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on 14 September 2016
This book explains 7 Habits that can make a person more effective personally, professionally, and in family life. Covey shows how to build the healthy relationships that are key to an effective life. This classic is well worth reading for its perspective and practical advice.

Correct Principles: Covey frequently references his Christianity. He says the Habits are based on "Correct Principles" (aka Natural Law) found in Judeo-Christian scriptures and common to major religions.

P/PC Balance: Covey says you must maintain a balance between production (P; your output) and production capability (PC; your ability to produce). You must stay healthy and renew yourself (see Habit 7) or you'll get burned out and become ineffective. He uses the fable of the Goose and the Golden Egg as a metaphor.

Interdependence: Covey says the Habits lead you from dependence to independence to interdependence (cooperating with others to achieve a common goal; producing things greater than the sum of their parts).

The 7 Habits
Habit 1: Be Proactive
You choose how to respond to what life throws at you. Take responsibility for your actions.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Choose your short-term, daily behavior according to the plan you have for your entire life. Think about the legacy you want to leave. Put things in perspective; what would you want people to say at your funeral?

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Daily planning is too narrow and short-sighted. Weekly planning gives a better big-picture perspective of your goals, and allows for the flexibility to deal with the things that will inevitably come up.

People are more important than things, so plan your time accordingly. Be efficient with things, but effective with people. You can't be efficient with relationships; they take time.

Only spend time on things that align with your deep values. Don't waste time on other things, even if it means saying no to requests. Don't prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities.

Think of tasks in terms of urgency and importance. Focus on the important, even though they seem less urgent. Think preventatively to keep tasks from ever becoming urgent.

Use stewardship delegation instead of "gofer" delegation; teach a person to be the steward of the task you assign to them, rather than constantly telling them to "go for this" or "go for that".

Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Most of life requires cooperation, not competition. Work together with co-workers, friends, and family for mutual benefit. Approach everything in terms of "win/win or no deal"; if you can't reach a deal in which both parties feel they're winning, don't make a deal at all.

Think in terms of the Abundance Mentality rather than the Scarcity Mentality; The quest for recognition, credit, power, and profit isn't a zero-sum game. Be happy when others succeed.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Listen with the intent to understand, not to reply. Diagnose before you prescribe.

To understand others, listen with empathy. To be understood, present your views according to:
ethos: personal credibility
pathos: emotional alignment with the other person
logos: logical reasoning

You can't motivate people by appealing to satisfied needs (money, status, etc.); only unsatisfied needs motivate.

Habit 6: Synergize.
Value the differences in relationships. Oneness is not sameness, it's complementariness. Unity is not uniformity.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Renew and improve in yourself in the following categories, by spending at least an hour each day.
• Physical: Eat right and exercise
• Spiritual: Find and carry an inner peace. Meditate, read scripture, or spend time in nature.
• Mental: Read good literature to gain the insights of others. Write, organize, and plan.
• Social/emotional: Understand others. Serve others, at work or through volunteering
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on 24 February 2016
I hesitated before writing a review since there are already 600 plus who have done the same. So, I took the time to read some of the negative reviews (1 star rating) to find out what they didn't like about the book. Wow! This just proves the point that reviews are mere opinions from readers and if we were to buy into theirs, we will either be satisfied or discontent. Now, as a person whose English is not the first language, I have learn so many new words and fell in love with Dr Stephen Covey's lexicon. It felt like not a single word is wasted and each sentence is constructed beautifully while being concise and deeply meaningful.

I have read it once. I will read it a second time and underline many of my favourite bits. I have already started to implement these seven habits and they are nothing short of challenging. The work that the late author has produced is undoubtedly one of the most important literary work of our times. It's a shame that some do not see it that way, but that's their paradigm. It is futile to force your opinion onto someone else's. However, the book gives you a frame of work to emulate in order for you to become a more effective person.

Don't take my word for it since you do not know me. But if you were to buy the book based on reviews, I suggest that you read a preview and form your own opinion. As for me, this is arguably one of the most life-altering book I have ever read and I always recommend it to my friends. I am a strong believer of "the books you don't read won't help" and "the person who doesn't read is not different from the person who can't read", therefore similar books stimulate my imagination and "the 7 habits of highly effective people" has sent it into a frenzy. I hope it does the same to you when you read it and put it into practice.
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on 25 February 2017
I first read this as a new, green sales person trying to be better. I got bits of it, but it largely went over my head at the time.

