Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is still one of my favorite books. Like so many other readers, I have found it to be a great philosophy for living.

If you haven’t already read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I highly recommend it. Some books claim they’ll change your life; this one actually will if you implement the principles.

If you have read The 7 Habits, here are some notes I made after reading the book. I hope you find the notes helpful to refresh your memory of the habits.

My Notes from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


Habit 1: Be Proactive
o Take the initiative and be responsible for my own life
o Carefully select the values, principles, and purpose I choose to live by
o Focus my efforts on the things I can do something about

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
o Use my imagination to visualize the uncreated world of potential within me
o Develop a personal mission statement of what I want to be and do
o Develop affirmations that are personal, positive, present tense, visual & emotional

Habit 3: Put First Things First
o Organize and execute around priorities – do what has the greatest impact
o Be opportunity-minded, not problem-minded
o Put my primary focus on relationships and results, not time

Habit 4: Think Win/Win
o Build my character: practice integrity, maturity, and an abundance mentality
o Make these 5 elements explicit in any agreement: desired results, guidelines, resources, accountability, consequences

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
o Listen with the intent to understand before trying to be understood

Habit 6: Synergize
o Sameness is not oneness; uniformity is not unity – don’t try to control others
o I can be synergistic regardless of my environment. I can sidestep negative energy; I can look for the good in others.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
o Spend an hour every day on the Physical, Spiritual & Mental dimensions of self-renewal. Practice the Social/Emotional dimension by loving unconditionally.
o An increasingly educated conscience will propel me along the path of personal freedom, financial security, wisdom, and power. Moving along the upward spiral requires me to learn, commit, and do on increasingly higher planes.

Inspiring Quotes from The Seven Habits:

Viktor Frankl: “There is a gap or a space between stimulus and response, and the key to both our growth and happiness is how we use that space.”

Anwar Sadat: “My contemplation of life and human nature in that secluded place had taught me that he who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.”

Emerson: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.”

Viktor Frankl: “Man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked.”

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