The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Book Summary - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Book explained in key points
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People summary

Stephen R. Covey

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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    In order to succeed, we must cultivate habits aligned with good principles.

    Imagine you’re visiting a foreign city for the first time. The streets are unfamiliar, and the signs are in a language you don’t understand. How will you find your way around? And how will you reach your destination?

    If you ask a stranger on the street, you may receive a few tips like “Turn right!” or “Take this bus!” And sure – these may help in the short term. But eventually, you’ll end up lost again. A more effective strategy would be to find a map, right? With an accurate picture of the world around you, you can find your own way – again and again. 

    Well, navigating life is similar. While certain small actions can be useful, it’s far more valuable to grasp a few fixed and guiding principles and make a habit of following them.

    When author Stephen Covey looked back at 200 years of self-help advice, he observed an interesting pattern. He found that most advice that is given followed one of two paradigms. The first is the Personality Ethic. This paradigm argues that success comes from learning a series of tricks and techniques. It says that if you talk the right way or complete the right tasks, you’ll achieve your goals. This advice is attractive – but it often leads to rather superficial changes that don’t make a fundamental difference. 

    The second paradigm is different. It’s based on the Character Ethic. This approach argues that there are underlying principles to success. These principles aren’t specific to any one situation. They’re deep, unchanging truths about the world. If we align our inner character with these rules, we’ll achieve lasting results.

    So how does this paradigm work in practice? Well, let’s say you want a happier marriage. The Personality Ethic would tell you to adopt a new communication style or take a certain kind of vacation. In contrast, the Character Ethic encourages you to work on yourself. It says you must become the kind of person who has a good marriage by cultivating a character based on principles like fairness, empathy, and trust.

    Of course, this is easier said than done. If you want to develop an inner character based on good principles, then you need to change the way you consistently perceive and approach the world around you. In short, making changes based on the character paradigm requires that you cultivate good habits. 

    In the following blinks, we’ll take you through these habits one at a time.

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    What is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People about?

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) is one of the most celebrated self-help books of all time. This enormously influential guide presents a series of practical principles that will help you succeed in your personal and professional lives.

    Who should read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

    • Professionals aspiring to fulfill their potential
    • People looking to build stronger relationships
    • Anyone seeking to understand a self-help classic

    About the Author

    Stephen Covey was an American businessman, lecturer, and author of bestselling titles such as The Leader in Me and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has sold more than 20 million copies. His esteemed career earned him recognition as one of TIME Magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans in 1996.

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