The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey is a very interesting book, it has similarities to both “The Secret” and “Self Help by Samuel Smiles”. A unique approach this book has is it us of questions and blank spaces for the reader to answer. This book seems more like a reflection and survey than just a self help book. People can stop and reflect within themselves as they read which I think is a very effective approach. A similarity this book shares with “The Secret” is its many testimonies. To some testimonies may make them believe the text to be more credible but for me its off putting. I feel like the use of “names” is a way to sell people. This book deals with the authors stories and approaches which is a cool aspect. One part I really connected with was

“You might work on your attitude — you could think more positively. You still wouldn’t get to the right place, but perhaps you wouldn’t care. Your attitude would be so positive, you’d be happy wherever you were.

The point is, you’d still be lost. The fundamental problem has nothing to do with your behavior or your attitude. It has everything to do with having a wrong map.

If you have the right map of Chicago, then diligence becomes important, and when you encounter frustrating obstacles along the way, then attitude can make a real difference. But the first and most important requirement is the accuracy of the map”

This quote is a more realistic way of thinking, in “The Secret” it is said if you think positively everything will workout whereas in this text it says you can think positively but that alone won’t solve your issues you have to make sure the whole picture or the “map” is accurate first.

Overall this text was very interesting and it was nice to see how it blended the two previous self help texts we have read while also have some unique aspects.

7 Habits

I think the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, seems to be a slight contradiction of the secret because it says that: “we are not our feelings, not even our thoughts, but we are our habits.”

I find it weird that the introduction (inside out) and the foreword are a lot longer than the average, aren’t introductions supposed to be short? Lol. Nevertheless, I fully agree with what was said on page 26 “if we want to change the situation, we must first to change ourselves.” I guess it is a bad habit that many of us have.

Other wisdom nuggets that I found here were: “into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil” (page 30) and the quote of Elenore Roosevelt: “no one can hurt you without your consent” (page 80). It is true that anything that come into our hands we can either turn it into something good or bad.

In essence the first habit, Principles of Personal Vision, says that a proactive person does not blame the external conditions, but he/she creates her own or look for alternatives.

The example of the bite of the snake kills you faster if you go chasing the snake perfectly portrays people who react aggressively to whatever life throws at them. In other words,  if we react (violently or negatively) instead of being proactive, we are actually making the situation worse.

I understand for proactive, not just having a positive mindset but also acting upon it.

It was funny the example of the husband not loving his wife anymore on page 8,  and the author telling him to love her, love her…”because when there is no love, the proper thing to do is to create it.”

The author further explains that highly proactive people sometimes have to accept problems and learn to live with them even if he/she doesn’t like them. The reason behind this is that if we don’t accept it and continuously get angry, we are giving the “problem” control over us.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen Covey

One similarity I see when I read these self help text. These texts are always stating “if you want to be successful in life, you need this book in your library”. The text gives different view point on if you were to look a something from a different view point, you would have a different mindset towards it. This book states that no person lasts forever but books and ideas do which makes sense. The book talks about life balance and our society in the means of our cell phone being more difficult, demanding and stressful. We need to work harder to manage our time. “Do more, achieve greater through the wonders of technology”. I completely agree, I feel that our society needs balance as well as our individual self. Balance is tough and very important in terms of managing our time wether its work or school or whatever it may be. The text talks about how your mindset can make or break you, but not in those words. Thats is how I broke it down in my head. The text also talks about our culture being a factor when it comes to getting what you want.”Life is a game, race and competition where you are striving for number one . You can have schoolmates, colleagues and even family members in it to win with you”. It states in the text when try generous and cheer for others success but inwardly, privately, so many of us are eating our hears out with others achieve. I agree with many things in this text but I do not agree with that statement.

Reading Response #3

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a very interesting self-help book. Of the books we read so far it was definitely the best one in my opinion.  “The secret” was too unrealistic and while the Samuels Smiles text might’ve been factual and helpful, it was very hard to understand fully. That being said the Stephen Covey text had a mix of both, the text was interesting and it was reasonable. The title of the book says it all, it explains the 7 habits that highly effective people use and it explains how if anyone were to apply these things to themselves, then being a highly effective person is basically inevitable. 

