Or men 🙂
These habits are the best to be effective in your personal life, at work, in family and business.
The way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change a given situation,we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.
These are the 7 habits we all need to read if we want to be effective in life.
(From one of the best sellers , Stephen Covey could not say it any better).
Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, habits constantly express our character and produce our effectiveness – or our ineffectiveness.
In the words of Aristotle:
The collective experience of the ages shows us that acquiring them will give us the character to succeed.
The solutions derive not from the Character Ethic, but the Personality Ethic:
Here is a definition of success from the Author.
If there isn’t deep integrity and fundamental goodness behind what you do, the challenges of life will cause true motives to surface, and human relationship failure will replace short-term success.
Changing our habits to improve what we are can be a painful process. It must be motivated by a higher purpose. This is not a quick fix. But you will see immediate benefits. And if you see the whole picture clearly, you’ll have the perseverance to see the process to its conclusion. Have faith – it’s worth the effort.
Thomas Paine said: “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly;
Habits 1 through 3 make up the “private victory” – where we go from dependence to independence by taking responsibility for our own lives. Acquiring habits 4 through 6 is our “public victory”: Once independent, we learn to be interdependent, to succeed with other people. The seventh habit makes all the others possible – periodically renewing ourselves in mind body, and spirit.
1 HABIT ONE – BE PROACTIVE
Proactivity means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives.
According to Stephen Covey behavior is determined by three main factors:
- Genes: you inherited the character of your family;
- Nurture: you got your character from how your parents brought you up;
- Environment: you are influenced by everything in your environment (people, situations, economic and natural policies).
We have the freedom to determine our own behavior.
We have let ourselves become reactive. Reactive people are often affected by the weather, proactive people carry their own weather with them. Being proactive means recognizing our responsibility to make things happen.
Your life is designed by you, all the choices, the feelings, the failure, You have chosen! You choose to be scared, you choose to give up, you choose your success and your happiness. You are the responsable and is all in you.
Every moment and every situation, provides a new choice, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently, to produce more positive results.
Being proactive does not mean that we do not have to think about what the future environment will bring us. It means that we combine this question with the question of ‘how we will act’. We actually must face reality to be capable of being proactive.
Don’t suffer from the mistakes you made, be proactive and correct. Accept that you made a mistake and take action, make promises, set goals, even if they are really small ones. It builds the feeling of integrity and awareness and feeling of self-control.
Here is an example of how can we be proactive.
- If only I had more time to finish my work.
OR being proactive:
- I can be more organized and prioritize what is more important.
- If I only had done it when I had the chance.
- When the moment comes, I´ll be ready for future opportunities.
2 HABIT TWO – BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
It is about imagination, it means to know where you’re going so as to understand where you are now, and take your next step in the right direction.
The best way to start is to develop a personal mission statement. It describes what we want to be and to do.
What is really important to you ! and work to achieve it. Rather than a single destination.
You can control the direction of your life if you can step back and take the time to reflect on what really matters to you.
Reject being controlled by default and instead follow your own mission. Covey points out that it is possible to take control because we have an imagination and a conscience.
Money-centered people often put aside family or other priorities, assuming everyone will understand that economic demands come first. They don’t always, and we can damage our most important relationships by thinking that they do.
Being pleasure centered cheats one of lasting satisfactions. Too much time spent at leisure, on the paths of least resistance, insure that our mind and spirit become lethargic, and our heart unfulfilled.
Center your life on correct principles.
Vicktor Frankl, who says we detect rather than invent our mission in life: “Everyone has his own specific vocation in life Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated.” Organizations need mission statements. So do families.
Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.
3 HABIT THREE – PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
Question: What one thing could you do – which you aren’t doing now – that If you did it regularly, would make a tremendous difference in your business or personal life?
Leader ship decides what the “first things” are, and management is the discipline of carrying out your program.
Something urgent requires immediate attention, it’s usually visible, it presses on us, but may not have any bearing on our long-term goals. Important things, on the other hand, have to do with results – they contribute to our mission, our values, our high- priority goals. We react to urgent matters; we often must act to take care of important matters, even as urgent things scream for our attention.
