Have you ever read a book that’s so great that you wish everyone would read?
That is exactly how I feel about this book.
Dr. Covey is well known for this profound self-help book, and in all honesty I can see why as it has made a SERIOUS impact in my life. He explains how a habit is composed of three things “knowledge, skill and desire”; when you combine these three ideas you are able to step forward into achieving greatness in any area of life.
Throughout the book he provides many concepts to help the reader understand his points. I do not want to ruin the book for anyone so I’ll only talk about this one metaphor that always sticks with me. Dr. Covey compares the brain to a farm, and explains that in order to have a healthy mind, which retains knowledge, you must be willing to learn on a regular basis. I love this metaphor because when you think about a farmer and his farm you know that if he waits until the harvest to take care of his crops he would have wasted an entire season. Really makes you think of all those days you spent cramming on exams.
In one of the sections he ask you to think of things that are most valuable to you. I went into deep contemplation and created a list of how I prioritize my thoughts. It goes – God – Family/Friends – Wisdom – Health – Wealth – in the sequential order. I look at it as if the first is satisfied then I could proceed to the following. For example, I will worry about my wisdom and health before my wealth because I believe that money will not do anything for my life if I am physically and mentally unstable. Everyone will have their own unique priorities, but it is definitely something I recommend all of my readers to do because it will bring you closer to the things that you value most in life and away from distractions, such as binge watching shows.
Now the most valuable part of this book are the 7 habits. The book goes much more into depth of each step, but these are my personal summaries.
The first three deal with becoming an independent person. Once you have mastered being independent you can move onto the next three, which deal with becoming interdependent (working with other people). And the last habit basically means to continuously improve.
- Be Proactive: Do not blame anyone or anything because that is what reactive people do, instead focus on what you can control and follow your dreams.
- Begin with the end in mind: Think of who you want to become and see if what you are currently doing is helping you get to that point. A great way to help you think of who you want to become is by thinking of what you would want people to say about you at your funeral. (sad, but efficient)
- Put first things first: prioritize your days by completing what is most important and most urgent in your life. (God-Family/Friends-Wisdom-Health-Wealth)
- Think Win-Win: Instead of viewing the world as if I win, you lose (win-lose) view as every situation is a win-win. In a win-win situation even if you are competing with someone you can learn from them, and ultimately help each other be better.
- Seek to understand then to be understood: This has to do with one of the most critical skills, listening. Instead of ranting all the time, practice active listening. This helps people be more empathetic to one another and facilitates moving forward.
- Synergize: Combine the talents of other people to help you all reach a common goal.
- Sharpen the saw: This may sound obvious, but it was probably the most important of all habits. You must continuously grow on a daily basis. Think of life as a staircase and know that if you take steps toward your goals/dreams you will always be going up.
Below is a link where you can subscribe to audiobooks.com and listen to this book for FREE with a 30 day trial.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle