,052 followers
September 8, 2022
This book explains 7 principles that make a person more effective personally and professionally. Covey shows how a principle-centered, character-based life helps you build the healthy relationships that are key to an effective life. This classic is well worth reading for its perspective and practical advice.

Concepts
Correct Principles: Covey frequently references his Christianity. He says the Habits are based on "Correct Principles" (aka Natural Law) found in Judeo-Christian Scriptures and common to major religions.

P/PC Balance: Covey says you must maintain a balance between production (P; your output) and production capability (PC; your ability to produce). You must stay healthy and renew yourself (see Habit 7) or you'll get burned out and become ineffective. He uses the fable of the Goose and the Golden Egg as a metaphor.

Interdependence: Covey says the Habits lead you from dependence to independence to interdependence (cooperating with others to achieve a common goal; producing things greater than the sum of their parts).

The 7 Habits
Habit 1: Be Proactive
You choose how to respond to what life throws at you. Between stimulus and response lies your freedom to choose. Take responsibility for your actions.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Choose your short-term, daily behavior according to the plan you have for your entire life. Think about the legacy you want to leave. Put things in perspective; what would you want people to say at your funeral?

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Daily planning is too narrow and short-sighted. Weekly planning gives a better big-picture perspective of your goals, and allows for the flexibility to deal with the things that will inevitably come up.

People are more important than things, so plan your time accordingly. Be efficient with things, but effective with people. You can't be efficient with relationships; they take time. Instead of focusing on things and time, focus on relationships and results.

Only spend time on things that align with your deep values. Don't waste time on other things, even if it means saying no to requests. Don't prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities.

Think of tasks in terms of urgency and importance. Focus on the important, even though they seem less urgent. Think preventatively to keep tasks from ever becoming urgent.

Use stewardship delegation instead of "gofer" delegation; teach a person to be the steward of the task you assign to them, rather than constantly telling them to "go for this" or "go for that."

Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Most of life requires cooperation, not competition. Work together with co-workers, friends, and family for mutual benefit. Approach everything in terms of "win/win or no deal"; if you can't reach a deal in which both parties feel they're winning, don't make a deal at all.

Create win/win agreements that clearly state expectations, privileges, consequences up front. This prevents you from having to figure those things out when issues arise, and makes the relationship more smooth because it causes each person to manage themselves.

Think in terms of the Abundance Mentality rather than the Scarcity Mentality; the quest for recognition, credit, power, and profit isn't a zero-sum game. Be happy when others succeed.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Listen with the intent to understand, not to reply. Diagnose before you prescribe. Understand needs, concerns, situation before you give advice.

To understand others, listen with empathy. To be understood, present your views according to:
ethos: personal credibility
pathos: emotional alignment with the other person
logos: logical reasoning

You can't motivate people by appealing to satisfied needs (money, status, etc.); only unsatisfied needs motivate.

Habit 6: Synergize.
Value the differences in relationships. Oneness is not sameness, it's complementariness. Unity is not uniformity.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Renew and improve in yourself in the following categories, by spending at least an hour on each category daily.
• Physical: Eat right and exercise.
• Spiritual: Find and carry an inner peace. Meditate, read Scripture, or spend time in nature.
• Mental: Read good literature to gain the insights of others. Write, organize, and plan.
• Social/emotional: Understand others. Serve others, at work or through volunteering.

Afterward
Covey says a summary of the first 3 Habits is "make and keep a promise," and a summary of the next 3 Habits is "involve others in the problem and work out the solution together." He says the first 3 Habits are about integrity, and the next 3 are about loyalty.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,517 reviews10.8k followers
December 4, 2013
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I would like to make clear that David Hasselhoff's appearance in this review should in no way be deemed to imply that I endorse or support his career in any way whatsoever.Thank you for your understanding.

FIVE "PRACTICAL" HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

First, a few comments on the seven so-called “habits” identified in the book, namely:

1.Be proactive,
2.Begin with the End in Mind,
3. Put First Things First,
4. Think Win-Win,
5. Seek First to Understand, then to be understood,
6. Synergize, and
7. Sharpen the Saw


In a word…..crap!!
In several words, what a giant, steaming pile of new-age, masturbatory, corp-lingo, platitude spewing bullshit.

Think Win-Win…are you kidding me with this Jim Jones Kool-aid party chant?

Synergize….just hearing that word makes me throw up in my mouth.

Sharpen the saw….exactly…reading that phrase makes me literally want to sharpen the saw and slice a hate filled path through the contents of this book.

This book is like a giant fortune cookie full of sounds good but says nothing. My advice: rather than read this book, go get a six pack or a bottle of wine, grab some China Mieville or Dan Simmons and find a nice comfy tree to sit under while you read something that might actually expand your mind.

Now I certainly don't have any foolproof answers or magic exercises that will help you bring out the "inner-winner" inside you. However, I did come up five pracical (and hopefully a little humorous) habits that have proven to be pretty effective at making people successful in their chosen field (tongue planted firmly in cheek).

1. EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICAL SCIENCE TO BECOME THE BEST YOU CAN BE

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2. BE BOLD, BE DARING AND DELIVER TO THE MARKETPLACE THE NEXT BIG THING

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3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE THE FORCE TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOAL

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4. GET IN GOOD WITH THE GERMANS

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5. BE RUTHLESS PROACTIVE IN DEALING WITH THE COMPETITION

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THE END..... Photobucket
Profile Image for Virginia.
289 reviews46 followers
September 25, 2007
Ever since I worked at the bookstore at Virginia Tech, I would watch the douchebag* business major undergrads buy this book for their classes and look down upon them, and the book by association, as, well, douchebags.

*This is not to say that all undergrad business majors are douchebags. I've met one really really awesome one. Additionally, after working at a major university bookstore, a majority of all undergrad students can be fairly classified as douchebags. Jebus.

Consequently, I never picked up this book. I hated the people who were reading it for class. I hated the people who were assigning it for their classes. I hated my job and I hated the area that I was living in. (I was, yes indeedy, a hater)

Obviously it wasn't the right time for me to read it.

My current boss (who is only occasionally a douchebag) is doing this huge self-help/life plan program, and from it, there is a major reading list. As I am a wee bit addicted to books, I immediately agreed, and when I started searching on Amazon for the reading list, "7 Habits" appeared on pretty much every single page. So I picked that one up too.

Excellent decision. I chose to read it first. It has taken me, probably three weeks to read it. I have ordered (with my boss' blessing) "The 8th Habit" and will read that shortly.

Every single page I found something that made me put the book down for a couple of minutes and think about it. I already know that I'm going to have to re-read this at some point in the near future. I would say this is required reading for humanity, but my father would have been the exception to that rule.

Basically, this book will teach you about effective ways to be a compassionate, kind, enjoyable human being. It will teach you about personal responsibility (personal as in to your self, and to others). It will teach you how to be a better parent, employee, spouse, daughter, or boss.

I can't give it enough praise. It is a truly outstanding book.
Profile Image for Malbadeen.
613 reviews7 followers
November 30, 2010
I think the sign of a great book is when, right inside the cover there is a pull out brochure that encourages you to order more of the authors products - that's some quality shit when you see that.

But the book itself, well it has charts: flow charts, boxed charts, circle charts, up and down charts, sideways charts, charts with arrows, charts with triangles and charts with dotted lines.
This book uses words like "synergy" and "proactive"....repeatedly
This book has "application suggestions".
This book is shiny and it has 6 pages of recommendations before the title page.

This book makes me want to barf - A LOT! so much so, that I could even stop watching what I eat because I'd be barfing up all the calories anyway. I could eat and eat and eat and barf and barf and barf and it wouldn't be a disorder because it would all happen naturally - no effort on my part, just read and barf, read and barf - like that.

This book is my assigned reading for tonight, this review received more of my attention than the assigned reading will.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.6k followers
October 20, 2021
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People = The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a comprehensive program based on developing an awareness of how perceptions and assumptions hinder success---in business as well as personal relationships. Here's an approach that will help broaden your way of thinking and lead to greater opportunities and effective problem solving.

Be Pro-Active: Take the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.

Begin With an End in Mind: Start with a clear destination to understand where you are now, where you're going and what you value most.

Put First Things First: Manage yourself. Organize and execute around priorities.

Think Win/Win: See life as a cooperative, not a comprehensive arena where success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.

Seek First to Understand: Understand then be understood to build the skills of empathetic listening that inspires openness and trust.

Synergize: Apply the principles of cooperative creativity and value differences.

Renewal: Preserving and enhanving your greatest asset, yourself, by renewing the physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional dimensions of your nature.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «هفت عادت مردمان موثر»؛ «هفت گام به سوی کامیابی»؛ «تاملات روزانه»؛ نویسنده: استیون آر کاوی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش بیستم ماه ج��لای سال 1997میلادی

عنوان: هفت عادت مردمان موثر؛ نویسنده: استیون آر. کاوی؛ مترجم گیتی خوشدل؛ تهران، نشر البرز، سال1375؛ در189ص؛ مصور، نمودار؛ شابک9644420160؛ چاپ دوم سال1376؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، پیکان؛ چاپ هشتم سال1380؛ چاپ نهم سال1381؛ چاپ پانزدهم سال1384؛ در189ص؛ شابک9643280829؛ چاپ بیست و هشتم سال1392؛ چاپ سی و دوم سال1395؛ موضوع موفقیت - خودسازی - جنبه های روانشناسی و خلق و خوی مردمان تاثیر گذار از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا؛ سده 20م

عنوان: هفت عادت مردمان موثر؛ نویسنده: استیون آر. کاوی؛ مترجم محمدرضا آل یاسین؛ تهران، هامون، سال1376؛ در348ص؛ مصور، نمودار؛ شابک9649146687؛ چاپ دوم سال1377؛ چاپ سوم سال1378؛ چاپ هشتم سال1383؛ چاپ یازدهم سال1384؛ چاپ سیزدهم سال1385؛ چاپ بیست و دوم سال1393؛ موضوع: درسهایی برای دگرگونی خویشتن؛ از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

عنوان: هفت گام به سوی کامیابی؛ تهران، نشر نی، سال1376، در416ص، شابک9643122743؛ مترجمها: محسن اشرفی؛ مهدی الوانی؛ معصومه پیروز بخت؛

