The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
We've discussed this book in some threads recently, so I figured I would share some quotes. It's funny because years ago, I read it just thinking about how to be more efficient. And now, like others have pointed out, it is easier to see how many of the things the author says constitute very good advice for doing the Work, doing our best to better ourselves, to see reality as it is, to nurture deeper values, work with others, etc. So IMHO, it's not just one more "self-help" book, and taken in the context of our forum, it can be another useful tool.

INTRODUCTION

As my study took me back through 200 years of writing about success, I noticed a startling pattern emerging in the content of the literature. Because of our own pain, and because of similar pain I had seen in the lives and relationships of many people I had worked with through the years, I began to feel more and more that much of the success literature of the past 50 years was superficial. It was filled with social image consciousness, techniques and quick fixes -- with social band-aids and aspirin that addressed acute problems and sometimes even appeared to solve them temporarily -- but left the underlying chronic problems untouched to fester and resurface time and again.

In stark contrast, almost all the literature in the first 150 years or so focused on what could be called the character ethic as the foundation of success -- things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden Rule. Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is representative of that literature. It is, basically, the story of one man's effort to integrate certain principles and habits deep within his nature. The character ethic taught that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.

But shortly after World War I the basic view of success shifted from the character ethic to what we might call the personality ethic. Success became more a function of personality, of public image, of attitudes and behaviors, skills and techniques, that lubricate the processes of human interaction. This personality ethic essentially took two paths: one was human and public relations techniques, and the other was positive mental attitude (PMA). Some of this philosophy was expressed in inspiring and sometimes valid maxims such as "Your attitude determines your altitude," "Smiling wins more friends than frowning," and "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve. Other parts of the personality approach were clearly manipulative, even deceptive, encouraging people to use techniques to get other people to like them, or to fake interest in the hobbies of others to get out of them what they wanted, or to use the "power look," or to intimidate their way through life. Some of this literature acknowledged character as an ingredient of success, but tended to compartmentalize it rather than recognize it as foundational and catalytic. Reference to the character ethic became mostly lip service; the basic thrust was quick-fix influence techniques, power strategies, communication skills, and positive attitudes.

[...]

If I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other -- while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity and insincerity -- then, in the long run, I cannot be successful. My duplicity will breed distrust, and everything I do -- even using so-called good human relations techniques -- will be perceived as manipulative. It simply makes no difference how good the rhetoric is or even how good the intentions are; if there is little or no trust, there is no foundation for permanent success. Only basic goodness gives life to technique. To focus on technique is like cramming your way through school. You sometimes get by, perhaps even get good grades, but if you don't pay the price day in and day out, you never achieve true mastery of the subjects you study or develop an educated mind. Did you ever consider how ridiculous it would be to try to cram on a farm -- to forget to plant in the spring, play all summer and then cram in the fall to bring in the harvest? The farm is a natural system.

The price must be paid and the process followed. You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut. This principle is also true, ultimately, in human behavior, in human relationships. They, too, are natural systems based on the The Law of the Harvest. In the short run, in an artificial social system such as school, you may be able to get by if you learn how to manipulate the man-made rules, to "play the game." In most one-shot or short-lived human interactions, you can use the personality ethic to get by and to make favorable impressions through charm and skill and pretending to be interested in other people's hobbies. You can pick up quick, easy techniques that may work in short-term situations. But secondary traits alone have no permanent worth in long-term relationships. Eventually, if there isn't deep integrity and fundamental character strength, the challenges of life will cause true motives to surface and human relationship failure will replace short-term success.

Many people with secondary greatness -- that is, social recognition for their talents -- lack primary greatness or goodness in their character. Sooner or later, you'll see this in every long-term relationship they have, whether it is with a business associate, a spouse, a friend, or a teenage child going through an identity crisis. It is character that communicates most eloquently. As Emerson once put it, "What you are shouts so loudly in my ears that I cannot hear what you say."

There are, of course, situations where people have character strength but they lack communication skills, and that undoubtedly affects the quality of relationships as well. But the effects are still secondary. In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do. We all know it. There are people we trust absolutely because we know their character. Whether they're eloquent or not, whether they have the human relations techniques or not, we trust them, and we work successfully with them. In the words of William George Jordan, "Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil -- the silent unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be."

Paradigms

For our purposes, a simple way to understand paradigms is to see them as maps. We all know that "the map is not the territory." A map is simply an explanation of certain aspects of the territory. That's exactly what a paradigm is. It is a theory, an explanation, or model of something else. [...]

