The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey expresses his views of how we perceive the world and that in order to change a situation we need to change ourselves. Not only that but, in order to change ourselves we need  change our perceptions. The book is filled with messages from a long term study into the principles of success on how to live a happier and more effective life. Covey outlines that in today’s age, success is measured by personal performance, skill and status. He argues that the best way to reach long lasting success is by following seven of these fundamental 'rules'/principles, the First Rule being to have a productive mindset. This means replacing reactive language such as ‘I am going to fail’ with proactive language such as ‘I need to study harder’. It also means understanding what you can control, influence and determine in one’s own life by using your own agenda. The Second Rule is to begin with an end in mind. This basically means having a clear vision to follow and that all decisions and all steps made are towards a specific goal. This acts as a guideline towards what you want to accomplish and what you stand for in general. The Third Rule is to put things first. This is getting into the habit of prioritising based on what is most important and not what is more urgent. This requires the discipline to focus and stay on track no matter how displeasing the task is. The Fourth Rule is to think 'win-win'. This means creating scenarios which results in a situation where both parties are happy. This teaches us to be considerate towards others as well as to have the courage to stick to what you stand for. The Fifth Rule is to seek, understand, then be understood. This means listening to others and putting your points forth and is one of the most important qualities of being a leader. The Sixth Rule is to synergise which means that your approach should always be based on respect and cooperation: make yourself easy to work with. Lastly, the Seventh Rule, is maintenance. This entails taking care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. This renewal process allows us to continue up the spiral of self-betterment. Personally I feel the book opens our minds on how to perfect our leadership skills and how to pave your way towards being a healthier person both inside and out. It teaches values such as patience, integrity, humility and innovation as well as refreshing facts that keep the book interesting. Since reading the book, I applied these principles in my day to day life and have seen a sure improvement in my perceptions on how much I can achieve.

Nyawira Mburia

Rating: 4 Interesting