The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The seven habits of those who do everything they do: Private victory

Summary of the book “The 7 habits of those who achieve everything they undertake”: The author recalls, in his book, the seven habits of effective people, thus the seven fundamental principles that enable the most successful and enterprising people to achieve their goals. Translated into daily habits, these principles would help those who put them into practice to live, sustainably, a happy, balanced and successful personal and interpersonal life.

Either you read the book first or read my summary and get the book from Amazon. Click here to get your copy of the book

Habit 1: Be proactive

Principle: I am free to choose and responsible for my choices

Self-awareness allows us to distance ourselves from ourselves, and to examine in depth the congruence of our paradigms with the fundamental principles of efficiency.

Is the vision we have of ourselves a reflection of a social mirror? If so, our existence depends on the external environment. Our maps are drawn by others. Our character is a series of reactions to the various stimuli of the moment.

Reactive people build their emotional lives on the weaknesses and shortcomings of others, to whom they yield control and command.

“No one has the power to hurt you without your consent,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.

In the words of Gandhi, “they are not capable of depriving us of our dignity without our consent.

People are, by conditioning, reactive: they wait for the weather to fix things, for someone to take care of them, or for others to decide for them.

Successful people, on the other hand, are proactive: they anticipate, they look for solutions, and they don’t dwell on problems.

Proactive language explores alternatives, different approaches and promotes exchange and compromise. Emotions are subordinate to values. This language focuses on the solution and the future.

Be a light, not a judge, an example, not a critic. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Our activities can be divided into two circles: Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.

The circle of concern includes all the things over which we have little or no control:

  • climate,
  • the conditions,
  • the behaviour of others…

While the circle of influence is about the things we can control:

  • our attitude,
  • our actions,
  • our work…

Our level of proactivity is affected by the circle in which we spend most of our time and energy.

For greater efficiency, our focus must be on our circle of influence, our field of action and production. Spending most of our time in the circle of concern reinforces the hold of others on our lives, cultivates negative thinking and victimization.

Our duty is limited to taking control of our lives, and to undertake the most intelligent actions. The consequences of our actions and our mistakes are part of the circle of concern. Neither bitter regret nor justification of mistakes is of any use, time moves forward and never backward.

In the face of our mistakes and shortcomings, the proactive approach is to recognize them, correct them, learn the lesson and move forward.

Habit 2: Keeping the final goal in mind

Principle: mental creation precedes physical creation

Habit 1: You’re responsible for your life.

Habit 2: You can create your own life.

The following experience is a powerful tool for discovering our vision in life and the true values that matter most to us. The experience consists of visualizing oneself during one’s own funeral, and imagining the words we would like to hear from others (oneself, family, friends, associates, compatriots…) expressed in our memory.

Vision is the frame of reference by which we examine everything. Each day must be an effective contribution to the realization of our vision.

Affirmation and visualization are recognized as powerful techniques in achieving high performance. Great champions imagine, feel, live and mentally experience their achievement before moving on to practical performance. These two techniques are a kind of neurolinguistic programming.

Identification of roles and objectives

Identifying important roles and long-term goals ensures a balanced and harmonious life. These roles help to structure and organize the architecture of the personal mission statement. This facilitates the integration of specific objectives and very short-term activities.

To be successful in life, we must strengthen the driving forces that propel us in the direction of our mission, and at the same time reduce the constraining forces that hold us back.

It is a long process that requires patience, perseverance and a high degree of both proactivity and moral integrity.

Habit 3: prioritizing priorities

Principle: The most important things should never be at the mercy of those that don’t matter.

Habit 3 deals more specifically with effectiveness and discipline in implementing action plans. In this process, independent will is the mark of character that forces emotions, impulses and moods to become subservient to the values of personal mission.

One might ask the following question: what is the activity that, if carried out on a regular basis, could bring extraordinary results in such and such a project or in such and such an aspect of my life?

