Stephen Covey is an absolute master mind when it comes to personal change. I received this book from my family one Christmas while I was at university. At first I was skeptical; no I should say I was pessimistic. That is a bit more honest. Does it not seem that most people perceive books on personal change and self improvement in a negative way? Pretty ironic wouldn’t you say? Well this was the first such book that I owned that fell into the “personal change” category. Since then I have read it numerous times and have read countless other books on the subject. It is safe to say that this book completely changed my perception on reality and it put me in a place where I was not only comfortable, but motivated, to read every other book like it that I could get my hands on.
As one can probably understand from the title, Stephen Covey presents his strategy for personal change and development through these seven habits that he has created to lead individuals in being as effective as possible. I will not get into detail about what the seven habits actually are because that of course would greatly take away from the power of this book. Do you really think Covey would spend over 350 pages discussing these seven habits if he could get the same point across by just listing them on one page? The things that make this book so powerful are not only the seven habits, but the stories, examples and explanation that thoroughly support each of them.
Through the seven habits Covey gets across so many fundamentals of leading a powerful life. I credit this work with so many positive things that have since done wonders for my life and my outlook on it. These include writing a personal mission statement, understanding the power of setting goals and then setting them, establishing clear values by which to live, effectively managing my time, understanding the significance of honesty and integrity, focusing on results and leading others.
If I had to claim a single most powerful benefit that I received from this book, (which is difficult because there really are so many) I would have to say it was learning the value of having my own personal mission statement. Unfortunately the idea of a personal mission statement does not go over well with most people. That is at least the experience I have had. The truth is that without a personal mission statement and a definition of what it means for you to be successful, how is one ever going to know when they have succeeded and what they should and should not do to get them closer to their goals? This clear definition does wonders for your motivation, drive and excitement with everything you do.
I now have a personal mission statement that I can look to at any part of my day and ask myself “is what I am doing right now getting me closer to my mission”. If the answer is no then I should not be doing it. I just looked up at my statement as I was writing this and I can confidently say that writing these words to you is very in line with my life mission. It is pretty simple really. Do you know how good it feels to be doing things that get you closer to your mission? It is time to find out.
“Emotional Maturity Defined: “The ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.”
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be treated and he will become as he can and should be.”
“A mission statement is not something you write overnight. It takes deep introspection, careful analysis,thoughtful expression, and often many rewrites to produce it in final form.”
“But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values.”
“An effective goal focuses primarily on results rather than activity.”
“When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.”
“Honesty is telling the truth—in other words, conforming our words to reality. Integrity is conforming reality to our words—in other words, keeping promises and fulfilling expectations.”
“Satisfied needs do not motivate.”
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