Sunday, April 29, 2018

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Final Summary)

This is a chapter-by-chapter summary of a book by late Stephen R. Covey, writer of the most-effective personal development book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (first published 1989). One chapter, one article. Read this summary, buy the book. Grow!

In order to be truly effective, you must fully address yourself first, concentrate on your goals while being proactive and seeking to synergize with others, build relationships and finally having and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Here is a quick revision of the key messages of this book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (click title to read):

#1 Be Proactive and take all the matters in your hands.
#2 Begin With End In Mind by envisioning long-term goals daily.
#3 Put First Things First by organizing your life and focusing on important and not urgent matters.
#4 Think Win-Win and try to create situations of mutual benefits with other people.
#6 Synergize with others for best results and benefits that you couldn’t gain by yourself only.
#7 Sharpen the Saw having and maintaining a balanced life so you can practice all above.

Thank you for reading my short review of this book. I hope you’ll be inspired and – grow!

Be An Highly Effective Person

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People #7 Sharpen The Saw

This is a chapter-by-chapter summary of a book by late Stephen R. Covey, writer of the most-effective personal development book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (first published 1989). One chapter, one article. Read this summary, buy the book. Grow!

Suppose you were to come upon your neighbor in his garden working feverishly to saw down a tree. “What are you doing?” you ask. “Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply, “I’m sowing down this tree.” “You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?” “Over five hours,” he returns, “and I’m super tired! This is hard work.” “Well, why you don’t break for a few minutes and sharpen the saw? I’m sure it would go a lot faster and easier,” you inquire. “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”

Habit 7 is taking time to Sharpen the Saw,” Covey writes. “It surrounds the other habits on the Seven Habits paradigm because it is the habit that makes all the others possible.” He also claims that a person’s nature consists of four (4) dimensions: Physical, Spiritual, Mental, and Social/Emotional. In order to be effective, we must invest some time to renew these dimensions so we can increase our potential in practicing each habit.

Physical Dimension

Focuses on improving your health by exercising your body, eating the right kind of foods, and get sufficient rest and relaxation. This way you develop Habit 1 (Be Proactive) muscles of proactivity. The paradigm of yourselves, your self-esteem, your self-confidence and your integrity will be profoundly affected.

Spiritual Dimension

Focuses on renewing your spirit by providing leadership to your life. This one develops Habit 2 (Begin With End In Mind). It is your core, your center and your commitment to your value system. For example, by reading, meditating or communicating with nature, you feel renewed, strengthened, centered, and recommitted to serve.

Mental Dimension

Focuses on renewing your mental health by continually expanding your mind. This dimension develops Habit 3 (Put First Things First). It is a fact that most of our mental development and study discipline comes through formal education. After it’s finished we don’t explore new subjects and we often become victims of the media and the values taught through them. Wisdom in watching the media requires the effective self-management of Habit 3, which enables you to discriminate and to select the informing, inspiring, and entertaining programs which best serve and express your purpose and values.

Social/Emotional Dimension

Focuses on renewing yourself socially by developing meaningful relationships. This dimension helps you to practice Habit, 4, 5, and 6 (Think Win-Win; Seek First to Understand; Synergize) by interacting with other people, finding win-win solutions to your issues, understanding others and synergizing by finding mutually beneficial third alternatives.

Last but not least, BALANCE is the key. As Covey states, “the self-renewal process must include balanced renewal in all four dimensions of our nature: the physical, the spiritual, the mental, and the social/emotional. Although renewal in each dimension is important, it only becomes optimally effective as we deal with all four dimensions in a wise and balanced way. To neglect any one area negatively impacts the rest.”

Sharpen the Saw! Increase Each Habit Potentials!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People #6 Synergize

This is a chapter-by-chapter summary of a book by late Stephen R. Covey, writer of the most-effective personal development book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (first published 1989). One chapter, one article. Read this summary, buy the book. Grow!

Synergy is the combination of all the other previous habits which gives us the potential of uncovering new possibilities and benefits that we couldn’t gain without it. When we try to accomplish something by ourselves, sometimes it’s very hard, takes too much time or it is just impossible and not worthwhile. However, if we synergize, not only do we have the capability of achieving it, but we can make the most out of it as well.

A simple example would be two persons trying to get the apples from a tall tree. Individually they would spend too much energy to get them or maybe it would be impossible due to the height. In that case, if we symbolize each other as 1 then we have 1 = 0 and 1 = 0. On the other hand, if they synergize by one of them carrying the other one on his shoulders they would reach as many apples as they want. In that case, we have 1 + 1 = 2 and more. Much more!

Imagine that even our body uses different substances and they all synergize so they can keep up with constantly satisfying countless biological and vital needs. The power of synergy is immeasurable, like a miracle.

As Covey states: “Synergy is the essence of Principle-Centred Leadership. It is the essence of principle-centered parenting. It catalyzes, unifies, and unleashes the greatest powers within people. All the habits we have covered prepare us to create the miracle of synergy. What is synergy? Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that the relationship which the parts have to each other is a part in and of itself. It is not only a part, but the most catalytic, the most empowering, the most unifying, and the most exciting part.”

Two (or More) Is Better than One. Synergize!

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