The 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey

Get this 7 Habit and change your life !

One of the all-time classic for self-improvement. The book cover from personnel development, work management to relationship management.


First off the author point out for the past 50 years, self-help is more on quick fix or little smart techniques. However date back to 150 years ago , self-help is more on character ethics / principles. Problem on focusing on technique is like crawling thru school, is hard to achieve mastery and the lack of depth inside it. “The price must be paid and process followed.”


A paradigm is a model / perception that the lens we use to “view” the world. A wrong paradigm is like a wrong map, you can try harder (change your behavior) – you can get to the wrong location faster or you can be more positive (change your attitude) which you still be happy while you can’t find the destination. Both approach is not helping us to reach the destination. There are 2 map in our paradigm, one is the way things are and the way things should be. A paradigm shift is how we saw / behave / through differently.


Principles are natural’s law that cannot be broken, Principles are territory, values are map. Principles are like lighthouses and guide our ship moving forward.


Admission of ignorance: Accept where you are and focus the next step. When there is a problem, think about the way we see the problem is the problem. try the “inside-out” approach, start with yourself, paradigm > character > motives. Inside-out is a process, a upward spiral of growth and progress.


Habit is an intersection of knowledge + skill + desire. Habit can be learn and unlearn and there are really specific cycle that how to trigger our habit.

Author try to emphasis that we should first seek from personnel victory to public victory, moving from dependence > independence > Interdependence. Changes of this can only make from within as the gate can be only open from inside.


Habit 1: Be pro-active


There are 3 factors which determine us 1. Genetic (DNA) /2. Psychic (parenting) 3. Environmental (someone / something in certain situation.


We are conditioned to respond in certain way to particular stimulate. Reactive driven by feeling, circumstances, conditions and environments. Proactive people driven by very carefully selected values. Listen to our language, from basis paradigm of determinism. reactive language is a self-fulling prophecy. There are 2 circles of influence, focus on things that you can control and don’t try to control the things that you cannot. We can only choose the action but not the consequence as it determined by natural law.


When we make a mistake, there are 2 paths we can take: 1. Mistake > Acknowledge > correct and learn/2. Mistake > rationalize > Blame. Work on yourself, improve the “being”.


Habit 2: Being with an end to your mind

“All things are created twice “. Its first created in mental then become physical. The blue prints make sure that’s what we want and make it reality. It consist 4 component /1. Security: sense of worth, identity, self-esteem. 2. Guidance: direction in life 3. Wisdom: sense of balance. 4. Power: Faculty to act, strength to accomplish. Detect rather than invent the mission in your life. Think about what you will hear when people say about you in your funeral.


Habit 3: First things first

Effective management is to put first things first. Successful people has habit of doing things that they don’t like to do. Organize > executive around priorities and make use of every second if your time.


Before we go in Habit 4, author introduce the paradigm of interdependence, which is built on true independence. You can’t talk way out of problems that you behave. Imagine there is emotional bank account, which is like a reserve of amount of trust you build up:


6 deposit of bank account

  1. Understanding /2. Attending to little things /3. Keep commitment /4. Clarifying expectation /5. Show personal integrity (Be loyal to who is not present) / 6. Apologize sincerely

Every problem appear can be a great opportunity to build up the bank account



Habit 4: Think win win

There are 6 paradigm in thinking this

  1. Win -win: All solution are mutually beneficial and plenty of result for everybody
  2. Win/lose: Comparison, win base on others expenses
  3. Lose / Win: Quick fix to please others (yeah you can win you can take everything , self-give up)
  4. Lose / Lose: In order to “get back “others people lets suffer together
  5. Win: As long as i win i don’t care, whatever you win or lose but i have to win
  6. Win win or no deal: WE either win together or no deal, comprise is 1+1 = 1.5. is a quick fix to the problem.


Habit 5: Seek 1st to understand, then to be understood

Show intent that you want to understand others. Confidence in diagnosis bring confidence in per-script-ion. Highest stage of empathetic listening is feeling + content. Feel deeper than the superficial content layer.


Habit 6: Synergize

The whole is greater than the sum. Which is most personnel is the most general, as more personnel the issue, more authentic it is, which bring more genuine and more people can relate


Defensive (low trust low Corp) >>respect (mid trust mid Corp) >> synergy (high trust, high Corp). Insecure people think all reality should amendable to their paradigm, they clone others, mold them into what they think. Sameness is not oneness, uniformly is not unity. Value the differences and be curious that why people see the world not as it is compare to your view.

The oneness concept can also apply to resisting force and driving force, work with the resistance force like we do in the gym and enhance growth. Think about internal synergy: Analytical and create side of the brain.


Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Four dimension of renewal: 1. Physical: nutrition and exercise /2. Spiritual: Center, commitment to your value system / 3. Mental: education, expanding in mind / 4. Social: interact with people in more effective way. Renewal is a process to move in upward spiral. Learn > COMMIT > DO



There are spaces between stimulus and responses, and we can choose within the spaces. Follow our conscience- deep voice within, work on your paradigm.

CHECK OUT THE BOOK HERE >> 9781451639612

More work from Stephen R. Covey


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