The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book summary

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey [Summary]

This is a comprehensive summary of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access.

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

Stephen R. Covey lays down 7 habits that are practiced by the most influential people on the planet: Sharpen the saw; Don’t work yourself to death; Be proactive; Begin with an end in mind; Put first things first; Think win-win; Seek first to understand, then to be understood; Synergize. Along with the practical advice, he also adds real-life stories that additionally amplify the words inside.

The Core Idea:

Your habits determine your character and later define your life. Don’t blame outside factors when you fail in life. Also, don’t think that succeeding in one area of your life will mean that you’re destined for triumph. Both your misfortunes and achievements are based on your habits. Obviously having good routines will mean positive things for you and your family will happen while bad ones will withdraw any form of joy from your life.

5 Key Lessons from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

Lesson #1: You Can’t Skip Steps Onwards

Our life is full of stages that we mustn’t skip if we want to truly learn something. For example, you can’t start running before learning how to walk, first.

The previous is valid for everything. Each stage is important if we really want to build lasting habits in our lives. Unfortunately, some don’t really understand this simple process. They start projects without examining what are the required essentials. No wonder these people fail miserably short after they’ve started. Unfortunately, when they do fail, they never blame themselves, because they’ve also missed this step.

Let’s just say you get yourself involved in a race. A street race. You start the engine, shift the gears like Vin Diesel in the famous movie Fast and Furious and let’s also say, for the sake of the example, that you do win your first street race. That’s great. You’re probably a born racer. But on the inside, you probably just got lucky. If you don’t really know the dynamics of the car, what happens when you shift gears, why street racers use NOS and don’t take the needed time to learn all these details, you will inevitably lose in the long-term game.

The same applies to our relationships with each other. We can all imagine a beautiful girl attracted to a millionaire. Over time, we all know what happens: the beautiful girl escapes with the gardener. Why? Because, like we’ve all heard, money can’t buy happiness. Since the relationship with the rich guys was only superficial, without deeper feelings that can keep them closer, it all falls apart.

So, don’t skip steps when you’re building something, whatever it is: relationship with someone or a business. If you want to make it last and worth it, take the needed time to get to know all the details.

Lesson #2: Inside Out

As Albert Einstein said it a long time ago: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” The author talks a lot about the “inside out” concept in the book. In short – it’s a concept that makes you look inside yourself when tackling a problem or facing an obstacle.

Let say you want to lose weight. 20 kilos to be more precise. Obviously, your current lifestyle led you to a point where you want to lose weight, meaning, that if you continue to do the same things you will 1) not lose any weight 2) you will probably gain even more weight over time. So, something must change in order to reach the desired kilograms, right? A diet and a gym membership will surely help, but if you don’t change your mindset, your eating habits, the way you perceive your health, things will be the same over time.

In order a change, any change in particular, to be something lasting, it has to first start from the inside. To become aware of the problem. Only when you understand the importance of good health, only then, you will adopt the needed habits to lose weight.

Don’t think that getting a gym membership will give you the beach-perfect body. Except for going regularly to the drill house, you also need to want it. Like, really want it. To change other tiny aspects of your life: your eating, drinking, habits and even the way you rest. But most importantly, you need to want to become a healthier person. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and money.

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