MY LEARNINGS FROM 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

Updated: May 3

All You Need to Know About The 7 Habits


I sincerely recommend Covey’s the seven habits of highly effective people. This book in published in the year 1998 and added value to the model of 7 habits and becomes more accessible.

This book does not contain any shortcuts to become successful or any formula for success but focus on various habits of individuals which is required to change in order to embrace personal change.


What are the Seven habits?


Everyone has both habits i.e., good and bad. Some people are conscious of their habits weather it is good or bad on the other hand some people don’t unless somebody points them out. Covey emphasize on how a person can build good habits in order to overtake the bad one’s instead of eliminating the bad ones. He also depicted that how many good habits comes to us naturally and how many we need to learn in order to be more effective. It is a process which takes time to get through.

The seven habits are segregated into two categories which is depicted as under




According to the author, it is really important to excel in personal change before we enjoy the success with others.

The starting three habits are the most essential ones which needs to be implemented as they focus on “private victory” and the next three focuses on public victory. Now you guys are thinking that where is the 7th one so in the 7th habit, Stephen Covey focusing on sustaining the six habits and the continuous growth.



Develop a new habit: step by step:


Learning a new habit is of course not easy. It always takes a lot of time and practice and for many of us it is a big task. But if you want to make the time for you and starting practicing, this book is the best way to change your habits.

The reason behind favoring this book is that it includes powerful links to Emotional Intelligence & Self-awareness. I personally recommend this book as a powerful tool to change your habits as habits play a pivotal role in our lives. Habits consists of knowledge, skill and desire. Knowledge permits us what to do, skills give the ability to do, and desire is the fire to do the work.


The Paradigm of 7 Habits:


The paradigm presented by Covey is based on the concept of Maturity Continuum which covers basically 2 levels which are the cornerstone of the 7 habits of highly effective people: The three levels are depicted as under:

⦁ Dependance: This concept states that you care for me and I am dependent on you to survive and achieve my things in life.

⦁ Independence: This concept states that I don’t need any assistance from others in order to survive and I am enough to look after myself.

⦁ Interdependence: This concept states that we should achieve things by working together and by utilizing our individual skills and abilities.



Source: COVEY, S. (1989) THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE. NEW YORK: SIMON AND SCHUSTER. P. 53


In the book, Stephen Covey provides a diagram in order to present how the seven habits of highly effective people can work together.



So here we go with the 7 Habits:


Habit 1: Be proactive:


Don’t spend your life working with no aim in life, engaging yourself in whatever job you have in hand. Everyone should have a vision and align their actions accordingly in order to make it a reality. Being proactive is the capacity to control one's current circumstance, instead of having it control over you.

Proactive people used to take the responsibility of their response and learn from the negative circumstances happened in life rather than putting blame on others. This habit is often used in many organizations in order to make change which teach the employees to discover what is really important and how they can influence their future in a positive manner.



Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind:


This habit emphasizes on making a simple effort to have a clear idea of your goal or destination. It is important that a person should have a clear goal in mind otherwise life without goal is setting off on a journey with no destination in mind.

This habit is based on the principle that everything in the universe is created twice: One is in the mind and second is in reality. Before you started working on anything you should have a clear plan to execute.

For example, if you want to give business presentation, first you need to plan it before presenting in front of the concerned people. In a similar manner life gives us so many opportunities while we are busy in our own schedules. Covey focuses on the importance and the level of planning of life and our destination which is essential in everyone’s our personal lives.

If a person can develop some habits of concentration on relevant things, then in that case, it is quite easy to build a platform where distractions are not possible, and people can become more productive and successful.


Habit 3: Put first things first:


Covey used to call the third habit as Personal Management. In this habit, basically a person needs to start implementing the habit decided in habit 2. Covid used to call this habit as Physical creation as the person has already created in mind his goal in Habit:2.

Covey spends a lot of time in making 4 Quadrant Time Management Model that I think is remarkably interesting for each one of us to manage time. Most of us focus on activities related to our values and goals which is definitely important but not urgent. On the other hand, the urgent things are those which helps us to stay away from focusing on what is relevant. So, we need to prioritize what is really important and what is urgent in order to accomplish our goals.




Source: Covey, 2013


Habit 4: Think win–win.


The success of one person is not required to be achieved at the expense of success of others. There is always third and an alternative solution. In order to achieve the win-win outcomes, we should not endanger our principles.

The spirit of win-win requires high abilities of a person based on:

⦁ Personal Integrity: Potential to achieve your goal.

⦁ Maturity: The balance between the consideration of others and personal courage

⦁ Plenty for Everyone: It depicts that there is no shortage of resources and it is enough for everyone. It creates opportunities for more creativity and participation.


Habit 5: Seek first to understand and then to be understood.


Without empathy, there is no influence. In short without emotions, there is no trust. Genuine listening gives psychological air to the other person and opens a window on to their soul. Covey presents this habit as one of the most important principle of the interpersonal relations.

Listening doesn’t mean to listen what the other person has said rather to emphasize the other person by listening emphatically and by understanding by keeping yourself on the same situation.

Habit 6: Synergize.


The word synergy is derived from the Greek word Synergos which mean working together. Synergy is everywhere for e.g., if you plant two plants together, it will lead in enhancing the quality of the soil by commingling the roots rather than been planted separately. In the same manner, we can perform better and accomplish our goals by engaging in effective relationships rather than acting and achieving alone. For achieving synergy, it is very essential to work with high trust and cooperation which can lead to alternative and creative solutions (Books, W., 2017).





Habit 7: Sharpen the saw:


To sharpen the saw basically means to practice each habit and take time to renew yourself, everyone should have a cycle of personal growth in order to ensure the peak self.

Covey suggests that a person should focus on four areas in his life i.e.

⦁ Physical

⦁ Spiritual

⦁ Mental

⦁ Social / Emotional





All the above four mentioned dimensions are deeply investigated by covey as we need to focus on our growth and renewal on timely basis. There should be always an upward spiral of growth, change and improvement.




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