Time matrix

Importance and urgency are the two main factors that define any activity.

Urgent things are visible, easy and put pressure on our senses, nerves and consciousness.

Important activities, on the other hand, are less pressing, but vital to the achievement of our long-term goals. They are results-oriented and therefore require initiative and proactivity.

The nature of ‘less resistance’ distracts us from important activities to the fun and easy things.

Groups activities that are labelled as crises or problems. It consumes 90% of the time of ineffective people. We can find there all the stressful vocabulary such as crisis management, meeting deadlines, indicators in red…

One category of people spend most of their time in dealing with emergencies that are not important. The reality is that these people are in the service of other people’s emergencies and priorities (thieves of time and energy).

The natural field of effective personal management, positive energy and growth. “It is the place of people who nurture opportunities, starve problems and think prevention! ». Successful people spend most of their time, energy and passion there. They avoid getting stuck in the other quadrants for long periods of time.

In management jargon, this approach could be compared to the “Pareto Principle”, which observes that 80% of results are the result of 20% activity.

However, this is not true, as most people fall into the trap of routine and find themselves, with problems.

The following principles are important for us:

  • Coherence, harmony, unity between vision, roles, goals and priorities.
  • Balance in all aspects of life (health, family, profession…).
  • The programming of priorities and not the ownership of programs.

Knowing how to say No

In order to stay focused on the important activities, you need to be able to say ‘No’ to other activities that might be urgent at times. “The enemy of the best is often the good one! ».

Habit 4: Thinking Win-Win

Principle: There is no shortage of resources, and there is enough for everyone.

In their transactions, efficient people are guided by the win-win spirit. They seek common interest and mutual benefit. They do not see life as a field of competition, but rather as an opportunity for cooperation.

The win-win spirit requires very high human qualities based on :

  • Personal integrity.
  • Maturity: the balance between courage (personal) and consideration (of the other).
  • The spirit of abundance: there is no lack of resources and there is enough for everyone. It opens the perspectives for more sharing, cooperation, creativity and contribution.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand and then to be understood.

Principle of empathic communication

“The heart has its reasons that reason doesn’t know.”

“To touch a man’s soul is to walk on holy ground! »

In the area of relationships, people have a tendency to judge, and to jump to conclusions before diagnosing the situation in depth.

Communication is the most important skill in life. It takes many years of learning to be able to speak, read, write and communicate.

Usually, we listen to prepare the answer: assess, justify, advise, rebut or intimidate. We go through the filter of our paradigms. We project who we are inside, our autobiography on the words and behaviours of others.

So our conversations are nothing more than long collective monologues.

Knowing how to listen with the intention of understanding. That’s the difference.

Empathetic communication does not mean agreeing with everything. It consists in making the necessary effort, the most sincere effort, to understand, deeply, the other person emotionally as well as intellectually.

Communication experts estimate that 10% of the message is conveyed by words, the rest is conveyed by sound and body language.

Empathic listening involves the use not only of the ears, but also of the eyes and the heart.

By nature, man needs psychological survival through understanding, appreciation and affirmation. Empathic communication provides that psychological air that sets the stage for solutions and agreements. It allows the problem to be put on the table and examined from the same side, not from two opposing sides. The solution thus becomes obvious and easily accepted by all.

To sum up, habit 5 is both the art and the skill of knowing how to accept difference, with the aim of building, together, a very beautiful world united by its diversity. Diversity of perceptions, interests, characters and defects.

Habit 6: Living in synergy

Principle of creative cooperation.

All the habits, outlined above, lead to the culmination of synergy. Like a molecule that is created by the union of several completely different atoms, new life arises through the collaboration of proactive people, deeply focused on the true principles of effective living.

Synergy defies arithmetic laws. It is defined as follows: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts! 1 plus 1 is equal to 3 or more! Synergy governs nature in all its most miraculous expressions.

The essence of synergy lies in valuing differences by consolidating strengths and compensating for weaknesses.