14 years later, trying my best to be better and to help a team be better, I re read this book, and it has just clicked. I'm starting it again right away, to start actual action this time.
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on 28 March 2018
This is one of those seminal pieces of work that everyone should read. It is not a business book, it is not a marriage help book, it is not a parenting book and it is not a friendship book. It is a book about YOU in a holistic context. It is about causing you to think about your core defining traits; personality, character, principles and ethics. In other words, it is NOT a quick self-help book it is about instilling fundamental habits. These habits take us from our base level of being a dependent through Independence to Interdependence and are defined as:

1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with the End in Mind
3. Put First Things First
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood
6. Synergise
7. Sharpen the Saw – Continuous Improvement

The principles are as sound today and they have always been and the world would be a better place if we all lived by these habits. The language is a bit dated and some of it has been so widely used and misused that it’s a bit cringing in today’s vocabulary.

I would say 5 stars for the impact this book has had, and 4 stars for the language ageing we’re now seeing. 4.5 stars would be about right.
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on 1 February 2017
still reading through this but its an AMAZING book and have mentioned it to countless people and surprisingly most of them have already read it LOL..!
but yes defo a good book and has amazing life changing methods to take heed of which actually work instead of unrealistic aims and methods which wont last..
very well worded and explained
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on 14 April 2016
This is a really interesting book, rooted firmly in "external principles" rather than the latest quick fix gimmick. The case made is compelling, but as an atheist, I found the references back to religion uncomfortable, and potentially confounding. Religion brings a lot of baggage, and I am not yet convinced this framework doesn't make a few assumptions as a consequence. Furthermore some of the concepts are a little fuzzy - but that is the nature of concepts - they are individual and fuzzy.

Still there is no doubting the power of the principles in this book, for personal growth and success. What I question a bit more is the implication that treating kids according to this "formula" is necessarily helpful. I felt a bit sorry for Mr Covey's kids.

Worth reading though, and powerful if you can embrace some or all of it....
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on 25 September 2012
What can I say about this fantastic book that hasn't already been said in so many other reviews.

'Self help' as a term for books today has become something of a dirty word, something a lot of people sneer at and make fun of. I can understand this to a point, as there is some real rubbish on the market but this book and of course the author Stephen Covey, to my mind is in a league only a few motivational authors/speakers share.

I'm so impressed with this book ~ I started off with a paperback edition many years ago, then a couple of years ago I purchased the Kindle edition and then through Audible (Amazon company) I downloaded the talking book. I've also bought a copy for my son, so obviously I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. This is in my top five books of all time and I read and listen to it often.

I don't care for the term self help, I choose my books carefully and refer to them as personal power; something which will markedly improve for anyone who reads this book and puts the advice into action!
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on 4 January 2014
This book has been life changing!

I've seen it a few times but hesitate as I thought it would be another self-help rubbish. After reading an abstract of it I was very impressed and decided to buy it.

I was going through some personal difficulties in my personal and professional life and this book has changed my whole outlook on life. The reason 7 Habits is different from all other self-help books is that instead of focusing on the outside e.g. negotiating skills or building your reputation it delves deep into your core. The book helps you realize how we as human beings can change how we react, feel and see the world. It helps you understand what really is important to you in life. The book shows you how to be a pro-active person who lives in harmony with others. There really is soo much I've taken away from this book that this review won't do it justice!

This book is still on my bedside table, i refer to it and if I have children I will pass these book onto them!

This book gives a set of rules on how to live a productive, harmonious and happy life- to me this book is a bible!
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on 10 October 2012
Between starting to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in the Spring of 2011 and finishing the book today, its author Steven Covey died.

I am not sure about where the book is placed in the pantheon of great business books (I can see from the cover that 15 million copies have been sold) but what made me buy the book was the number of times it was referenced by people I respect.

His seven principles (to which an eighth has been appended for the digital age) underpin a lot of other good self-development and management books. His ideas are frequently used by others. "Begin with the end in mind" is not quite what I had been told it was.

There are two reasons why it took me so long to read the book. The first reason is Steven himself urges his reader to take it slowly. The second is that his prose style is frequently dry.

But I am glad I set out on the journey. As T S Eliot wrote: "We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time."

This book is packed full of wisdom. It will help you improve your life. While 15 million copies have been sold I am confident that most people really don't understand how the principles that Steven outlines join up. This means if you study the book you will get a personal advantage and a business advantage.

While I say that Steven does not write well, this book does contain some great stories and it will make you cry. You will also feel that you know Steven and know that he lives on through his work.
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on 3 November 2017
This is by far the best book in self and spiritual development because not only that it gives you the different elements in order to become effective in every area of your life, it also acknowledges that one must incorporate all the seven habits congruently and consistently to be effective. Thank you Mr Covey for your insight and God continue to bless you.
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