Stephen Covey Leaves a Legacy of Wisdom

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”  ~Stephen R. Covey, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

Stephen Covey was a master of motivation and an icon in the world of personal growth. He was recognized by Time Magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential people.  He created a series of books (selling over 20 million copies to date) that literally changed the way many corporations did business, not to mention nearly every person on earth who has embarked on the journey of self growth.  His principles are simple yet so effective – IF you’ll only follow them.

I could easily write a 10 page report on the key elements that Covey’s most popular book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” includes within each of the seven habits, but I think you’d be much better served to just pick up the book.  So rather then make this a super long article, I will just briefly share the seven main habits.

Habit #1 – Be Proactive – This isn’t just about taking initiative, it’s about being responsible for our own lives. Covey sums it up best by saying, “Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.” Our thoughts and words are powerful. We do have a choice, we can be reactive or we can be proactive. Choose Proactive!

Habit #2 – Begin with the End in Mind – This principle is based on the idea that “all things are created twice.” First you must have a mental creation before you can have the actual physical creation. If you don’t have a goal in mind first then you’ll never know how to even begin to get there.

Habit #3 – Put First Things First – Once you know what you want to do, you have to take action but do it decisively. Get very clear about what is important and do those things first. Manage your time wisely. Say no to what isn’t important and yes only to what is.

Habit #4 – Think Win/Win – The best way to find happiness and success in life is to find a way to show up in all human interaction with a win/win philosophy. When you think win/win, you are able to see life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena.  It’s a frame of mind and heart that always seeks mutual benefits in all human interaction. (The image to the right kind of sums up what I believe begins here.)

Habit #5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood – Communication is the most important skill in life. But many forget that without listening, really listening and authentically understanding, you cannot effectively interact with others. Compassion, empathy and understanding are essential before you can be effective.

Habit #6 – Synergize – Be open to new possibilities! The energy that occurs when you open your mind, your heart and your expressions to new possibilities, alternatives, and options is amazing. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and synergizing (working together with others) will create results that are greater than you could imagine.

Habit #7 – Sharpen the Saw – So simple, but so important and often the one we overlook. Take the time to renew! Preserve and enhance your greatest asset…you. Take care of yourself physically, spiritually, mentally and socially or emotionally.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little refresher on Covey’s principles and I want to challenge you to take at least one of these habits and commit to incorporating it into your life, if you don’t already do it. Then continue with the others.

If you’d like to know more about how you can effectively experience personal change in your life, I’d be happy to help you. Simply contact me today for a complimentary 30 minute session so that together we can kick start your transformation.

Now I want to hear from you! Comment below and share the habit you are going to be incorporating into your life! Then share at least one way you’re planning to do it.