Professor Belli | Spring 2022 | City Tech | ENG 3402: Topics in Literature

In the end you hold the power (Covey 7 Habits)

I have to admit the first part of this reading threw me off. I questioned whether it would be all about the name dropping. All about how wonderful Stephen Covey was, Because honestly the first twenty or so pages were just that. Which in the end the first part was based through the eyes of others and how they perceived him. But then you got into the good things about him and laughed at times. One person said “He was famous for his power naps. Frequently, he would scrunch up his jacket and put on his eye mask and take short naps to renew himself in the most unusual places…”(page 11). They went on to name places, which were not common nap areas but the most important seems to be it was thought of as a good thing, something someone else perceived good about him, something so simple.

Then as I moved on to Part One: Paradigms and Principles I noticed he started it off with quotes from others. “I’ve set and met my career goals and I’m having tremendous professional success. But it’s cost me my personal and family life. I don’t know my wife and children anymore. I’m not even sure I know myself and what’s really important to me. I’ve had to ask myself—is it worth it?”(page23). Stephen Covey starts out with quotes like this in order to have people read it and be able to relate to the content.  Then he started to bring in personal experiences he has had, in doing this it helps to be able to see him as a real person who has similar experiences to others. He began to speak of his son, and how he was smaller and skinnier than the other boys that were into sports. Bringing up how at first him and his wife Sandra would just cheer on the son, “Come on son! You can do it! We know you can!”(page 24).  And how they would also discourage people who would poke fun at their son. But then they came to realize that wasn’t the answer to help him. They came to realize they needed to truly understand their son and how he worked in order to help him. Meaning they really had to get to know him and see what worked when it came to encouraging him. Also realizing that it was their perception of him that was off, almost as if they found him inadequate. So they worked on how they saw their son, realizing that our perception of others not only hinders them, but hinders ourselves as well.

As I got into Part 2: Private Victory I saw that people’s perception of me was my responsibility to not let it cloud my perception of myself. “If the only vision we have of ourselves comes from the social mirror—from the current social paradigm and from opinions, perceptions, and paradigms of the people around us— our view of ourselves is like the reflection in the crazy mirror room at the carnival”(page 75).  People will perceive you as one way and it could have some truth to it, but it may not be the whole truth. But we must be ourselves and not let this alter how we see ourselves. Covey goes on to speak about how past events that may have made us afraid can affect us in the future and make us afraid to do it then. But that we must recognize the trigger and find ways around it in order to move forward. “They could control his entire environment, they could do what they wanted to his body, but Victor Frankel himself was a self-aware being who could look as an observer at his very involvement. His basic identity was intact. He could decide within himself how all of this was going to affect him”(page 77).

While there are many more things in this part I will leave off with this. “As Eleanor Roosevelt observed, “No one can hurt you without your consent.” In the words of Gandhi, “They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.””(page 80).  You are in total control of the power you give to others, use your power wisely because you deserve to live in happiness with your true self.



  1. dmondel

    Hi Katie
    I like your closing sentence. True, true and true! I sounded in my head like I was reading it from some therapist or something 🙂
    So Yes I like the highlighted key points. They seem to be in harmony with that closing sentence. I enjoyed reading your analysis.

  2. Olga Santos

    I love how your post can give us a glimpse of your experience throughout reading the text. I also agree about the power we individuals have toward others and ourselves. I also liked how the evidence you used was about the son and the impact past events have on others.

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