11.07.2019 in Book Review

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Essay

Each and every person, whether it is a student, a parent, a leader or even a businessman will wish to lead a life of success and happiness in the near future. Furthermore, for one to achieve such a dream, then one needs to be more effective in whatever he or she does in life. Nevertheless, by the end of the day, one will reap the better fruits of life after perseverance. It is because of this reasons people like Stephen Covey decided to educate people by writing a book known as, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” of which it was meant to motivate and inspire people on how they can develop their personal live and achieve the best in the future life. To prove these claims of Effectiveness, then one needs to take and observe those people who have succeeded in life maybe through academics, leadership or even business and the principle they have put in place for them to succeed. If this people are asked about their success, the answer will be an obvious one.

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Some of these habits are such as Proactive principle which focuses on one taking their personal lives to be very important. By this what is meant is, each and every person who wants to succeed now and in future must be responsible when it comes to their own lives rather than putting their blame on the circumstances, conditions or conditioning especially when focusing on their behaviors. Nevertheless, that is why, the kind of behavior one has in life determines the decision he or she is likely to make when faced especially with situations and circumstances because as Covey puts it in his book, “Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.” (Covey, 2004) Of which I tend to conquer with writings.


Once you allow consequences and conditions to take control of your life, then it means, that person has allowed him/herself to become reactive to nature. For instance, if in a given day, the weather seems to be better of, then that means those people who are reactive will feel better of during that day because of the good climate conditions. Nevertheless, it is such kinds of people are whom we refer to as, reactive people. This kind of people’s lives is normally surrounded by nature and its happenings. This can be proved whereby, for example, if they develop the mentality of not succeeding in whatever plan they have that will make them benefit in life, then it means that they will not take any effort to accomplish that dream .

When we compare this reactive people with the proactive people, we note that the proactive people are very different from them. This proactive people are normally controlled by values which are carefully selected with lots of keenness, thought about and internalized. There influence revolves around the external factors. The way that person react to nature, will be based on those values that go hand in hand with the choice or response they make. They never care what life holds for them because whatever the circumstance they face, they will always have an alternative, either make a choice or respond.

Having such a mentality, the proactive people create a positive impact in life especially when faced with challenges in life’s experience. This people cannot be compared with those who are not ready to cope up with such kind of challenges. However, accepting responsibilities of tackling issues concerning nature especially the challenges that tend to follow us, it means we have adhered to this proactive habit since this is the pillar of the other habits of the highly effective people.

The second habit which should be looked upon is the beginning with the end in mind. By this what is meant is that, a person should visualize his/her life afterwards of at the end, which is having a clear knowledge of his/her destination. Having a clear knowledge where life is taking you is a clear path of having a clear mind of where your life is at present and what guidance to take afterwards. With this kind of image in mind, as Covey puts it, “Each part of your life- today’s behavior, tomorrow’s behavior, next week’s behavior, next months behavior- can be examined in the context of the whole…”By saying the “whole”, it means a life in the coming days and the present . With such focus and a dream of the future rather than today, defining the vision of the future motivates you to work towards it in order to accomplish the set goals or achievements.

With such a clear knowledge about habit two and taking it seriously, then there is need to re-align your effort to successful achieve what is a head. This can be done through putting “the first things first” which is the third habit. This kind of habit involves personal management. As Goeth puts it,”Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” This is true because, each person has the responsibility of his life. One makes decisions on the important things that matter to him/her and that has the benefit as compared to those things that don’t make any kind of meaning to life. Asking yourself questions and internalizing them without making decision first is a very important aspect in life. With the resolution in mind already, one is able to mange him/herself effectively and this depends on the way you make decisions. And that is why Covey puts in his writings, “Manage from the left; lead from the right.

With the personal management in place, having an interpersonal leadership is also a very important aspect in life. This normally happens if “Think Win-Win” habit is adhered to. This is because in every life, there has to be two sides to negotiating. These two sides have to come up with a solution in case there is a crisis of which that solution has to benefit both sides for them to feel better thus committing themselves to the action plan. This is what we call a win-win agreement whereby as Covey puts it, “Win-win means that agreements or solution are mutually beneficial, mutual satisfying”. This is a show of leadership in relations to others whereby, through the negotiations, before one admits to have been won, then it means factors such as self-awareness, imaginations, conscience and independent might have taken in place thus leading to a win-win situation.

For one to come up with those mutual benefits in life, then one has to have enough courage within him/her especially when relating with others who are extremely considered to be in a win-los situation. It is because of such situations that this habit falls in the brackets of interpersonal leadership because effective interpersonal leadership comprises of factors such as vision, the proactive initiative, security, guidance, wisdom and power which comes from within and it has to be applicable with your own centered principles as a leader.

