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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The Overview : 

When Stephen Covey first released The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the book became an instant rage because people suddenly got up and took notice that their lives were headed off in the wrong direction; and more than that, they realized that there were so many simple things they could do in order to navigate their life correctly. This book was wonderful education for people, education in how to live life effectively and get closer to the ideal of being a ‘success’ in life.

But not everyone understands Stephen Covey’s model fully well, or maybe there are some people who haven’t read it yet. This is definitely true because we still see so much failure all around us. Now, I am not saying that by using Covey’s model, or anyone else’s model for that matter, you can become a sure-shot success, but at least we should have seen many more successes around us already judging by the number of copies the book has sold! So, where is the shortcoming?

There are two main problems here, and we are talking only about the people who have read the book already. The first problem is that most people are too lazy to implement the ideals of Stephen Covey in their lives. They consider his masterpiece of a book as a mere coffee-table book or a book that you use for light reading when you are traveling and then forget all about it. They do not realize that this book contains life-changing information. Or, they take the information and do not make the effort to actually utilize it so that it becomes knowledge for them.

The second problem is that a lot of people have a myopic view of Covey’s ideals. These are people who are impressed by the book already. If you ask them what the seven habits are, they can rattle them off end to end, but then they miss the larger picture. They do not understand that Covey was trying to tell more than he wrote in words. There are hidden implications in this book, yes, and a lot of people have just failed to see through them.

That is what we are trying to do. We are trying to show you how Covey’s book, or rather, his model, was a complete model in itself. There was nothing amiss about it. If you implement it, there should be no aspect of your life that should go untouched. The only thing is that you have to understand these ideals and try to implement them in your life.

But, before we barge into that area, it is extremely important to understand what these ideals are. What was the model that was propounded by Stephen Covey in his mega-famous book? We shall begin by trying to understand his model first, and then interpret it in such a way that it pertains to every aspect of our life


Verginia***Ever since I worked at the bookstore at Virginia Tech, I would watch the douchebag* business major undergrads buy this book for their classes and look down upon them, and the book by association, as, well, douchebags.

*This is not to say that all undergrad business majors are douchebags. I've met one really really awesome one. Additionally, after working at a major university bookstore, a majority of all undergrad students can be fairly classified as douchebags. Jebus.

Consequently, I never picked up this book. I hated the people who were reading it for class. I hated the people who were assigning it for their classes. I hated my job and I hated the area that I was living in. (I was, yes indeedy, a hater)

Obviously it wasn't the right time for me to read it.

My current boss (who is only occasionally a douchebag) is doing this huge self-help/life plan program, and from it, there is a major reading list. As I am a wee bit addicted to books, I immediately agreed, and when I started searching on Amazon for the reading list, "7 Habits" appeared on pretty much every single page. So I picked that one up too.

Excellent decision. I chose to read it first. It has taken me, probably three weeks to read it. I have ordered (with my boss' blessing) "The 8th Habit" and will read that shortly.

Every single page I found something that made me put the book down for a couple of minutes and think about it. I already know that I'm going to have to re-read this at some point in the near future. I would say this is required reading for humanity, but my father would have been the exception to that rule.

Basically, this book will teach you about effective ways to be a compassionate, kind, enjoyable human being. It will teach you about personal responsibility (personal as in to your self, and to others). It will teach you how to be a better parent, employee, spouse, daughter, or boss.

I can't give it enough praise. It is a truly outstanding book.

Greg*** Inspirational, developmental, and practical -- what a combination! The principles of behavior covered in this groundbreaking and long-respected book are of great worth to anyone seeking success in career, family, or any other aspect of their life. Covey discusses first the actions we must take (or habits we must develop) internally first - getting our heads and hearts right first. These include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first. These constitute the "private victory." He then moves on to the "public victory," that is, the things that we can do that involve other people, and not just our own internal battles and development. These include, thinking win/win, seeking first to understand and then to be understood, and achieving synergy with others. Finally, he addresses the truth that we won't always be energetic and at our best in his discussion of personal renewal. Key to that is the idea of sharpening the saw...that is, we can only be at the top of our game for so long before we need to re-energize. Any serious athlete understands that principle.

Outstanding book, especially when linked with his expanded discussion of Habit 3, putting first things first, in the book by the same title. Another excellent complement to this book is "Crucial Conversations."

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