Suppose you wanted to arrive at a specific location in central Chicago. A street map of the city would be a great help to you in reaching your destination. But suppose you were given the wrong map. Through a printing error, the map labeled "Chicago" was actually a map of Detroit. Can you imagine the frustration, the ineffectiveness of trying to reach your destination? You might work on your behavior -- you could try harder, be more diligent, double your speed. But your efforts would only succeed in getting you to the wrong place faster.

You might work on your attitude -- you could think more positively. You still wouldn't get to the right place, but perhaps you wouldn't care. Your attitude would be so positive, you'd be happy wherever you were. The point is, you'd still be lost. The fundamental problem has nothing to do with your behavior or your attitude. It has everything to do with having a wrong map. If you have the right map of Chicago, then diligence becomes important, and when you encounter frustrating obstacles along the way, then attitude can make a real difference.

But the first and most important requirement is the accuracy of the map. Each of us has many, many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values. We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; we're usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of those assumptions. The way we see things is the source of the way we think and the way we act.

This brings into focus one of the basic flaws of the personality ethic. To try to change outward attitudes and behaviors does very little good in the long run if we fail to examine the basic paradigms from which those attitudes and behaviors flow. This perception demonstration also shows how powerfully our paradigms affect the way we interact with other people. As clearly and objectively as we think we see things, we begin to realize that others see them differently from their own apparently equally clear and objective point of view. "Where we stand depends on where we sit."

Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are -- or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them. But, as the demonstration shows, sincere, clearheaded people see things differently, each looking through the unique lens of experience. This does not mean that there are no facts. [...] The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger picture and a far more objective view.

[...] Our Paradigms are the way we "see" the world or circumstances -- not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, and interpreting. Paradigms are inseparable from character. Being is seeing in the human dimension. And what we see is highly interrelated to what we are. We can't go very far to change our seeing without simultaneously changing our being, and vice versa.

[...] While practices are situationally specific, principles are deep, fundamental truths that have universal application. They apply to individuals, to marriages, to families, to private and public organizations of every kind. When these truths are internalized into habits, they empower people to create a wide variety of practices to deal with different situations. Principles are not values. A gang of thieves can share values, but they are in violation of the fundamental principles we're talking about. Principles are the territory. Values are maps. When we value correct principles, we have truth -- a knowledge of things as they are. Principles are guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value. They're fundamental. They're essentially unarguable because they are self-evident. One way to quickly grasp the self-evident nature of principles is to simply consider the absurdity of attempting to live an effective life based on their opposites. I doubt that anyone would seriously consider unfairness, deceit, baseness, uselessness, mediocrity, or degeneration to be a solid foundation for lasting happiness and success. Although people may argue about how these principles are defined or manifested or achieved, there seems to be an innate consciousness and awareness that they exist. [...]

Principles of Growth and Change


The glitter of the personality ethic, the massive appeal, is that there is some quick and easy way to achieve quality of life -- personal effectiveness and rich, deep relationships with other people -- without going through the natural process of work and growth that makes it possible It's symbol without substance. It's the "get rich quick" scheme promising "wealth without work." And it might even appear to succeed -- but the schemer remains. The personality ethic is illusory and deceptive. And trying to get high-quality results with its techniques and quick fixes is just about as effective as trying to get to some place in Chicago using a map of Detroit. [...]

A New Level of Thinking

Albert Einstein observed, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." As we look around us and within us and recognize the problems created as we live and interact within the personality ethic, we begin to realize that these are deep, fundamental problems that cannot be solved on the superficial level on which they were created. We need a new level, a deeper level of thinking -- a paradigm based on the principles that accurately describe the territory of effective human being and interacting -- to solve these deep concerns.

[...] Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits. "Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny," the maxim goes. Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness or ineffectiveness.

"Habits" Defined

For our purposes, we will define a habit as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do. In order to make something a habit in our lives, we have to have all three.

