The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People -- Book Summary
Blog Title : The seven habits of highly effective people By Stephen Convey
Book Author : Stephen Convey
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The Seven habits of Highly effective People summary
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People embody many of the fundamental principles of human effectiveness. These habits are basic; they are primary. They represent the internalization of correct principles upon which enduring happiness and success are based.
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny,” the maxim goes.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Your ability to do what you just did is uniquely human. Animals do not possess this ability. We call it “self-awareness” or the ability to think about your very thought process.
Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.
Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and their performance.
 Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them. They are value driven; and if their value is to produce good quality work, it isn’t a function of whether the weather is conducive to it or not.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
“Begin with the End in Mind” is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.
Visualize the outcome of your goals and actions as clearly and accurately as possible before taking action. The more realistic your mental picture of the action is, the better the execution and results will be.
To Begin with the End in Mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
Habit 3, then, is the second creation — the physical creation. It’s the fulfillment, the actualization, the natural emergence of Habits 1 and 2. It’s the exercise of independent will toward becoming principle-centered. It’s the day-in, day-out, moment-by-moment doing it.
In addition to self-awareness, imagination, and conscience, it is the fourth human endowment — independent will — that really makes effective self-management possible. It is the ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them.
 It is the ability to act rather than to be acted upon, to proactively carry out the program we have developed through the other three endowments.
Discipline derives from disciple — disciple to a philosophy, disciple to a set of principles, disciple to a set of values, disciple to an overriding purpose, to a super ordinate goal or a person who represents that goal.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Think Win-Win is the habit of interpersonal leadership. It involves the exercise of each of the unique human endowments — self-awareness, imagination, conscience, and independent will — in our relationships with others. It involves mutual learning, mutual influence, mutual benefits.
Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying. With a win-win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan.
 Win-win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena. Most people tend to think in terms of dichotomies: strong or weak, hardball or softball, win or lose. But that kind of thinking if fundamentally flawed. It’s based on power and position rather than on principle.
 Win-win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others. Win-win is a belief in the Third Alternative. It’s not your way or my way; it’s a better way, a higher way.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
 Communication is the most important skill in life. We spend most of our waking hours communicating. But consider this: You’ve spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak.
But what about listening? What training or education have you had that enables you to listen so that you really, deeply understand another human being from that individual’s own frame of reference?
“Seek first to understand” involves a very deep shift in paradigm. We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak.
When I say empathic listening, I mean listening with intent to understand. I mean seeking first to understand, to really understand.
Habit 6: Synergize
What is synergy? Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that the relationship which the parts have to each other is a part in and of itself.
Synergy is everywhere in nature. If you plant two plants close together, the roots commingle and improve the quality of the soil so that both plants will grow better than if they were separated.
 If you put two pieces of wood together, they will hold much more than the total of the weight held by each separately. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The very way that man and a woman bring a child into the world is synergistic. The essence of synergy is to value differences — to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weaknesses.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Habit 7 is personal PC. It’s preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have — you. It’s renewing the four dimensions of your nature — physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional.
“Sharpen the Saw” basically means expressing all four motivations. It means exercising all four dimensions of our nature, regularly and consistently, in wise and balanced ways.
The single most powerful investment we can ever make in life — investment in ourselves, in the only instrument we have with which to deal with life and to contribute.
 We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time regularly to sharpen the saw in all four ways.
Physical: Healthy diet, exercise and enough rest.
– Spiritual: Read, listen to music, meditate, spend time in Nature, serve.
– Mental: Read, write, organize and make plans, teach.
– Social: emotional: Learn to understand others, serve others, volunteer.
Sharpen Your Saw Every Single Day.
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