عنوان: تاملات روزانه؛ مترجم: حسن اکبریان طبری؛ تهران، مهرنوش، سال1379؛ در137ص؛ شابک9649133135؛

کتابی است مشهور در مورد مهارت‌های زندگی

این کتاب، تا کنون به سی و هشت زبان، ترجمه، و پانزده میلیون نسخه، از آن در دنیا، به فروش رفته است؛ «کاوی» در این کتاب، با معرفی «هفت عادت»، و آموزش گام به گام آن‌ها، چیزی که زندگی در شمال نام می‌برد را، معرفی کرده، و اخلاق منجر به موفقیت را، به خوانشگر خویش آموزش می‌دهند؛ عنوان ادامه کتاب «عادت هشتم» است؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 29/10/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 27/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Nora.
132 reviews183 followers
September 19, 2013
I read only the first twenty pages of this book, and that was enough to make me want to gouge out my own eyeballs. It is so repetitive and the author just gives all these ridiculous, impossible analogies that you're supposed to relate to or learn something from. He goes on for pages about himself and his job and his wife and kids. Totally unnecessary. It really is all just common sense stuff that you already know, but preached at you over the course of pages and pages of utter nonsense. For example, Covey writes that if you're not nice to your coworkers, you won't get far in your career.
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I know. Groundbreaking stuff, right? If you want to learn more, Mr. Covey has written you about 70 pages on the subject, so you're good to go. Believe me when I tell you that this book will most certainly NOT change your life in any way, shape, or form. I liken this author to that one uncle that will tell you his entire life story at every reunion, regardless of whether or not you're interested in hearing it. I should probably stop myself before steam starts coming out of my ears. I only have one thing to say to you, book.

Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,525 reviews1,772 followers
Read
July 19, 2019
This was recommended reading following on from a course and I found it to be an odd mix of the homely and the disturbing.

On the whole it's probably the dogmatic air of absolute certainty that I find disturbing, that and the way he describes how he reduced his son to tears over keeping the garden in good order. Reading this book is rather like having a very one-sided conversation with a particularly earnest and opinionated drunk who isn't shy to jab you in the chest with a fore-finger to underline a point.

That's not to say that the seven habits are bad, far from it. They are a quite reasonable and potentially useful set of habits. Whether effective people tend to have these habits or if having these habits will make you more effective is presumed but not proven by this book which is heavily anecdotal, but that is neither here nor there. The power of the argument and the vast number of sales lies in how the seven habits tap into our moral beliefs about the kind of habits we want to be able to have to make us successful, and more to the point the kind of habits that we want to believe make people successful, and in the great tradition of self help books it asserts the primacy of the individual will over any and all other circumstances. No war, want, injustice, disease, political, economic or social structure can hinder the truly just man girt by the seven habits. Business in this account is a battlefield in the moral universe, the victor, a sage at least if not a saint.

Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win/win, seek first to understand and then to be understood, synergise and sharpen the saw are the seven habits. That's the meat of the book in one sentence.

I wonder if all of Covey's seven habits could be cribbed out of Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism? But equally perhaps we should remember that seven is a magic number, this really isn't a business book, it is a spiritual book. The seven habits are to stand firm against the seven deadly sins. Life on Earth for Covey is a probationary period for the life ever after, since Covey was a Mormon being true to his faith was due to be rewarded with stewardship of an entire planet. Clearly one needs to demonstrate effective stewardship over the smaller business of mortal life to be judged ready for such a substantial reward.

In turn this was another disturbing element to the book for me because this means that everything becomes functional. Having a picnic with your sweetheart isn't about enjoying life it is an important Quadrant II activity! This is a mechanistic view of the human experience and, sadder yet, a harsh one. The path to life everlasting is a narrow one, beset with dangers while storms around do rage. Fear not, lonely pilgrim, for Covey illuminates the way with quadrants and diagrams.

Yet there is optimism in his approach. Understanding triumphs eternally. Despite what he repeats about paradigm shifts he believes that everybody can come to see both alternative paradigms and appreciate their validity. Personally I suspect that every reader will be able to think of occasions when opposite points of view are not reconcilable. Honesty and realism has to temper any reading of this book.

Maybe my problem with this book is that everything is spelt out. It's a Sunday sermon and the pastor is going to read out every word and isn't going to be hurried on to his inevitable conclusions. Worth reading for a taste of the horror and the glory of late twentieth- early twenty-first century corporate life - but keep some salt handy.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 28 books13.4k followers
September 23, 2014
- Hon, did you sleep okay? You look kinda weird.

- Well, I don't know how to say this...

- Yes?

- I had this dream where I talked with God.

- Was She black?

- No, I'm serious! I did! It was, like, utterly real. It was the most real thing that's ever happened to me.

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)

Profile Image for MJ Nicholls.
1,997 reviews3,973 followers
Shelved as 'getting-even'
April 14, 2013
One of the most-highlighted books on Kindle, proving that human beings thrive on snappy buzz-quotes written by middle managers like David Brent who partake of the music of M People and Steely Dan Kool & The Gang, and whose souls were long ago vacuumed out in a boardroom somewhere during a PowerPoint presentation. Regard:

What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.

This incoherent drivel has the most highlights. Regard the faux-profound self-importance of the “cannot” in this sentence, as though securing the attention of Jim Phelps CEO of E-Z-Clix Online Supplies is the pinnacle of human achievement.

Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.

You can say this imbecilic utterance in any accent, or at any speed you like, and it still would be a piece of drivelling cack. It would still linger on the brain for a second as a semi-intelligent observation, before pooling slowly to the floor like the incoherent dog-drool it really is when given two seconds thought.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Die now. Die now, you patronising ill-bred country-club smug-face slab of nothing. See how that semicolon WINKS at you, as if to say: “Just listen to my me and everything will be all right. Just quote this vacuous frog-plop at the next AGM and sit back as the room erupts into spontaneous applause. Told you so!”

The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values—carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.

Translation: proactive people are greedy loveless cash-licking pus-heads.

It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.

Are you sure it’s not our response to our response to what happens to us that hurts us? Or our response to our response to our response to what happens to us that hurts us is what hurts us and us and us and them?

Effectiveness lies in the balance—what I call the P/PC Balance. P stands for production of desired results, the golden eggs. PC stands for production capability, the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs.

P = how many eggs stakeholders want chickens to shit out, vs. PC = how many eggs the chickens are capable of shitting out if kept in airless cages and fed reheated bull droppings. “Squeeze ‘em harder, Mr Pancks!”

The PC principle is to always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.

Condescending fake-friendliness masking resentment and loathing.

For our purposes, we will define a habit as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.

OH MOMMY MAKE IT STOP!
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,415 followers
July 17, 2017
I found this book a bit condescending and with too much of a religious feel to it. It also felt a little insincere and manipulative. I remember that everyone was reading it and swearing by it and that the author must have made millions on seminars and the like, but I found it too close to a cultish mentality and was unsurprised when several adepts of the book later tried dragging me in to pyramid schemes like Amway. Empty platitudes are not really incredibly useful. Read GTD instead!
Profile Image for Calista.
3,792 reviews31.2k followers
December 4, 2018
Holy cow, this is a book people either hate or they think it's great. There were so many one's. I didn't read the book so I didn't see all the charts. I listened to this in my car and so it was just the writing bits.

What I really enjoy about this book is these habits he describes are based on universal principles. Every religion uses these underlying ideas. They feel universal to me. I really appreciate how he describes win-win. I have not been living in win-win and it made so much sense. I want to begin living life in a win-win mindset. It makes most sense, but will also take the most work. I must confess that I usually avoid conflict and then take the least conflicting way out, usually lose-win for me. I avoid situations I feel I might have conflict so much of the time.

I like the way he talks about paradigm shifts. How you see or perceive a situation will make a huge difference in the way you react to that situation and feel about it. This rings true with everything we study in my school and ways we learn to helps people in clinic. So much of our own misery comes from out we hold a situation. Sometimes, we simply need a new paradigm and he described this way of thinking so well I thought.

I also was drawn to the way he describes deep listening. Deep listening really is powerful. It is one of the biggest tools we have in the treatment to really connect to a person and really hear what they are asking for. I have actually been taught to deeply listen and it is truly a powerful tool to have. You can draw a person out with deep listening like nothing else really.

I felt Stephen gave very practical and useful tools to use and work with to change. They were feel good pie in the sky things. He had real tools. Not a whole lot of advice books do that. I have read many self-help books and I feel like this is one amazing book. I see why it was so popular and has sold so many copies. I had 2 people tell me how good this book was in the last month and that's why I finally picked this up. It's been on my too read list for decades.

For me, what Stephen is talking about here is a way to live at a deep level and work with people intradependently. This is the best way to accomplish great things in this world. I enjoyed how he spoke about dependent and intradependent. I like the word synergy.

This came at the perfect time when I'm trying to get a business started. I need to really work with these principles. I found this super helpful for me personally. IT does sound like a lot of work.
Profile Image for Ann.
88 reviews14 followers
March 13, 2015
This is my husband's favorite book. Obviously he is more effective than I am.

Dividing my life into squares, writing in those squares the things I have to do, then doing the "most important" may make me effective, but is that my best life?

Choosing to do the things that I want to do rather than the things I need to do, adds interest to my existence. If I take the scenic route, and run out of gas doing it, I find adventure, and often meet AAA wrecker drivers who could write books on their experiences. By forgetting birthdays and anniversaries, I find out who really loves me for myself. By forgetting about the time and shimming the door knob that has been bothering me for weeks, and then remembering that it is time to pick up my child from school, he learns independence and I can cross the darn rattling doorknob off my to do list. It's been driving me nuts.

I am tempted to write the 7 habits of highly haphazard people.

1. Be creative with your to-do list. Add color and doodles. If you can read it, you are not trying hard enough. Lose it.
2. Buy something you will never use, but if you can use it in a unique way (for which it was not intended) do that. (Colanders make great Halloween alien helmets. Add pipe cleaners for antennae.)
3. Set some clocks in your home ahead by a few minutes and some behind for a few minutes. You will learn a great deal about yourself and others.
4. Get a cat. Dogs make you feel important. Cats teach you humility.
5. Relish the wonder of soap bubbles blown in the sun.
6. Take the road that you've always been curious about. See where it goes. Learn how to turn around quickly in tight places.
7. Really listen to a small child as often as possible.

