Summary of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits book, if you’re not feeling up for the entire 432 page version. I did not read the book, but may have to now that I’ve looked into it a bit. Raving reviews! Also, I recommend following Stephen on Twitter.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

1. Be Proactive

Focus: Self-mastery and moving from dependence to independence. (#’s 1–3)

Example: You control your own emotions, and should focus on providing positive energy around your circle of influence.

2. Begin With The End In Mind

Don’t lose sight. You can work all day at climbing the ladder until you realize it’s leaning against the wrong wall!

Practice Exercise: Break down all of your different roles — professional, personal, community, etc. — and list three to five goals you want to achieve in each category.

3. Put First Things First

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” — Stephen Covey

4. Think Win-Win

Focus: Developing teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills, and moving from independence to interdependence. (#’s 4–6)

Learn to be genuinely happy for other people’s successes. Think in terms of mutually beneficial practices. Things always come back around!

Abundance Mentality: the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody

5. Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood

I’m a reflective thinker, so naturally tend to operate in this way. Listening is one of the most undervalued traits, in my opinion.

6. Synergize

Classic buzz word. But, when you look at the definition literally, there’s no fighting it’s power.

Synergy: when one plus one equals three or more, when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

7. Sharpen The Saw

Focus: Continuous growth and improvement, and embodies all the other habits.

To be an overall effective human being, you must commit the time to renewing yourself in terms of physical, spiritual, mental, and social dimensions. I firmly believe that we require new challenges and knowledge daily in order to fully engage and strive.

Practice Exercise: Make a list of weekly activities/goals to perform to renew yourself! Physically writing your goals tends to help with accountability 🙂

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  • steffan

    Thoughts & Reflections


    I’m a reflective thinker who believes in the power of positive intentions, and joy, in small everyday acts. I spend my time exploring, observing and absorbing from the amazing world around us. I grew up between Denmark and USA, but identify with no real nationality. In the last two years, I’m lucky to have lived and worked across Copenhagen, Berlin, Geneva, Florence, San Francisco and now New York City.