9780671887179

Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People Living THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE Every Day

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  • ISBN13:

    9780671887179

  • ISBN10:

    0671887173

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1994-03-21
  • Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER

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Summary

Make the 7 habits a part of your life -- every day....Stephen R. Covey has helped millions of readers attain professional success and personal fulfillment. With penetrating insight Dr. Covey reveals a pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity -- principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.Now, as a succinct introduction to Dr. Covey's revolutionary thinking or as a reminder of key principles,Daily Reflections for Highly Effective Peopleprovides an inspirational recharge that will bring you closer to a holistic sense of personal effectiveness and purpose.

Author Biography

Stephen R. Covey is an internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, founder of the former Covey Leadership Center, and cochairman of Franklin Covey Co. He has made teaching Principle-Centered Living and Principle-Centered Leadership his life's work. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard and a doctorate from Brigham Young University, where he was a professor of organizational behavior and business management and also served as director of university relations and assistant to the president. For more than thirty years he has taught millions of individuals, families, and leaders in business, education, and government the transforming power of principles or natural laws that govern human and organizational effectiveness.

Dr. Covey is the author of several acclaimed books, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has been at the top of the bestseller lists for over seven years. More than ten million copies have been sold in twenty-eight languages and seventy countries. His books Principle-Centered Leadership and First Things First are two of the bestselling business books of the decade.

Dr. Covey and other Franklin Covey authors, speakers, and spokespersons, all authorities on leadership and effectiveness, are consistently sought by radio and television stations, magazines, and newspapers throughout the world.

Among recent acknowledgments, Dr. Covey has received the Thomas More College Medallion for continuing service to humanity, the Toastmasters' International Top Speaker Award, Inc. magazine's National Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and several honorary doctorates. He has also been recognized as one of Time magazine's twenty-five most influential Americans.

Stephen, his wife, Sandra, and their family live in the Rocky Mountains of Utah.

Excerpts

Chapter 1

January 1

If we want to change a situation, we first have to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.

January 2

We must lookatthe lens through which we see the world, as well as at the world we see, and understand that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world.

January 3

TheCharacter Ethic,which I believe to be the foundation of success, teaches that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.

January 4

The Personality Ethic tells me there must be something out there -- some new planner or seminar that will help me handle pressures in a more efficient way.

But is there a chance thatefficiencyis not the answer? Is getting more things done in less time going to make a difference -- or will it just increase the pace at which I react to the people and circumstances that seem to control my life?

Could there be something I need to see in a deeper, more fundamental way -- some paradigm within myself that affects the way I see my time, my life, and my own nature?

January 5

If I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other -- while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity and insincerity -- then, in the long run, I cannot be successful. My duplicity will breed distrust, and everything I do -- even using so-called good human relations techniques -- will be perceived as manipulative.

January 6

To focus on technique is like cramming your way through school. You sometimes get by, perhaps even get good grades, but if you don't pay the price day in and day out, you never achieve true mastery of the subjects you study or develop an educated mind.

January 7

We simplyassumethat the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of those assumptions.

January 8

Each of us has many, many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps ofthe way things are,orrealities,and maps ofthe way things should be, or values.We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps.

January 9

Many people experience a fundamental shift in thinking when they face a life-threatening crisis and suddenly see their priorities in a different light, or when they suddenly step into a new role, such as that of husband or wife, parent or grandparent, manager or leader.

January 10

"Objective reality" is composed of "light-house" principles that govern human growth and happiness -- natural laws that are woven into the fabric of every civilized society throughout history and comprise the roots of every family and institution that has endured and prospered. The degree to which our mental maps accurately describe this territory does not alter its existence.

January 11

Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world. The power of a paradigm shift is the essential power of quantum change, whether that shift is an instantaneous or a slow and deliberate process.

January 12

What happens when we attempt to shortcut a natural process in our growth and development? If you are only an average tennis player but decide to play at a higher level in order to make a better impression, what will result? Would positive thinking alone enable you to compete effectively against a professional?

January 13

To relate effectively with a wife, a husband, children, friends, or working associates, we must learn to listen. And this requires emotional strength. Listening involves patience, openness, and the desire to understand -- highly developed qualities of character. It's so much easier to operate from a low emotional level and to give high-level advice.

January 14

Borrowing strength bilds weakness. It builds weakness in the borrower because it reinforces dependence on external factors to get things done. It builds weakness in the person forced to acquiesce, stunting the development of independent reasoning, growth, and internal discipline. And finally, it builds weakness in the relationship. Fear replaces cooperation, and both people involved become more arbitrary and defensive.

January 15

As we look around us and within us and recognize the problems created as we live and interact within the Personality Ethic, we begin to realize that these are deep, fundamental problems that cannot be solved on the superficial level on which they were created.

We need a new level, a deeper level of thinking -- a paradigm based on the principles that accurately describe the territory of effective human being and interacting -- to solve these deep concerns.

January 16

The "inside-out" approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness means to start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the mostinsidepart of self -- with your paradigms, your character, and your motives.

The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves precedes making and keeping promises to others. It says it is futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve relationships with others before improving ourselves.

Inside-out is a process -- a continuing process of renewal based on the natural laws that govern human growth and progress. It's an upward spiral of growth that leads to progressively higher forms of responsible independence and effective interdependence.

January 17

Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness...or ineffectiveness.

January 18

The Seven Habits are not a set of separate or piecemeal psyche-up formulas. In harmony with the natural laws of growth, they provide an incremental, sequential, highly integrated approach to the development of personal and interpersonal effectiveness. They move us progressively on a Maturity Continuum fromdependencetoindependencetointerdependence.

January 19

Dependenceis the paradigm of you -- you take care of me;youcome through for me;youdidn't come through; I blameyoufor the results.

Independenceis the paradigm ofI -- Ican do it;Iam responsible;Iam self-reliant;Ican choose.

Interdependenceis the paradigm ofwe -- wecan do it;wecan cooperate;wecan combine our talents and abilities and create something greater together.

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

January 20

Achievingunity-- oneness -- with ourselves, with our loved ones, with our friends and working associates, is the highest and best and most delicious fruit of the Seven Habits. Most of us have tasted this fruit of true unity from time to time in the past, as we have also tasted the bitter, lonely fruit of disunity -- and we know how precious and fragile unity is.

January 21

Private victories precede public victories.You can't invert that process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant it.

January 22

Effectiveness lies in what I call the P/PC Balance.Pstands forproductionof desired results, the golden eggs.PCstands forproduction capability,the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs, the goose.

January 23

When two people in a marriage are more concerned about getting the golden eggs, the benefits, than they are in preserving the relationship that makes them possible, they often become insensitive and inconsiderate, neglecting the little kindnesses and courtesies so important to a deep relationship. They begin to use control levers to manipulate each other, to focus on their own needs, to justify their own position and look for evidence to show the wrongness of the other person. The love, the richness, the softness and spontaneity begin to deteriorate. The goose gets sicker day by day.

January 24

You can buy people's hands, but you can't buy their hearts. Their hearts are where their enthusiasm, their loyalty is. You can buy their backs, but you can't buy their brains. That's where their creativity is, their ingenuity, their resourcefulness.

January 25

Marilyn Ferguson observed, "No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or by emotional appeal."

If you decide to open your "gate of change" to really understand and live the principles embodied in the Seven Habits, your growth will beevolutionary,but the net effect will berevolutionary.

January 26

Change -- real change -- comes from the inside out. It doesn't come from hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior with quick fix personality ethic techniques. It comes from striking at the root -- the fabric of our thought, the fundamental, essential paradigms, which give definition to our character and create the lens through which we see the world.

January 27

We are not our feelings. We are not our moods. We are not even our thoughts. The very fact that we can think about these things separates us from them and from the animal world. Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine even the way we "see" ourselves -- our self-paradigm, the most fundamental paradigm of effectiveness. It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors, but also how we see other people. It becomes our map of the basic nature of mankind.

January 28

You can decide within yourself how circumstances will affect you.Between what happens to you, or the stimulus, and your response to it, is your freedom or power to choose that response.

January 29

The wordproactivemeans more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.

January 30

The law of the harvest governs; we will always reap what we sow -- no more, no less. The law of justice is immutable, and the closer we align ourselves with correct principles, the better our judgment will be about how the world operates and the more accurate our paradigms -- our maps of the territory -- will be.

January 31

Don't argue for other people's weaknesses. Don't argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it -- immediately.

Copyright © 1994 by Stephen R. Covey


Excerpted from Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People: Living the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People Every Day by Stephen R. Covey
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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