Effective people don’t solve problems – they pursue opportunities. They feed opportunities and starve problems. They have genuine quadrant I emergencies, but by thinking and acting preventively, they keep their number down.
Do deeply important things first, if is not urgent, it can wait.
4.HABIT FOUR- THINK WIN WIN
“Think win/win,” entails making an important deposit in another person’s Emotional Bank Account: finding a way both of you can benefit by your interaction. All the other possibilities – win/lose (I win, you lose), lose/win (I lose, you win), and lose/lose – are ineffective, either in the short term or the long term. The best way to approach Win/Win dealing is to remember that it (like all agreements) embodies a caveat: The complete description is “Win/win – or no deal.” Your attitude should be, “I want to win, and I want you to win, If we can’t hammer something out under those conditions, let’s agree that we won’t make a deal this time. Maybe we’ll make one in the future.”
Win Win is cooperative not competitive.
It means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. We all eat cake, together, it tastes better!
If you are :
A person or an organization that approaches conflicts with a win-win attitude possesses three vital character traits:
- Integrity: Your true feelings, commitments and values.
- Maturity: Enough empathy and goodwill to work for a win for your counterpart, and enough courage to make a win for yourself.
- Abundance Mentally: To understand that is plenty for all. People do not need to fail for you to have abundance.
Win/win is a powerful management tool.
5.HABIT FIVE – SEEK TO UNDERSTAND, THEN BE UNDERSTOOD
The most important word to know in mastering this habit is “listen.” Listen to your colleagues, family, friends, customers – but not with intent to reply, to convince, to manipulate. Listen simply to understand, to see how the other party sees things. The skill to develop here is empathy.
Communication is the most important skill in life.
We spend years learning how to read and write , and years learning how to speak, But what about listening= What training have you had that enables you to listen so you really, deeply understand another human being?
Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand.
Empathic listening is with the ears, eyes, and heart – for feeling, for meaning. It’s powerful because it gives you accurate data to work with, instead of projecting and assuming your own thoughts and motives.
You can only work with someone productively and make an appropriate deposit in your Emotional Bank Account with him if you understand what really matters most to him.
If the air were suddenly sucked out of the room you’re in, your interest in this article would wane quickly, wouldn’t it? With survival at stake, you wouldn’t care about anything except getting air. Empathic listening can be a powerful emotional deposit in itself, because it provides the speaker with psychological air.
6. HABIT SIX – SYNERGIZE
Synergy is the highest activity of life. Through it, we create new, untapped alternatives – things that didn’t yet exist.
To put it simply, synergy means “two heads are better than one.”
Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems.
But it doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, they can produce far better results that they could individually. Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. It is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Once people have experienced real synergy, they are never quite the same again. They know that the possibility of such mind-expanding adventures always exists.
The device that opens us to synergy’s power depends on all the habits of effectiveness at once, requiring confidence, integrity, and empathy. It’s all embodied in one crucial ability: to value and exploit the mental, emotional, and psychological differences between people.
Once people have been through synergy, they’re not the same.
7 HABIT SEVEN – SHARPEN THE SAW
This is a great example of habit seven…
Suppose you come upon a man in the woods feverishly sawing down a tree. “You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?” “Over five hours,” he replies, “and I am beat. This is hard.” “Maybe you could take a break for a few minutes an sharpen that saw. Then the work would go faster.” “No time,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing.”
Habit seven is taking time to sharpen the saw (you’re the saw). It’s the habit that makes all the others possible.
To sharpen the saw means renewing ourselves, in all four aspects of our natures: •
Physical – exercise, nutrition, stress management; • Mental – reading, visualizing, planning, writing; • Social/Emotional – service, empathy, synergy, security; • Spiritual – spiritual reading, study, and meditation.
To exercise in all these necessary dimensions, we must be proactive.
Stephen Covey; 7 habits of highly effective people