I may be ineffective in my interactions with my work associates, my spouse, or my children because I constantly tell them what I think, but I never really listen to them. Unless I search out correct principles of human interaction, I may not even know I need to listen. Even if I do know that in order to interact effectively with others I really need to listen to them, I may not have the skill. I may not know how to really listen deeply to another human being. But knowing I need to listen and knowing how to listen is not enough. Unless I want to listen, unless I have the desire, it won't be a habit in my life. Creating a habit requires work in all three dimensions. The being/seeing change is an upward process -- being changing, seeing, which in turn changes being, and so forth, as we move in an upward spiral of growth. By working on knowledge, skill, and desire, we can break through to new levels of personal and interpersonal effectiveness as we break with old paradigms that may have been a source of pseudo-security for years. It's sometimes a painful process. It's a change that has to be motivated by a higher purpose, by the willingness to subordinate what you think you want now for what you want later. But this process produces happiness, "the object and design of our existence." Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.
To be continued...
 
Thanks, Chu; I had this in my Kindle wishlist but must admit I was a bit put off by the title of the book. However, after starting to read the introduction in your post it has prompted me to actually buy it. I can only find a '7 Habits' book by this author though so I presume it was a typo. Unless, of course, it is a different version from a different timeline akin to Ark's two hats! :shock:
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Thanks, Chu; I had this in my Kindle wishlist but must admit I was a bit put off by the title of the book. However, after starting to read the introduction in your post it has prompted me to actually buy it. I can only find a '7 Habits' book by this author though so I presume it was a typo. Unless, of course, it is a different version from a different timeline akin to Ark's two hats! :shock:

Lol! Titled changed, apologies. I had just finished working with numbers. :umm: :lol:
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
“What’s in it for me?” Our culture teaches us that if we want something in life, we have to “look out for number one.” It says, “Life is a game, a race, a competition, and you better win it.” Schoolmates, work colleagues, even family members are seen as competitors—the more they win, the less there is for you. Of course we try to appear generous and cheer for others’ successes, but inwardly, privately, so many of us are eating our hearts out when others achieve. Many of the great things in the history of our civilization have been achieved by the independent will of a determined soul. But the greatest opportunities and boundless accomplishments of the Knowledge Worker Age are reserved for those who master the art of “we.” True greatness will be achieved through the abundant mind that works selflessly—with mutual respect, for mutual benefit.

Covey, Stephen R.. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (p. xxx). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
He rejected the view of those who shout from the rooftops, “There is nothing sacred, nothing enduring, nothing durable to build upon in this ever-changing landscape! Everything is new! Nothing from the past applies!” My own research quest has focused on the question, “What makes a great company tick—why do some companies make the leap from good to great (while others don’t), why do some become built to last (while others fall), and why do some thrive in chaos?” One of our key findings is the idea of “Preserve the Core / Stimulate Progress”; no enterprise can become or remain truly great without a core set of principles to preserve, to build upon, to serve as an anchor, to provide guidance in the face of an ever-changing world. At the same time, no company can remain great without stimulating progress—change, renewal, improvement, and the pursuit of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). When you blend these two together—Preserve the Core AND Stimulate Progress—you get a magical dialectic that keeps a company or organization vibrant over time. Covey found a similar pattern in personal effectiveness: first build upon a strong core of principles that are not open for continuous change; at the same time, be relentless in the quest for improvement and continuous self-renewal. This dialectic enables an individual to retain a rock-solid foundation and attain sustained growth for a lifetime. But I think the most important aspect of The 7 Habits—what makes it not just practical, but profound—is its emphasis on building character rather than “attaining success.” There is no effectiveness without discipline, and there is no discipline without character.

Covey, Stephen R.. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (p. 3). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I recently finished the book and can fully recommend it. The title sounds rather shallow, and to be honest, I expected some more or less useful time management techniques and such. But don't be fooled, this is a book containing profound wisdom from start to finish, IMO. It helped me a great deal during a stressful time. It's basically a "Work 101", delivered in a concise, easy to understand and yet very insightful way.

And I actually liked the sometimes cheesy 90ies business speak - empower, empowering, empowerment, win-win, chaka chaka, powerfully powerful!! It seems the guy all but invented this stuff :lol:

What I like is that Covey's underyling idea is that there is an ethical natural law that you violate at your peril - and that you can profit from if you follow it. But it's not about "success", it's more about living a life based on unshakable principles that can sustain you, no matter the circumstances. It will also shield you from just reacting to what is thrown at you and mechanically going this or that way. He defines free will as that short moment between stimulus and your reaction - this is where it's at!

