The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Deepstash
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen R. Covey

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Stephen R. Covey

"Courage isn't absent of fear, it is the awareness that something else is important."


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  • Personality Ethics: This is the appearance to others. It will be seen as fake if it isn't rooted in the character. Like - public image, attitude, personality.
  • Character Ethics: This is the foundation of your character. It cannot be faked. This the place where you sow your seeds of greatness. Like - Integrity, Humility, Courage.

Focus your efforts on the character ethics and the personal ethics will be set automatically. And remember

There are no Shortcuts.


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#1 Be Proactive

  • Circle of Influence: The things you can control - Attitude, education, skills you learn, enthusiasm, habits, hobbies, etc.
  • Circle of Concern: The things you don't have control over - other's opinions, other's mistakes, the economy, what people think of you, politics, weather.

Reactive people more focus on the circle of Concern and they blame others for their situation.

But Proactive people only focus on the circle of influence and take responsibility for themselves.

"You either act or you're acted upon."


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"I'm free to choose and I'm responsible for my choices."


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Funeral Test

Imagine yourself at a funeral. Many people are gathered for the person who has died. When you see the name of the dead person - you see that it's your name.

Now there are 3 persons who are going to give a short speech about you. One person is one of your family members (maybe wife or husband, son or daughter), the second person is your best friend and the third person is your office friend.

Now you decide what you want to hear from those three persons - How good are you as a husband or wife, dad or mom, as a best friend, as an office worker?

Are you doing those things now that you want to hear from them?


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#2 Begin with End in Mind

What do you want in 5, 10, 15 years of your life with clear details

Why do you want to be remembered?

Find your WHY. Write it down as a Personal Mission Statement. And remember - 'Anything can be possible!'


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"If I want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control myself."


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#3 Put First thing First

"What is the most important thing in this moment?" - Focus on the things that really matter.

Categories your tasks - 

  1. Important & Urgent - Manage the time.
  2. Important & Not-Urgent - Focus on these tasks.
  3. Not-Important & Urgent - Try to avoid.
  4. Not-Important & Not-Urgent - Limit these tasks.

Make a priority list for your tasks and then do what necessary to do at that moment. 


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These first three habits are about self-mastery or becoming Dependent to Independent.

But to achieve more you need to go to the next step (habits - #4, #5 & #6)- Becoming Interdependent or Thinking like a team - The attitude of 'WE'.


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"How you see the problem is a problem."


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#4 Think Win-Win

Create an Abundance Mindset - There are plenty of things for all and if I want to win, no one has to lose.

Always think of a Win-Win situation where both sides are mutually happy with the final decision.


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#5 Seek First to Understand then to be Understood

To understand someone you have to listen to them first - you need to see the problem from their perspective first. 

Try Empathic Listening - You listen first, then try to understand and ask questions about the thinking process.

"The time to be understood is when the conversation leads to logic and advice is requested."


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Collaborate and value the differences of others.

There are many things that cannot be achieved by only one person, you need to take help from others and also help them.

The key idea is - "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."


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#7 Sharpen the Saw

Taking care of your health beforehand is always better than going to the doctor after you feel ill.  

This habit is focused on continuous growth and improvement and embodies all the other habits.

You need to focus on Quadrant 2 (Important & Not-Urgent) activities -

  • Physical Exercise
  • Spiritual Practices - Meditation, Gratefulness, etc.
  • Cognitive Learning - reading books, listening to podcasts
  • Social Health - spend time with family, friends.


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"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."


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"Sow a thought reap an action; Sow an action reap a habit; Sow a habit reap a character; Sow a character reap a destiny."


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