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The 7 habits of highly effective people

Kirjoitettu 20.02.17
Esseen kirjoittaja: Juuso Nieminen
Kirjapisteet: 2
Kirja: The 7 habits of highly effective people
Kirjan kirjoittaja: Stephen R. Covey
Kategoriat: 1. Oppiminen, 1.2. Oppimisen taidot ja työkalut, 3.2. Yrittäjän taidot ja työkalut

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The 7 habits of highly effective people


There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children – one is roots, the other wings.”


You are the programmer

The most effective people know or unconsciously act some common habits that enable amazing results. These habits are like natural laws of humanity which are the base for personal and public wellness. Developing these habits is never ending process which require patience and constant awareness about yourself.

The first habit tells us to be proactive. This means that we are responsible for our own reactions and should act in a way that we understand this. Usually when something happens to us we blame others and avoid responsibility. ”If only I had”, ”I can’t because”, are excellent indications about this that we see others responsible for our destiny. Our circle of influence is small as this kind of reactive way of thinking focuses more on outer forces than inner ones.

Highly effective people think and see world in other way. Their circle of influence is much more wider than reactive people. They act proactively. It is a way to see the world that you have all the power over your own reactions to feel and be what you want to be. As The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – book describes: ”Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose”.




Good example of this is a situation where you are participating for example a math class and you have your ice-hockey team training at the same time one day. In normal situation you would say ”I’m sorry, but I have to go to training.” But do you really have to go? What happens if you don’t go? Maybe you will get fewer play time. And what happens when you skip the class? You definitely miss the learning for sure. So therefore you don’t have to go to ice-hockey training, you rather choose to go.


Write your program


”Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”



Second habit tells us to begin with the end in mind. It is about vision and determination. It is also about understanding your core values. Highly effective people have a clear goal in their mind what they want and what they are aiming to. Powerful method to clarify these goals and values is to imagine your own funeral. This might sound a bit fierce but it is a good eye-opener. Visualize yourself laying on your coffin and people around you. What are those things that you want people to say about you? What do you want people to remember you from? What your achievements should look like? Clarify these questions to yourself.

After determining our core values, what is truly meaningful for us, and set our goals, we must create a concrete plan to get there. It might be a long journey, so there should be many small steps on the way. Keep that vision clear on your mind all the time.


Run that program

We cannot turn ourselves into successful persons if we can’t make those plans a reality. It’s about self-management and discipline. Highly effective people understand what tasks are most fundamental to do and in which order. They don’t waste their time on irrelevant things. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People offer us a good tool for understanding what is necessary and what is not.




The most important zone for us is the region number II. Those tasks are usually the ones that would refine us the most but we cannot find time for them. You can think your life for example and ask yourself what is the single most important task that would develop yourself the most. These tasks usually are placed on the zone II. For me it is for example calling and visiting the clients more. So, a proper self-managed timetable should look like this:




Tasks on region I are very important, but we should manage ourselves in a way that we are not managed by deadlines. Those will only increase our stress levels and weaken our total performance. Tasks on region III are ones that we should delegate to others and tasks on region IV we should drop off from our timetable immediately.


Public victory

Successful people cannot be triumphant if they can’t get along with other people. Public victory gives us three important occasions that we should understand and adapt to our lives. These three are:


  • Win/win
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • Synergize


Win/win is about learning to always seek to find a way and agreement where both side of the party will eventually win. If only other side will win, it creates a situation that the other side must lose. And if you think that scenario a second further, why that other side would co-operate with you in the future if it only creates another beating?

Seek first to understand, then to be understood stands for empathic listening. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, but few are those who have will to listen and truly understand others. It is a key to meaningful relationships and will solve many challenging situations. It will increase our emotional bank account and is essential for all negotiators.

Synergize is about finding ways to combine people strengths through true teamwork and positive thinking. It can be seen as a way to achieve remarkable things that individual cannot do by himself. Teamwork is the ultimate source to get there. One plus one is more than their sum.




”We harvest what we sow – nothing more, nothing less.”


Constant renewal is a key to stay focused on your development. It can be seen as a upward spiral that improve and get stronger all the time. Renewal happens when we first learn, then commit what we have learned and after that do what we have committed. This process is continuous. Rinse and repeat.

There are four different dimensions of renewal which intertwine with the habits:

  • Physical: Exercising, nutrition, stress management (Habit I)
  • Spiritual: Value clarification and commitment, studying and meditation (Habit II)
  • Mental: Reading, visualizing, planning, writing (Habit III)
  • Social/Emotional: Service, empathy, synergy, intrinsic security (Habits IV, V, VI)

We must keep these dimensions in mind and focus to give time for these principles in our daily life’s to change our behavior. To make something a habit we must know what to do and why, how to do it and most importantly, we should want to do it. Without inner desire our dreams will not ever come to alive.

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