This book was very insightful and very well designed and is one of my new favorite books in from genre.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is 432 pages paperback and 13 hours, 4 minutes audible book.
It is advertised on Amazon as follows,
"One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations."
So, what are three things we can get from this book?
3 Things You Can Use
To change our environment, our circumstances and our world, we need to start with ourselves.
The inside-out approach is all about recognizing that our actions are the causes of our circumstances and that we are in complete control of our actions.
If you solicit an unexpected response from someone, know that there was something that you could have done differently or can do now to turn the situation into a better one.
This is not about always being nice and/or manipulating people. It is just about knowing this principle and being able to apply it when you see fit.
Don't take the outside-in approach that Stephen Covey characterizes as being:
The kind of person who says that their problems are caused by others and that they are not the cause.
Acknowledging that your problems all stem from choices you made is one of the first steps to setting yourself up to have more control of your life.
"If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster." -Stephen R. Covey
Your center is the foundation for which your life rests on.
If you have a money center, then your life's focus will be on the accumulation of money.
If you have a pleasure center, then your life's focus will be all about how to get good feelings.
Fame center, friend center, self center -- these are all common centers. They are also all missing something. When you get to old age and you are on your death bed, if you had one of these centers you will know you will not have lived a healthy and proud life. You may feel regrets.
Stephen Covey recommends to begin with the end in mind and design your center with the end of your life as a frame of reference. He says that having a principle center, a center with a focus on healthy principles, is the center that puts all other centers in perspective.
Seek first to understand, then be understood.
Take the time to understand before you give advice. Steven R. Covey uses an example with an optometrist here, where you would tell the optometrist your symptoms and he or she would prescribe you something without performing any tests or scans. You wouldn't really trust his or her opinion.
The same thing goes when you are trying to communicate with someone. Try to listen to them with the intent to understand (perform tests and scans), rather than thinking about what you are going to say next. Don't diagnose before you prescribe.
Be an empathetic listener and be more present in the conversation. This can help when being asked for advice, but it can also help to give your conversations more depth and meaning.
A Few Words:
This book was great and, like I said in the beginning, it has totally moved up to my top 3 books for self-improvement. I recommend it to all of those who are committed to this stuff because it is a long book, but it is insightful and the habit structure is so well thought-out.
One more note to add is that I thought the voice actor did a great job with this book and kept me interested through his "just right" emphasis and confident voice.
Thank you for reading/watching. I will leave you with something Stephen R. Covey says in the final chapter,
"Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and happiness."
Want to Read it?
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Audible Version)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Physical Copy)
(disclosure: these links are linked up to a commission -- at no extra cost to you! They just give me a little bump if you decide to use them. Thank you!)
Punching Sounds (in video) by: Mike Koenig