I am enjoying writing this, especially since I have company coming in a few moments and scads of things to do before they get here.
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews677 followers
July 22, 2017
An okay book if you don't know how to manage your life it's probably really helpful but if you've thought about how to make yourself more productive or effective a lot of it's intuitive. Also like a lot of these books can only tell you things you have to make the changes yourself which is always the hard part so. This one was better written than most which I appreciate.
Profile Image for Salma Fathey.
Author 2 books118 followers
October 3, 2012
"العادات السبع" أحد أشهر كتابين في إدارة الأعمال، وثانيهما هو "دع القلق وأبدأ الحياة" لدايل كارنيجي.

يبدأ كوفي حديثه بالتأكيد على أنه لا يخترع العجلة من البداية؛ كما أنه لم يخترع العادات السبع التي يذكرها في كتابه، لكنه فقط يضعها في منظومة وبترتيب حتى يسهل استخدامها.

يؤكد كوفي على أهمية التغيير الداخلي للفرد، لأن الإنسان لن يتغير إلا إذا أراد هو ذلك، كما يؤكد على المفاهيم الدينية والأخلاقية للإنسان في العمل والحياة. أصبت بالاستغراب نوعا ما نظرا لاهتمامه بالعنصر الديني المسيحي اليهودي، إذ يشتهر معظم أساطين العلم في الخارج بميلهم للإلحاد.

يذكر كوفي كثيرا ما كتبه فرانكل، وهو من أهم الأطباء النفسيين اليهود، عن محارق النازية وكيف تغلب على تأثيراتها بالإيحاء حتى تحولت إلى نظرية في أهمية نظريات فرويد نفسه – اليهودي أيضا – ويُحكى أن هتلر كان يمنع مزاولة الطب النفسي حيث أن مؤسسي نظرياته من اليهود. يتحدث كوفي أيضا عن الرئيس السادات في أكثر من موقع في كتابه؛ وخاصة فيما يتعلق بتغيير نظرته للأمور كما حدث في معاهدة السلام بين مصر وإسرائيل، كما يدعو القراء للإطلاع على مذكراته "البحث عن الذات".

أهم ما يميز الكتاب ذكره لأمثلة في الحياة الأسرية والعمل لتطبيق كل عادة، وهو ما يبسط بشكل عملي العادات. وجدت الكتاب في بعض المواضع ممل إلى حد ما لكنه في المجمل مفيد ويتميز بالترتيب والأشكال والرسومات التوضيحية الجيدة.

كانت أكثر العادات التي أثارت اهتمامي: العادة الثالثة "أبدأ بالأهم ثم المهم" حيث يوضح الكتاب أهمية القيام بالمهام الهامة أكثر من الضرورية، ويضع جدولا أسبوعيا يساعد في تنظيم الأعمال مع الاحتفاظ بهامش للمرونة. والعادة الخامسة "اسع من أجل الفهم أولا ثم أسع من أجل أن يفهمك الآخرون"، وهي إحدى المشاكل التي تواجهني شخصيا حيث أهتم خلال الحديث مع أي شخص آخر بتحضير الرد مسبقا مما يسبب بعض المشكلات في فهم مقصده، وهنا أيضا يوضح لنا أهمية تلك المهارة في الحديث بين الأهل والأبناء حيث يهتم الأهل بسرد تجاربهم الشخصية دون الالتفات لحاجات الأبناء والاستماع لحديثهم وفهم رغباتهم أولا.

تشمل العادات السبع النقاط التالية:
النصر الشخصي:
1. كن مبادرا.
2. أبدأ والغاية في ذهنك
3. ابدأ بالأهم قبل المهم
النصر العام
4. تفكير المكسب/ المكسب
5. اسع من أجل الفهم أولا ثم أسع من أجل أن يفهمك الآخرون
6. التكاتف
التجديد
7. اشحذ المنشار.

الكتاب في مجمله قيم ومهم، وهو في حوالي 400 صفحة من القطع المتوسط، صادر عن مكتبة جرير.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,563 reviews78 followers
July 2, 2008
Inspirational, developmental, and practical -- what a combination! The principles of behavior covered in this groundbreaking and long-respected book are of great worth to anyone seeking success in career, family, or any other aspect of their life. Covey discusses first the actions we must take (or habits we must develop) internally first - getting our heads and hearts right first. These include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first. These constitute the "private victory." He then moves on to the "public victory," that is, the things that we can do that involve other people, and not just our own internal battles and development. These include, thinking win/win, seeking first to understand and then to be understood, and achieving synergy with others. Finally, he addresses the truth that we won't always be energetic and at our best in his discussion of personal renewal. Key to that is the idea of sharpening the saw...that is, we can only be at the top of our game for so long before we need to re-energize. Any serious athlete understands that principle.

