Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a Summary
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People has proven to be an International best seller and has sold over 10 million copies world wide, the immense popularity of the literature has turned it into a bible for business managers, individuals in relationships and students getting themselves through university or college. The publication by Stephen R Covey had so much of valuable material that my habit of highlighting or underlining significant verses has tuned my book into a colourful array of green, blue and pink highlighters.
I can go on and on with the endless compliments that this piece of work deserves but the fact of the matter is that I have been assigned a difficult task of summarising and justifying Stephen Covey’s marvel in less than two thousand words. So without wasting any more words, here goes:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
In the words of Stephen Covey, “Our behaviour is a function of our decision and not our conditions.” What the author means is that our behaviour and actions should be dictated by our own decisions and not by circumstances. The book also mentions the circle of concern and influence of individuals. A circle of concern for an individual includes a wide range of problems that a person might have whereas a circle of influence includes all the concerns that the individual has a degree of control over. Proactive people tend to focus on their circle of influence whereas reactive individuals tend to operate the other way round, limiting their scope of the circle of influence. In a nutshell proactive people seize the opportunities, are solutions to problems and tend to write their own destiny.
Stephen Covey’s Sacramento incident with the helpless nurse who had the misfortune of working with an unthankful, inconsiderate and rude man, somehow reminded me of my early years at school, when I used to stutter while talking. I was the hapless nurse and my classmates were the rude supervisor who would pounce at making fun of me with every stammer in my speech. Although I had not read Mr. Covey’s book at that time, but it was my father who helped me get rid of my stammer. I started talking out loud to myself, read newspapers standing in front of the mirror and used to practice words I had difficulty with, over and over again. This was me adopting a proactive attitude, I decided to stop being miserable about the circumstances and it was time to bring a change in myself.
Barack Obama the 44th and current president of the USA on the other hand is a proven model of proactive behaviour. Obama has managed to do what no other ‘black man’ could have accomplished in a country that has discrimination so deeply rooted in its society. Despite the Declaration of Independence highlighting the equal treatment of all humans regardless or gender and race, this believe did not stand true in the streets of United States, where a black man was always at a loss of his rights, be it a professional or a social setting. Obama on the other hand rose above these circumstances and took matters into his own hands. He made things happen for himself by leading successful campaign that landed him the title of ‘The First Black President of The United States of America.’
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
The second habit in the book, talks about knowing where you are going, it is about visualising how the end of an activity or life as a whole is going to be. Begin with the end in mind inculcates a sense of planning in the mind of the reader. In this section Stephen has highlighted the fact that everything is created twice, first is the mental creation or in other words planning and the second is the physical creation i.e. the implementation of planning. The text rightly says that every step you...