The message reminds me a lot of Jordan Peterson. But Covey doesn't go into science or religion, he rather focusses on practical advice and on bringing his core messages home. It had a big effect on me and I now often think about things in terms of "I decide to do this or that" instead of just being thrown around by circumstances. This shift in mindset alone can be such a blessing! There's so much more in the book, and I think everyone can get a lot out of it, whether you have time management problems or not.
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
The Maturity Continuum TM

[...] We each begin life as an infant, totally dependent on others. We are directed, nurtured, and sustained by others. Without this nurturing, we would only live for a few hours or a few days at the most. Then gradually, over the ensuing months and years, we become more and more independent -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially -- until eventually we can essentially take care of ourselves, becoming inner-directed and self-reliant.

As we continue to grow and mature, we become increasingly aware that all of nature is interdependent, that there is an ecological system that governs nature, including society. We further discover that the higher reaches of our nature have to do with our relationships with others -- that human life also is interdependent.

Our growth from infancy to adulthood is in accordance with natural law. And there are many dimensions to growth. Reaching our full physical maturity, for example, does not necessarily assure us of simultaneous emotional or mental maturity. On the other hand, a person's physical dependence does not mean that he or she is mentally or emotionally immature.

On the maturity continuum, dependence is the paradigm of you -- you take care of me; you come through for me; you didn't come through; I blame you for the results. Independence is the paradigm of I -- I can do it; I am responsible; I am self-reliant; I can choose. Interdependence is the paradigm of we -- we can do it: we can cooperate; we can combine our talents and abilities and create something greater together.

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

If I were physically dependent -- paralyzed or disabled or limited in some physical way -- I would need you to help me. If I were emotionally dependent, my sense of worth and security would come from your opinion of me. If you didn't like me, it could be devastating. If I were intellectually dependent, I would count on you to do my thinking for me, to think through the issues and problems of my life. If I were independent, physically, I could pretty well make it on my own. Mentally, I could think my own thoughts, I could move from one level of abstraction to another. I could think creatively and analytically and organize and express my thoughts in understandable ways. Emotionally, I would be validated from within. I would be inner directed. My sense of worth would not be a function of being liked or treated well.

It's easy to see that independence is much more mature than dependence. Independence is a major achievement in and of itself. But independence is not supreme. Nevertheless, the current social paradigm enthrones independence. It is the avowed goal of many individuals and social movements. Most of the self-improvement material puts independence on a pedestal, as though communication, teamwork, and cooperation were lesser values.

Nevertheless, the current social paradigm enthrones independence. It is the avowed goal of many individuals and social movements. Most of the self-improvement material puts independence on a pedestal, as though communication, teamwork, and cooperation were lesser values. But much of our current emphasis on independence is a reaction to dependence -- to having others control us, define us, use us, and manipulate us. The little understood concept of interdependence appears to many to smack of dependence, and therefore, we find people often for selfish reasons, leaving their marriages, abandoning their children, and forsaking all kinds of social responsibility -- all in the name of independence.

The kind of reaction that results in people "throwing off their shackles," becoming "liberated," "asserting themselves," and "doing their own thing" often reveals more fundamental dependencies that cannot be run away from because they are internal rather than external -- dependencies such as letting the weaknesses of other people ruin our emotional lives or feeling victimized by people and events out of our control. Of course, we may need to change our circumstances.

But the dependence problem is a personal maturity issue that has little to do with circumstances. Even with better circumstances, immaturity and dependence often persist. True independence of character empowers us to act rather than be acted upon. It frees us from our dependence on circumstances and other people and is a worthy, liberating goal. But it is not the ultimate goal in effective living. Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won't be good leaders or team players. They're not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.

Life is, by nature, highly interdependent. To try to achieve maximum effectiveness through independence is like trying to play tennis with a golf club -- the tool is not suited to the reality. Interdependence is a far more mature, more advanced concept. If I am physically interdependent, I am self-reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone. If I am emotionally interdependent, I derive a great sense of worth within myself, but I also recognize the need for love, for giving, and for receiving love from others. If I am intellectually interdependent, I realize that I need the best thinking of other people to join with my own. As an interdependent person, I have the opportunity to share myself deeply, meaningfully, with others, and I have access to the vast resources and potential of other human beings.

Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make. Dependent people cannot choose to become interdependent. They don't have the character to do it; they don't own enough of themselves.

[...]

Effectiveness Defined

The Seven Habits are habits of effectiveness. Because they are based on principles, they bring the maximum long-term beneficial results possible. They become the basis of a person's character, creating an empowering center of correct maps from which an individual can effectively solve problems, maximize opportunities, and continually learn and integrate other principles in an upward spiral of growth.

