One of the top selling personal development books of the past twenty years is “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, written by Stephen Covey. In the book, Covey identifies and explains seven success habits that lead to a happy and productive life. Covey’s book has provided a road-map for many people on their personal development journey.

A summary of the Covey seven success habits ….

  • Success habit 1 – be proactive

This is the ability and willingness to control your environment, rather than have it control you.. Self determination, choice, and the power to decide how you will respond to events, conditions and circumstances that you encounter in your life

  • Success habit 2 – begin with the end in mind

Covey calls this the habit of personal leadership – leading oneself towards your goals in life. By developing the habit of learning to focus on relevant activities you will avoid distractions and become more productive and successful.

  • Success habit 3 – put first things first

Covey calls this the habit of personal management. This is about organising and implementing activities in line with your goals and priorities.

  • Success habit 4 – think win-win

Covey calls this the habit of interpersonal leadership, necessary because achievement is largely dependent on co-operative efforts with others. He says that win-win is based on a paradigm that there is plenty for everyone, and that over time, success will more likely follow a co-operative approach

  • Success habit 5 – seek first to understand and then to be understood

This is Covey’s habit of communication, and it’s extremely powerful. Covey helps to explain this in his simple analogy ‘diagnose before you prescribe’. Simple and effective, and essential for developing and maintaining positive relationships in all aspects of life. Listening is after all, how we can show respect for other people – and how we can learn and benefit from the views of others.

  • Success habit 6 – synergize

Covey says this is another habit of creative co-operation – the principle that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts,

  • Success habit 7 – sharpen the saw

This is the success habit of self renewal, says Covey, and it underpins all the other habits. Covey interprets the self in four dimensions: the spiritual, mental, physical and social / emotional. Each of these four parts need on-going renewal if we are to continue to learn, grow and develop – and retain a sense of balance in our lives

The following short video clip offers a nice clear summary of the seven success habits

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