Author - Mark Weeks
'Remember that the needs of a happy life are very few.' ~ Marcus Aurelius. So why complicate it!
One of the all time classics, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a must read on your journey for self-discovery and quest for success.
Knowledge, expertise, and know-how of your chosen profession is paramount to your success, and there is little I can share in improving the tasks you implement every day, you know your business. But, do you truly maintain the correct interpersonal skills with your customers, workforce or family? Is your emotional bank account running in the black or is it deep in the red?
Before Stephen R. Covey reveals the 7 Habits he goes deep within the expectations of implementing the habits, if they are followed diligently.
The key expectations of creating the habits …
He makes it clear, his programme is no quick-fix, it's an evolution; that is, if you're willing to pay the price by learning, teaching and doing. He would have cringed from the overuse of the term 'life hack' these days. There are no shortcuts to self-improvement. There is no quick fix to living your life of purpose.
In much the same tone as Dr. Wayne Dyer's, 'If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change' quote. Covey uses the term of changing 'your paradigm', this slight shift in the way you think about things will have a dramatic effect upon your life.
How are you using your emotional bank account – The Bank Of You PLC? There has been much work on the benefits of the psychological contracts, and if it interests you dig deep, there's plenty of information out there. But for now, Covey's definition of an emotional bank account where we are always making deposits and withdrawals warrants attention day in and day out. It's the only way to get the desired results you want in an effective and positive way.
Every interaction you have has an effect on how others treat you. From the perceptions of your customers, employees, spouse, and children. Imagine every time you are unkind, insensitive, dishonest you are making a withdrawal from 'the bank'. Every time you deliver more than you promise, act kindly and generously you are building up your 'emotional account'.
Of course, there will be times no matter how kind and considerate you are where people will deceive and try to humiliate you. That's their 'account' terminated. But for you, you must continue to build up your account, there's no other way than making lasting goodwill deposits.
The first 3 habits are character related, which start the transformation from dependency to interdependency. The 3 habits after, Covey claims to be centred upon personality habits.
It's interesting to see how Covey formulates the habits and explains how the literature over the past 50 years has become heavily imbued with purely personality traits that can overshadow the character ethics of industry, service, modesty and love. If not used in the right way that is, as 'personality traits' can be used in many manipulative and selfish ways.
Let's dive in, if you wish me to delve deeper in the future just leave a comment below.
Be Proactive: There are two ways to live, we are either reactive, where we complain about circumstances out of our control. What's the point of that. It simply robs you of your energy and vitality. The second way is being proactive, take action only on the things you can control. Even when you can't control everything, you can always control your actions. Act or be acted upon, is a useful reminder.
Begin With The End In Mind: Figure your destination out then work towards it. All of us need to find our purpose and our why? Where do you wish to be in 5 years, 10 years and more specifically 1 year from today.
Put First Things First: This is where the action starts. You must now identify and plan the necessary tasks. You must focus on what really matters, and not be distracted by the never-ending noise of others or social media. Action, Discipline and Accountability spring to my mind for this habit to become ingrained within your psyche.
Win-Win: The win-win or no deal mentality. It takes integrity to achieve either of these. Consideration for a mutually beneficial solution is the best way forward for us all, and it takes an abundance mentality to realise if you win, there's really no reason why I should lose. This happens to be the attitude I try my best to adopt in all of my business and relationships. Though sometimes your consideration can be taken as a weakness, in these cases protect your downside and walk away.
Seek First to Understand, Then To Be Understood: We can only try to be understood once we understand. Putting yourself into others shoes is critical for building long lasting relationships. Covey believes this will only be achieved through empathic listening. Remember he says empathy and not sympathy!
Synergy: Can sound like an overused cliché. But by leveraging the strength of others we can achieve more. No two minds are the same, we each have something to bring to the table which ultimately creates momentum, it can also create misunderstanding, lethargy and arguments too, that is, if habits #4 & #5 are not followed correctly.
Sharpen The Saw: This is my favourite habit, and one my whole business and life is modelled upon. I prefer using the term holistic self-leadership. It simply means you must make time to focus upon your emotional, spiritual and physical worlds. None of us can function effectively without balancing the 'inner you' and listening to your personal biorhythms. Have you ever been so busy that you don't have the time to fill up the car with fuel? And like your car, if you are not fuelled; mentally, spiritually and physically you will burnout and breakdown.
Today's stressful lifestyles are adding far too many divorces, unhappy children and way too many suicides; I heard the other day every 40 seconds someone in the world has committed suicide, how sad is that? Please make time to sharpen your saw.
Hope my review helps you to get the most out of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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Until next time:)
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