They are also habits of effectiveness because they are based on a paradigm of effectiveness that is in harmony with a natural law, a principle I call the "P/PC Balance," which many people break themselves against. This principle can be easily understood by remembering Aesop's fable of the Goose and the Golden Egg TM.

This fable is the story of a poor farmer who one day discovers in the nest of his pet goose a glittering golden egg. At first, he thinks it must be some kind of trick. But as he starts to throw the egg aside, he has second thoughts and takes it in to be appraised instead. The egg is pure gold! The farmer can't believe his good fortune. He becomes even more incredulous the following day when the experience is repeated. Day after day, he awakens to rush to the nest and find another golden egg. He becomes fabulously wealthy; it all seems too good to be true. But with his increasing wealth comes greed and impatience. Unable to wait day after day for the golden eggs, the farmer decides he will kill the goose and get them all at once. But when he opens the goose, he finds it empty. There are no golden eggs -- and now there is no way to get any more. The farmer has destroyed the goose that produced them. But as the story shows, true effectiveness is a function of two things: what is produced (the golden eggs) and the producing asset or capacity to produce (the goose).

If you adopt a pattern of life that focuses on golden eggs and neglects the goose, you will soon be without the asset that produces golden eggs. On the other hand, if you only take care of the goose with no aim toward the golden eggs, you soon won't have the wherewithal to feed yourself or the goose. Effectiveness lies in the balance -- what I call the P/PC Balance TM. P stands for production of desired results, the golden eggs. PC stands for production capability, the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs.

[...]

Effectiveness lies in the balance. Excessive focus on P results in ruined health, worn-out machines, depleted bank accounts, and broken relationships. Too much focus on PC is like a person who runs for three or four hours a day, bragging about the extra 10 years of life it creates, unaware he's spending them running. Or a person endlessly going to school, never producing, living on other people's golden eggs -- the eternal student syndrome.

To maintain the P/PC Balance, the balance between the golden egg (Production) and the health and welfare of the goose (Production Capability) is often a difficult judgment call. But I suggest it is the very essence of effectiveness. It balances short term with long term. It balances going for the grade and paying the price to get an education. It balances the desire to have a room clean and the building of a relationship in which the child is internally committed to do it -- cheerfully, willingly, without external supervision.

It's a principle you can see validated in your own life when you burn the candle at both ends to get more golden eggs and wind up sick or exhausted, unable to produce any at all; or when you get a good night's sleep and wake up ready to produce throughout the day. You can see it when you press to get your own way with someone and somehow feel an emptiness in the relationship; or when you really take time to invest in a relationship and you find the desire and ability to work together, to communicate, takes a quantum leap. The P/PC Balance is the very essence of effectiveness.

[...] The net effect of opening the "gate of change" to the first three habits -- the habits of Private Victory -- will be significantly increased self-confidence. You will come to know yourself in a deeper, more meaningful way -- your nature, your deepest values and your unique contribution capacity. As you live your values, your sense of identity, integrity, control, and inner-directedness will infuse you with both exhilaration and peace. You will define yourself from within, rather than by people's opinions or by comparisons to others. "Wrong" and "right" will have little to do with being found out. Ironically, you'll find that as you care less about what others think of you; you will care more about what others think of themselves and their worlds, including their relationship with you. You'll no longer build your emotional life on other people's weaknesses. In addition, you'll find it easier and more desirable to change because there is something -- some core deep within -- that is essentially changeless.

[...] It's obviously not a quick fix. But I assure you, you will feel benefits and see immediate payoffs that will be encouraging. In the words of Thomas Paine, "That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods."
So that's it for the premise and basic concepts. then he goes on to explain each of the 7 habits in a similar fashion, explaining why they are important at the core, and how to apply them.
 

Cleo

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Thanks for recommending this book. I'm not sure how I originally acquired this book but I remember reading it in my mid 20's but only getting so far into it. Some of the information about the ‘emotional bank account’ concept still stays with me.

Lately I’ve been going through some of my old stuff that I have stored at my parents place and found the book along with some others in the attic. I found it in my donate pile the other day but decided to keep it due to it being mentioned on the forum recently. Definitely sounds like the type of book to give another try all these years later. :read:
 

scotseeker

Jedi Master
Thank you for sharing Chu, I read it and took a few of his courses some years ago when I was in sales management. It was very helpful then, time for a refresher and read it again! I have the hard cover around here in one of my bookshelves, now where to find it.
 