Outstanding book, especially when linked with his expanded discussion of Habit 3, putting first things first, in the book by the same title. Another excellent complement to this book is "Crucial Conversations."
December 15, 2019
Principles
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of those seminal pieces of work that everyone should read. It is not a business book, it is not a marriage help book, it is not a parenting book and it is not a friendship book. It is a book about YOU, in a holistic context. It is about provoking you to examine your core defining traits; personality, character, principles and ethics. In other words, it is NOT a quick self-help book it is about instilling fundamental habits, 7 to be exact. These habits take us from our base level of being a dependent person, as in childhood, through Independence, as in adulthood, to Interdependence, as a contributing member of society and family. They are defined as:

1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with the End in Mind
3. Put First Things First
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood
6. Synergise
7. Sharpen the Saw – Continuous Improvement

The principles are as sound today, as they were when Stephen Covey initially wrote them thirty years ago. They have always been core to personal attainment and effectiveness, and the world would be a better place if we all lived by these habits. The language is getting dated and some of it has been so widely used, and misused, that it’s a bit awkward in today’s vocabulary. Nevertheless to contemplate these values and commit to them, is literally life-changing.

I would say 5 stars for the impact this book has had, and 4 stars for the language being a bit aged. 4.5 stars would be about right.
Profile Image for Stacey.
208 reviews
September 20, 2007
Oh my Gawd, how much did I hate this one. We had to read this the summer before a freshman college Intro to Business Class - perhaps I read it at the wrong age? When Steven Covey starts talking about his kid mowing the lawn and the motivation behind it...ugh!

Needless to say, I only got through about 2 of the 7 habits - I guess I'm not a highly effective person. And I will not be purchasing any of Mr Covey's time management calendar systems either, thank you very much.
Profile Image for Muhammad Abdullah.
87 reviews47 followers
April 10, 2021


The Seven Habits is a million dollar worth book which sow the seeds of effectiveness in the reader’s mind. The seeds grow large as the reader proceeds reading. The main message of the book is the 7 habits which every highly effective people possessed.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.”


Habit 1- Be Proactive

Being proactive means recognizing our responsibilities to make things happen. This habit tells us to do whatever is necessary and consistent with correct principles. Work on the things which are in our influence to extend the circle of influence and spend less energy on the center of concern.

Habit 2- Begin with the End in Mind


Begin with the end in mind means to know where we are going so as to understand where we are now, and take our next step in the right direction. The best way to start is to develop a personal statement which describes what we want to be(character) and to do(achievement). Everybody wants to center his life on correct principles because principles don’t change. We can depend on them.

Habit 3- Put First Things First


This habit involves self-leadership and self-management: putting first things first. Leadership decides what the ‘first things’ are, and management is the discipline of carrying out your program.

“We don’t manage time. We can only manage ourselves.”

According to quadrant rule, do things first which are urgent and important, then the things which are important but not urgent. After that things which are urgent but not important, and then all other things which are neither urgent nor important.



Habit 4- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Listen is the most important tool for this habit. Listen but not with intent to reply or to convince. Listen to simply understand, to see how the other party sees things. Empathy is the skill need to develop for this habit.

“Empathic listening is with the ears, eyes and heart- for feeling, for measuring.”



Habit 5- Think Win/Win


Think win/win habit entrails making an important deposit in another person’s Emotional Bank Account: finding a way both of us can benefit by our interaction. All the other possibilities- win/lose, lose/win, lose/lose- are ineffective either in short term or long term.

Habit 6- Synergize

The exercise for all other habits prepares us for the habit of synergy. Properly understood, it is the highest activity of life. Through it, we create new, untapped alternatives- things that didn’t yet exist. We unleash people’s greatest powers. We make a whole greater than sum of its parts. The basis of synergy is that two people can disagree, and both can be right. It’s not logical. It’s psychological.

Habit 7- Sharpen the Saw


To sharpen the saw means renewing ourselves, in all the four dimensions of our nature:

· Physical- exercise, nutrition, stress management;

· Mental- reading, visualizing, planning, writing;

· Social/Emotional- service, empathy, synergy, security;

· Spiritual- spiritual reading, study, meditation;


To exercise in all these necessary dimensions, we must be proactive. No one can do it for us. It’s a quadrant IV activity.

“To become strong, renew the spirit.”


Conclusion

The first three habits take us towards “private victory” - the journey from dependence to independence by taking responsibility for our lives. Next three habits lead us towards “public victory” to the path of interdependent to succeed with other people. The seventh habit allows us renewing ourselves in mind, body and spirit.

I would like to recommend this book to all those people who want to live their life fully, amazing and joyful.
Profile Image for Wafaa Khaled.
156 reviews185 followers
October 13, 2011
قويم ،
و قوي .

قام على ثلاث أسس / نفسك - الآخرين - التجدد :
كن فعالاً - ابدأ بالنهاية - ضع الأهم أولاً /
النجاح للجميع - افهم أولاً - التناغم /
التجدد .

1. كن فعالاً : أنتَ تتحكم بحياتك ، و أنتَ الظروف لا الظروف هي أنت . فلا يجبُ أبداً أن ترى نفسك خلال محيطك بل يجب أن تبحث عن نفسك ، كيف هي من دون هذا المحيط ، و كيف ستكون لو كان المحيطُ مختلف ؟

قم بتوسيع الدائرة من حولك لتتعرف على نفسك . اقطع وعوداً صغيرة لأصدقائك في البداية و حاول أن تلتزم بها ، لتعتاد على صغيرها و توفي بكبيرها . حوّل تساؤلك : لماذا حدث لي هذا ؟ / آه لو حدث كذا ! ، إلى : كيف يمكنني أن أستفيدَ من الذي حدث ؟
حينها تماماً تذلل الصِعاب .

*Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic .

؛

2. ابدأ من النهاية : حاول أن تتخيل الحلم حقيقة بعد أن تخطط له بالكامل . تعالَ في خيالك بالمشوار من النهاية ، يحفّزك ذلك ، يدفعك ، و يريكَ الطريق الصحيح .

و من هنا أيضاً يأخذُ تفكيرك الطريق الأعمق ، و تتمكن من التخطيط الشامل الناجح لكل شئ .
عبر تخيل النتيجة و الإرادة ، ثم دراسة الأسباب و السبل ، و ما يُوصلك إلى هناك .


؛

3. ضع الأهم أولاً :
حاول أن تجعل قراراتك لإنهاء أمورك المهمة و المستعجلة / أمورك المهمة و الغير مستعجلة .
أي فكر - استثمر وقت فراغك - نمي قدرتك على الاستنباط - تأمّل - ضع خطط بعيدة المدى و خطط قريبة المدى - .

* إذا لم تخطط لحياتك ، تقع عادةً في خطط الآخرين .


؛


4. النجاح للجميع ،
هي عادة تحثّ على الاجتماع دون تنافسية قاسية ، ارغب في النجاح لك و للآخرين .

انضج / جامل / احترم / أبدي إعجابك بوجهة نظر الطرف الآخر .


؛

5. افهم أولاً .

*Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

استمع بفعالية ليستمع الآخرون لك .
افهم أن من يُصل بالطرف الآخر إلى الفهم هو 10% من الكلام الذي يقال ، 30% من نبرة الصوت ، 60% من لغة الجسد .

و عندما تعرضُ أنت أفكارك ، اعرضها بوضوح و زوّدها بالمثال ، و باللغة البصرية .


؛

6. التناغُم .
هو نتيجة أكثر منه عادة ،
و يهدفُ إلى فهم الآخرين و الاندماج بينهم .

و يُحقق بتحقيق العادات السبعة جميعها .


؛

7. التجدد .

بالبعد الفيزيائي : رياضياً .
البعد العقلي : بالقراءة .
بالبعد الروحي : العبادة و التأمل .
البعد الاجتماعي و العاطفي : التعاون مع الآخرين .

.

كتاب متميّز جداً .
=)
Profile Image for Joe.
178 reviews93 followers
February 29, 2016
I bought The Seven Habits at a yard sale for $1 with little knowledge of its contents. Years later, when my life dipped to a low ebb of meaning and motivation, I picked it off the shelf in hopes of finding a spark. Inside I found wisdom, compassion, a direct approach and a love of humanity.

The result wasn't immediately transformative. The methods and techniques Covey espouses didn't fall into place and turn me into a whirlwind of positive productivity. Reading The Seven Habits was just one of many moderate steps on a journey that, years on, still stretches endlessly into the horizon.

But the part that had the greatest effect on me, looking back, is the notion of the Personal Mission Statement; a written representation of who you are and who you want to be. It's a credo or philosophy, written to reflect your values and edited over time to refine the edges of your philosophy. It demonstrates the power of organizing what you feel and writing it down or speaking it out loud.

And with that I share my Personal Mission Statement; consulted often, edited occasionally, some points followed more consistently than others.

-When something seems wrong about how I pattern my life, I will analyze that pattern and change if it makes sense.

-I matter to others and they matter to me.

-I will look before I leap, but sometimes I will leap.

-I will write down my ideas.

-When I lose myself in reverie, I will turn to my to-do list rather than internet engagement.

-I will continue to write even if my content is receiving diminishing attention.

-I will carve out time each week to be around other people.

-I will favor truth over cleverness in my articulation.

-I will maintain my health through strong nutrition and consistent activity.

I will leave room for flights of fancy.

-I will leave the house with the intention of being early.

-I will act when I know there is something to do.

-I will write events on the calendar as they come up.

-I will minimize my multitasking.

-Not everything I say has to sound clever; I will make an effort to giving encouragement and obeying social graces.

-I shall ask for help and I shall offer it.

-When I wake up I will engage my legs or mind promptly.

-The names of others matter and I will learn them.

-When life gets stressful, I will harness that stress.

-I will speak well of people behind their backs.

-There are stories everywhere and I shall find them.

-I will respond to people online promptly; say within an hour or when I know what to say.

-I will go to bed when I feel tired.

-Not every big step will take me far.

-My Checklists serve me, not the other way around.
Profile Image for Amit Mishra.
231 reviews667 followers
April 10, 2019
An outstanding book that leads you to the different dimensions of positivity. The author has suggested some fundamental psychological facts about our life. All seven habits suggest in the book is really awesome. If you will follow all these minutely then surely you will end up your life with a big name and fame.
Profile Image for Emma Sea.
2,172 reviews1,027 followers
February 7, 2017
I'm not able to rate this fairly as a reader coming to it in 2017. This was one of the first "personal development" books, and the other 4 thousand books I've read on the topic all borrow from it heavily. The thing is, they borrow from it, and then make it better in every way: more interesting, more relevant, better writing, more concise writing, better anecdotes and examples.

This is a classic, but I don't recommend reading it.