Having a win-win situation shows a sign of success when interacting with others thus embracing the character, then relationships of which it leads to the agreement. This kind of habit then tries to go hand in hand with the fifth habit which is “Seek first to understand then be understood” which deals with the act of communication. This normally applies in an interpersonal relationship whereby before you come to a conclusion about something, one needs to seek first to understand the information then after which they will also need to be understood after understanding that information. With this principle in mind, then it means that this is the key to the effective interpersonal communication because this is a very important skill in life.

When we say, “Seek first to understand,” we mean this is necessary and very important. Stephen Covey writes by saying, “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,” of which has been proven and this can be witnessed in most conversations in our daily lives. This are the people who pretend that they have already understood whatever message you were intending to pass and it is a waste of time for you to explain further to them. Such kinds of people never seek to understand the message and that is why there are always disagreements everywhere when it comes to the opinions. That is why emphatic listening is encouraged. By saying emphatic listening, what Stephen Covey meant is the ability to listen with the intention of understanding carefully. It should not be mistaken to be an agreement with someone rather it should be considered to fully, deeply understanding the person in picture both emotionally and intellectually. This is the act of listening to the deep communication of another human soul.

With more emphasis in the empathic listening then one is able to get the accurate information to work with instead of coming up with your own imaginations to impose to another person pretending to have understood what the person in picture was trying to explain to you in terms of their feelings, motives and interpretation.

The sixth habit should be, synergize which is known to be a creative cooperation. It involves a combination of all the other habits that have been mentioned above which are, proactive, begin with the end in the mind, put first things first, think win-win and seek first to understand and then be understood. It revolves around the motive of win-win and the emphatic communication skills. It is also the principle of the centered leadership and parenting.

Nevertheless, these posses a question about what the real synergy is all about. In the seven habits of the effective people, it is described to be something which is considered to be full or a whole and is known to be better of as compared to that part of that something. So when we compare this with the relationships, we mean that relationship of which, the part comprises of each other is part in and of itself. When it comes to creativity, this part is considered to be very dangerous because of the repercussions that may befell it in terms of the challenges or the direction it is going to take.

Synergy is known to evolve everywhere in nature, whether in school, trees or even the plants. For instance the example given in the book states that if two plants are planted close to each other and given time to grow, the end result is that, the plants will commingle thus improving the quality of the soil. This leads to the plant growing better of as compared to those separated plants. Same thing happens to the furniture and many more thus fulfilling the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

The only challenge this kind of habit seems to face is how the principle of creative cooperation can be applied of which its lessons comes from nature itself especially when interacting with others. This kind of interaction normally starts from within the family of which should be the basis of us practicing it before we involve ourselves to the outside world.

When it comes to communication that involves synergy, one may take it to be a way of opening your mind and heart and expression when new things comes your way and of which you have to choose from. This habit shouldn’t be compared with that of habit 2 which is “to Begin with the End in Mind” because habit 6 which is synergy is known to be the act of fulfilling while habit 2 is known to focus to the end as you work towards it rather than the present.

Engaging in synergy communication does not offer you with what is happening and the end solution, rather than believing that everything will be okay as compared to what had happened before. This normally happens when one has a sense of joy, security and adventure in all the events that tends to occur now and what is hoped for. This kind of synergy also happens in classrooms whereby teachers and students have got no knowledge about what is going to happen. Interaction then begins where, students’ listens and learns from the teacher, it opens a forum of openness where students are allowed to interact with the teachers by asking questions. This leads to the brainstorming session where evaluation is needed of which creativity, imaginations and intellectual networking are among the factors that are part of it. Later on the students get transformed. Other place where synergy occurs is in business, communication and many more.

The final and the 7th habit of a highly effective people by Covey are sharpening the saw which is the habit that is concerned with the self-renewal. It is one kind of habit that comprises of all the other mentioned habits. It makes the habits to be applied and be made possible. It enhances the renewal of nature which comprises of physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional of which should be taken care of and developed. However, when one speaks about the 7th habit which is sharpening the saw, all that should come in mind is what has just been mentioned before, the physical, spiritual, mental and social dimensions of which should be exercised to the fullest.

For one to achieve this, then there is need for one to be proactive. Physically, one needs to effectively take care of his physical body by eating the balanced diet needed, relaxing and performing exercises regularly. Spiritually, one should posses’ things that are meant to be for the great benefit, inspire and uplifts you as a person. This defines the person’s leadership in life.

Mentally, one should be prepared through formal education by seriously reading, exploring new subjects deeply, and many factors related to education. Finally, the social/emotions which focuses on habits 4, 5, 6 which involves, the interpersonal leadership, emphatic communication and creative cooperation for the success of the 7th habit. A person needs to improve on his/her social/emotional dimensions through interacting daily whereby, one is able to achieve both private and public victory.

In conclusion, one should know that Stephen Covey was right when he came up with these seven habits of a highly effective people. These seven habits when read carefully, one will discover that they are very simple and very motivational in changing ones life. People who want to progress in life and achieve their set objectives or goals should focus on these seven habits. These habits are applicable in every aspect of real life whether in school, leadership, home, businesses and many more.

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