This text uses the word Paradigm a lot and it’s saying that the idea of being right or wrong is a negative character trait and to be effective we should try looking differently. This way, we can have a more open mindset to the world. The author uses many stories and in these stories it shows people assuming things that lead to them regretting the assumption. I believe this is mentioned to give the impression that if a person were constantly looking at things from another perspective, they would assume less and less and would be in that situation less. It would also result in a mindset that is much more healthy and knowledgeable. 

The first habit that is mentioned is being proactive and refraining from being reactive. Reactive people are people who feel like everything happens to them and they aren’t in control of anything while proactive people feel the need to create and take responsibility. The second habit is living with a purpose or goal which I can’t agree with any more. I’ve said to many people multiple times how much I believe living with a purpose can benefit a person’s mindset and happiness a whole lot. The third one is about priorities which is very useful but everyone knows that already, it’s just easier said than done. The fourth one is to think win-win and no matter how bad things look to always look on the bright side. The fifth one relates to what is being said about paradigms and trying to understand things from another point of view even when at first you don’t agree. The sixth one, similar to the fifth one, says look at things from another point of view but instead of the opposing point of view, try to see things from a completely different point of view that still solves the issue. The last habit is about self renewal and becoming one’s best self, just like the one about priorities. I feel like a lot of people know this already but it’s just not that easy to do. 

This text was definitely my favorite out of everything we’ve read so far, I agree with a lot of what was being said and I found it all very interesting. If I had to follow any self-help tips this will be the first place I look and I will expect it to work.

People’s Choice Post #3: Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’

This week read through the posts on Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits and choose your favorite post. Comment here to register your vote, & don’t forget to include the name of your classmate, the link to their post, and your rationale for choosing it. Due Thursday, 3/4 by 9am. Happy reading/voting

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Right from the beginning of the book I notice it starts with many testimonies, and a few of the people that stood out to me were Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer, and a COO from Microsoft. This establishes credibility instantly because as a reader I recognize these are successful people and if the book helped them, maybe it can help me. I believe The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has aspects of both of our previous books The Secret and Self Help. I say this because though it has some aspects that is similar to The Secret such as if you really want something you have to believe in it in order to obtain it But Covey does not promote just thinking of something and eventually it will come true. This is where the book draws its similarity too Samuel Smiles Self- Help. Covey preaches that in life you must live by these natural laws and put in the work from the “inside out”. He focuses on the point of changing your mindset or your paradigm before you change your outwardly appearance. He wants those that read his book to work hard to first change their perspective and eventually lead them to the goal of becoming proactive people who aren’t wavered by whatever life throws at you. So he does mention believing in what you want and watching the negative language you use when speaking about things. But he doesn’t promote those things being changed by just thought. Only through hard work can your perception change and eventually yourself.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

As I started to read the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey, I found it to be very interesting. The book starts off with quotes in the first 17 pages. The book then goes on to the acknowledgements and table of contents. The book consists of four parts. Part 1 is call, “Paradigms and Principles” that contains the book inside-out and the 7 habits overview. Part 2 is call, “Private Victory” that contains Habit 1: Be Proactive, Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind, and Habit 3: Put First Things First. Part 3 is call, “Public Victory” and Paradigms of Interdependence, that contains Habit 4: Think Win/Win, Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, and Habit 6: Synergize. Part 4 is call, “Renewal” that contains Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw, along with inside-out again.

I found this book to be a little more different from The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and Self-Help by Samuel Smiles, where this book contains more quotes and stories than the others. One quote that I found to be similar to the law of attraction in The Secret was, “We began to realize that if we wanted to change the situation, we first had to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” (Covey P.18) I say this relates to law of the attraction because what you think, is what you will get. So, if we want our situation within ourselves to be positive, then we have to change by doing positive things when it comes to our personality and attitude. This quote also relates, especially with the one we are all familiar with today, “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” (Covey P.46)

When it comes to this quote, I totally agree, “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.” (Covey P.70-71) I believe it states that what you and who we are is how we are totally in control of our own decisions. This quote follows the previous one, “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, ‘I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,’ that person cannot say, ‘I choose otherwise.’” (Covey P.72)

7 Habits of Highly Effective People By: Stephen R. Covey Notes

My immediate feeling of  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey has a resemblance to past works because of the repetitiveness of the text. We have read prior text with questionable sources. While in this particular book it provides recognizable sources I think adds a certain comfortability to the intended audience.  Although I felt a paradigm shift according to Covey and felt a connection to the text as part one opened with hopelessness. I believe we have all encountered in our lives. Whether this failure to grip was in relationships , school, work, or family. He shares his own experience with trying hard to keep his life together. Having heavy criticism  until the point of his perspective changing. Keeping all this in mind there are things that can be taken in different ways according to your own perception ,as for my own I cling to some of his views while dismissing others.

