The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. Until 2012 it has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages since first publication, which was marked by the release of a 15th anniversary edition in 2004. Today Covey passed away and we remember his message. And it was really a song reminding us of three things: (1) sing your song well (2) sing in harmony with others; and (3) sing in different colors (raags), so you are not bored. Keep singing! The following are a list of the 7 habits as Covey presented them:
Independence or Self-Mastery
The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e., self mastery):
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow.
- Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.
- Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.
The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e., working with others):
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.
The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.