By Fatimah Daffaie, senior at Doherty High School
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
By Stephen Covey
As we begin this new year, 2021, many people find it to be a fresh start to hopefully something better. The best way to achieve our goals is by setting successful habits that can help us become better at achieving goals faster and more effectively.
One mesmerizing book that I believe best helps with setting successful habits is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen Covey.
The seven habits are:
😊1. Be Proactive
In the book, Covey says that behavior is a result of our decisions not our conditions. Being proactive means that you make the decisions and plans for your life. Life is unfair and despite our hardships and terrible conditions, we still have to remember that we are in control of our situations. We have the brain power to make decisions, goals, and plans to live the life we want to live.
😊2. Begin with the End in Mind
In other words, know what it is that you are trying to achieve. What are your goals? What actions are you going to take to achieve these goals? For example, when I write a paper or prepare for a presentation, I always keep my end in mind, which is about what my audience and readers will take away from my work that is of value to them.
😊3. Put First Things First!
This is a simple and direct habit: Prioritize the things that are most important to you first. These are the things that most align with your principles and values. As a student, for example, I have to always get my work done based on priority, which means: when is the due date, how much time I have to spend on something, and how much that thing means for me and does it align with my values and principles.
😊4. Think Win-Win
Have a win-win mindset. Covey explains that habit by saying that we should see life as a cooperative rather than a competition. Going through life sometimes, there are a lot of tough times that we have to go through, so it’s easy to feel put down. Despite the tough times, we should keep healthy and positive mindsets. If athletes went into their games always thinking that they were going to lose, why even try if you think you’ll never win? Always go into things with confidence that you have the skills and preparation to do great!
😊5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood!
Stop trying to be understood! Rather, seek to understand the situation in front of you. This habit will help improve your relationships with others. This is a skill of being a great listener and understanding the situations and what someone is saying rather than focusing on the other person understanding you. I have learned from this habit that when having conversations in work, school, or family, I always keep in mind to understand what they are saying, before I respond and make them understand my response or my opinion. At this time in the world, it is very important that we respectfully listen to each other, before we say our opinion. Just listening is not enough, there should be an intended effort put in on both sides to understand what the other person is saying.
Do not be scared from group and social interactions. There is a great power when people come together. Take this pandemic as an example, we had to come together to stop the virus. Together as a society we had to take initiative and responsibility for everyone’s health and safety. We, as people, grow together to achieve our goals and become better individuals.
😊7. Sharpen the Saw
Here, Covey talks about four dimensions: physical, social and emotional, spiritual and mental. The physical category speaks about taking care of your body by exercising and having the necessary duration by having a healthy everyday diet. The social category refers to having a social life with healthy and loving relationships and friendships. It is also crucial to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally.
As you may have noticed, these seven habits are interconnected and build on each other. Having them all together is the best way to achieve your goals effectively in the fastest way possible. These habits will also make you a better individual! I recommend this book for everyone, especially if you are trying to improve your life professionally and personally.