“There is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living. (Covey 25)  

The act in which he draws in his audience is through testimonials from recognizable figures of society and himself. I think he was brilliant in the use of using individuals with great accomplishments that are well known to draw people in merely because of the influence they hold over a mass amount of people. Also using himself makes the reader comfortable with associating themselves with the author and finding common ground. The use of accomplished people like the senator he used holds no creditability with me. His own testimony I can partially relate to when it comes to his life falling apart until it came to his son. The moment he told his son you are on your own with the explanation of he has to learn was very harsh after being bullied in softball.         

This book is very repetitive when it comes to the word paradigm  and the way we think. I agree when Covey mentions our core does not change. What we see a situation as hardly ever changes without different perspectives to gage them with. For instance the picture exercise , I failed at seeing the older woman. No matter how hard I tried , I only could see the younger lady.  According to Covey we have two different mental maps. One in which we see the way things are and the second is the way things should be. Which was very intriguing in itself. I see that as someone setting a life goal. Looking at their present life and where they want to be in five years. 

P/Pc was also an important concept to value not only the fruit of the labor ,but the actual bottom line in sorts. The example used in the text was the goose and the golden egg. Without your bottom line your work would not be as productive. I find this outlook very useful for growth and prosperity. With this concept in mind we should be able to differentiate what are negative outlooks or paradigms and positive. Basically what works and what doesn’t for us . “Being is seeing in the human deamination“(Covey 40)

Independence and the two required shifts being the goals before truly understanding this book were again interesting. The first shift was to continuously read the text through out your success and the second was to teach within two days of reading, which I thought was just a marketing technique. There are great points to take away from this text while others fall flat to me. I would say there is only really six habits as the last is just to repeat the first six. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

When reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, I found myself mostly comparing it to The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The front matter had many positive reviews, but none were left by experts, as seen with Rhonda Byrne’s self-help book. What stood out to me the most was seeing well-known figures like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney leaving a review (Covey 2-4). I believe this best shows how the author, Stephen R. Covey, uses ethos to appeal to the audience. If the reader recognizes that the person leaving a review is successful and famous, they’ll want to see how this book has helped them.

Another similarity with The Secret is when asked by Jim Collins how he [Covey] came up with the ideas in the book, he said he didn’t. Covey’s principles are “natural laws” that had been around long before him. All he did was put them together. “He did not seek credit for the principles; he sought to teach the principles, to make them accessible. He saw creating the 7 Habits not primarily as a means to his own success, but as an act of service” (Collins 29). In her own book, Byrne points out that other individuals have known the secret and withheld it for years, but that she’s the one who will share this simple secret with everyone else. Covey just like Byrne, attributes the knowledge everyone will have access to to himself. They both try to point out to the readers that these aren’t new ideas and so you should take their word for it.

The 7 habits that Covey discusses in the book are:

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive 
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
  • Habit 4: Think Win/Win
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Habit 6: Synergize
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Throughout the rest of the book you see many examples/stories, some being the author’s own experiences. As Jim Collins states, “he made the ideas even more accessible by using personal life-struggles and stories- raising children, building a marriage, dealing with friends…” (30-31). Here the author is using pathos to seem more relatable to the reader.

Of the three self-help texts we’ve read I think Samuel Smiles had the best advice of daily application and perseverance. When taking the time to understand it, his message is clear. Through the examples of all the failures of now well-known individuals, we come to understand that things don’t come so easy to many people. He also advises us to have the right models to look up to. Stephen R. Covey has a strong emphasis of building character in this text but the ideas were repetitive throughout. The book could’ve been a lot shorter for what he was trying to say. And lastly, Byrne’s text is all about the law of attraction. To her, if you want something, you need to have predominant thoughts about it, visualize and feel it, and you can’t have any feelings of doubt.  Putting out negative thoughts only attracts more of it. That text was the most unrealistic.