Profile Image for sAmAnE.
459 reviews72 followers
June 24, 2021
خیلی معتقدند این کتاب زرده و خیلی نه! به نظر من نقاط روشنی از کتاب میشد دریافت کرد.
Profile Image for Aya Hassan.
231 reviews197 followers
April 12, 2016
النسخه المترجمه كارثه من كوارث الزمان
جعلتنى اكره الكتاب واكره المؤلف واكره القراءه بذاتها
Profile Image for Corinne.
68 reviews185 followers
August 30, 2015
I had to read this book for a professional development seminar. Then, I re-read it again, for personal reasons. It’s a book that is rich and dense, but worth the time and energy.

The first notion that struck me was ‘the fundamental shift of perception’, which changes our perspective on things in matter of seconds. When I rose above myself and did this, all of a sudden I was not the same person. Quite a few things that I’ve been trying very hard to change for a long time, changed almost immediately.

The second was the statement ‘listen, not to respond, but to comprehend’. I realized I’ve been doing just the opposite, ever since I learnt to speak. All those other advices I’ve received on effective communication boiled down to nothing, because they all focus on how to make the other person listen! If there is one technique that has improved my relation with people, both personal and professional, it’s this: now I listen to understand, see things from the perspective of the other. The book is worth just for this.

I love his notion of synergy in creating values, but this is also the notion that pains me the most, because this is the least I see around me. May be it’s the human nature not to seek synergy, but, in any case, I’ve applied this in my personal relations, and that has changed my life.

His chapter on renewal convinced me to have a role and goal. It’s so basic, yet I had never taken the time to do it. It gave me a meaning to my life, for the first time.
Profile Image for Rowena.
500 reviews2,410 followers
July 13, 2013
This book was just alright. I was slightly disappointed as I have had this book recommended to me by countless people so I did expect better. I felt it could have been condensed to a quarter of its size easily.The book was also written in the 80s and I could easily tell (personally, I feel it's in need of a 21st Century update). I did give it 3-stars though because there were parts I found useful and interesting, especially the section about writing a mission statement for oneself. I guess this book may be more suited to people in the business world.
Profile Image for Rosie Nguyễn.
Author 6 books5,810 followers
December 14, 2013
It took me months to finish the book, as I kept practicing and re-read the habits from time to time. Besides, the book's contents is very compact that requires full focus to absorb all the ideas. But it's worth. Remind me of principles in life, giving practical guides on how to change ourselves, how important human interaction is. Praises are not enough for this powerful book. It's a must read book for a man in his quest for excellence.
Profile Image for Carol Storm.
Author 28 books174 followers
November 14, 2022
I spent four years at Columbia University in New York City in the mid-eighties. I thought I was getting an education -- but I wasn't. You see, I've learned the hard way that "education" really means learning how to deal with people, and one's emotional needs, and make plans for a rewarding future. The books I had to read at Columbia had nothing to do with anything as mundane as making a living or liking yourself or understanding how to work constructively with other people.

But the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is different. I really, really wish I had read this book as a Columbia freshman in 1981. Of course it wasn't written till 1989. But I'm convinced that reading the 7 Habits would have taught me more than reading Homer's ILIAD or Plato's REPUBLIC.

What Stephen R. Covey does is so much more than just telling sales types how to win friends and influence people. He teaches you how to think about what you really want from life, and how to express those goals, frame them in a workable context, and make them possible by connecting with other people. Those are all skills I didn't have when I entered Carman Hall in the fall of 1981, and I didn't have them when I left Furnald Hall for the last time in 1985.

It seems to me that these fancy Ivy League colleges do nothing but rip people off, especially in the Humanities divisions. They don't teach practical job skills, or self-development, or leadership, or anything else. They don't encourage skepticism or independent thought. Nobody even pretends that reading Homer's ILIAD will help students find a job, or even know how to look for a job. Jobs aren't important, because, hey, only rich kids go to Columbia! And if you're not rich, you don't really belong, so who are you to question the curriculum?

Of course no one expressed it in quite that way. When I was at Columbia in the Reagan Eighties, a lot of the more left wing professors took pleasure in sneering at kids my age as being materialistic and lacking ideals. They really made you feel that you had no business hoping for any kind of practical benefits from your education. And they were really, really clear on the fact that undergraduates had no business asking for help. They weren't there to help. They were there to lecture. And they weren't thinking win-win!

If I could have my college education to do over again I wouldn't go to Columbia. I wouldn't read Homer's Iliad or Plato's Republic. But I would definitely read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People!
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
275 reviews455 followers
January 17, 2020
This masterpiece of Stephen R. Covey is one of the best books I've read in my entire life. Once you've read it, this book will transform your life in many ways you never imagined possible.

This book emphasizes the importance of Character Ethic, instead of the Personality Ethic that we are so used to, and how we should center our lives around the correct principles or 'centers'.

The habits start with three habits which will help you achieve move from being dependent to independent, or the 'Private Victory'. The first three habits are; Be Proactive, Begin with End in Mind and Put First Things First. The second part focuses on the public victory, which makes the journey from being independent to interdependent while focusing on the habits of Think Win/Win, Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood and Synergize. The seventh habit is essentially the renewal of these six habit.

This book, in my opinion is, one the books that one must at least once in his or hers lifetime, preferably as early as possible.
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