Mike

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This was required reading for my undergraduate coursework in the 90's. I wish I had taken the book seriously then and continued to study it. Thinking to back then, I was actually contemptuous of the book, since it seemed too simplistic if I remember my thinking then right, which speaks to how I wasn't very mature, was pretty pessimistic and maybe even nihilistic at the time. Just ordered it to read again and it is interesting how the wheel turns back on us.
 

MK Scarlett

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've just received it this morning, and it joined the pile of books to read this summer. I also bought at the same time and by the same author The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness:

From Stephen R. Covey comes a profound, compelling, and groundbreaking book of next-level thinking that gives a clear way to finally tap the limitless value-creation promise of the “Knowledge Worker Age.”

In the more than twenty-five years since its publication, the classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has become an international phenomenon with more than twenty-five million copies sold. Tens of millions of people in business, government, schools, and families, and, most importantly, as individuals, have dramatically improved their lives and organizations by applying the principles of Stephen R. Covey’s classic book. The world, however, is a vastly changed place. Being effective as individuals and organizations is no longer merely an option—survival in today’s world requires it. But in order to thrive, innovate, excel, and lead in what Covey calls the “New Knowledge Worker Age,” we must build on and move beyond effectiveness. The call of this new era in human history is for greatness; it’s for fulfillment, passionate execution, and significant contribution.

Accessing the higher levels of human genius and motivation in today’s new reality requires a change in thinking: a new mindset, a new skill-set, a new tool-set—in short, a whole new habit. The crucial challenge of our world today is this: to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. It is what Covey calls the 8th Habit. So many people feel frustrated, discouraged, unappreciated, and undervalued—with little or no sense of voice or unique contribution. The 8th Habit is the answer to the soul’s yearning for greatness, the organization’s imperative for significance and superior results, and humanity’s search for its “voice.”

Covey’s new book will transform the way we think about ourselves, our purpose in life, our organizations, and about humankind. Just as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People helped us focus on effectiveness, The 8th Habit shows us the way to greatness.
And a third one, First Things First:

I'm getting more done in less time, but where are the rich relationships, the inner peace, the balance, the confidence that I'm doing what matters most and doing it well?

Does this nagging question haunt you, even when you feel you are being your most efficient? If so, First Things First can help you understand why we so often prioritize things that are unimportant to both our larger goals and our inner happiness. From the author that brought you the New York Times bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People comes a guide to building your work on the principles of effectiveness so that your life can spent cultivating genuine relationships, investing in pursuits you enjoy, and achieving balance in both your personal and professional lives.

In First Things First, Stephen M. R. Covey advocates categorizing tasks by urgency and importance so that you can focus on what actually needs to be done in the limited amount of time that you have. Using personal examples and insight from years of business experience, he argues for a new way of looking at your “to-do” list. Rather than offering you another clock, First Things First provides you with a compass, because where you're headed is more important than how fast you're going.
Thank you for the thread Chu! :lkj:
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In the words of Thoreau, “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.” We can only achieve quantum improvements in our lives as we quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior and get to work on the root, the paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviors flow.

Covey, Stephen R.. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (p. 39). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

I just picked up this book because of this thread. I have Kindle Unlimited which I often think of getting rid of. Every once in a while it proves useful. I'm able to read this one for 'free.' His use of the word maps reminds me of Peterson's, 'Maps of Meaning,' which would make a good complimentary read to this one if you're so inclined.

"All the world's a stage, and we are merely players." What role we play and why is motivated by our 'map' of reality. "Each will play their role according to their frequency." Some are content to revel in materialism. They don't seem to recognize that it's a means to an end, not an end in itself. Progress moves in a certain direction as one moves from the dependence of childhood to the independence of adulthood. Many get stuck at those two levels and never mature into the higher frequencies of interdependence. What's true for individuals is also true for groups of people as well. Latching on to some simplistic world view from one of many charismatic writers who offer some type of salvation without involving too much hard thinking on the part of the adherents, they abdicate the chance for some hard won growth.

I like how Covey strongly advocates for a return of focus on ethics and character. This dovetails nicely with what we've been reading in the afterlife thread. It seems life conspires to teach those who sincerely attempt to understand. This idea of using a 'map' of higher principles seems to be confirmed at every turn. Even in the 12 step program, forgiving it's religious overtones, it's really about becoming a different person through identifying, and working to overcome 'character defects.'
 
Top Bottom