Synergistic communication

“If someone disagrees with you, there must be a reason behind it that you don’t yet understand. So take the time to see things from his point of view!”

Synergistic communication opens up other perspectives, other alternatives and options. It frees the mind and emotions from the vicious circle of the defensive, protective and self-centered mentality.

The valuation of the difference

“If two people have the same ideas, then one of them is not necessary”.

Communicating with someone who mirrors our ideas and thoughts is not going to help. It’s like spending all day in front of the mirror bragging about being the most beautiful person in the world.

It is obvious that two people can disagree and be right at the same time. This is not logic, but psychology!

Synergy is the valorization of difference. It brings together different people from different intellectual backgrounds and complementary skills to accomplish wonders.

The truly effective person has the modesty to recognize the limits of his or her perceptions, and appreciates the rich exchange of resources with others.

Habit 7: Balanced renewal

Principle: To maintain and increase our efficiency, we must renew our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual resources.

“Sometimes, when I realize the enormous consequences produced by small things, I tell myself that there are no small things.

Habit 7 deals with personal maintenance and continuous improvement. An effective operator never forgets to sharpen his tools, maintain his machines and improve his skills.

The quality of our lives depends closely on the level of development of each of these four aspects of human life.

The physical aspect

Healthy nutrition, sport and rest are important and regular activities that keep us in a Zen state of muscular comfort, oxygenation of the mind and invigorating energy.

The spiritual aspect

“The great battles of life are fought daily in the silent chambers of the soul.

David O. Macky

The spiritual dimension is the core of our existence. It is from this centre that the manifestations of our true nature and our deepest values radiate.

Mediation, immersion in great literature, music and communication with nature, among others, are techniques of spiritual renewal. These escapes nourish a sense of inner peace, serenity and harmony.

The mental aspect

“The person who doesn’t read is no better than the person who can’t read.”

As soon as they leave school, most people let their mental development atrophy. They limit themselves to their area of expertise and neglect to explore other, more rewarding horizons.

There is no better way to educate oneself and develop one’s intellectual capacities than through great literature. Great books put us in direct contact with the best minds in history. You don’t have to spend fortunes to get educated.

Find out my MBA challenge to develop my intellectual capacities, click here to find out and maybe you can go on the journey with me. And out my crazy challenge by following this link.

Writing is, too, another powerful means of developing the precision, clarity and relevance of ideas.

The social/emotional aspect

The social and emotional aspects are closely linked. Our emotions are our responses to interactions with our social environment. But these emotions also define the quality of our relationships with others.

Habits 1, 2 and 3, developed above, are supposed to strengthen our emotional independence and personal security.

Limiting one’s energy and time to the pursuit of self-interest, money and ephemeral pleasures never leads to lasting success or true happiness. The latter is never found in the damp and icy dungeon of selfishness and avarice.

Several researches have demonstrated the link between the true meaning of happiness and the accomplishment of projects that bring added value to society. This is where the true joy of the heart lies. Our life also belongs to our community, to whom we owe service and contribution.

“Service is the rent we pay for our enjoyment of life on earth!

N. Eldon

Personally, my way of seeing things and people has completely changed, at least theoretically. I began to be more empathetic towards people who didn’t share my views, and to respect them.

In light of the book The 7 Habits, I am beginning to understand, more clearly, my emotional reactions, the sources of my anxieties and insecurities.

Of course, the road to change is long and painful, but when you are aware of the results at the end, motivation and excitement are at their peak.

What are the 7 habits of those who do everything they undertake?

  1. They are proactive
  2. They keep the final goal in mind
  3. They give priority to
  4. They’re thinking “Win-win.”
  5. They seek first to understand and then to be understood…
  6. They live in synergy
  7. They renew themselves in a balanced way

Give me your 7 Habits of Effective People? and ont don’t forget do get yourself a copy of the book and write down your remarks.

Click here to get your copy of the book

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