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

4.6 (3791 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is an influential self-improvement book that outlines seven powerful habits individuals can adopt to achieve personal and professional success. Covey shares practical insights and actionable advice on how to develop these habits, leading to a more fulfilling and productive life.

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    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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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.

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Review

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) by Stephen R. Covey is a transformative book that provides valuable insights on how to become more productive and successful individuals. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with practical strategies and actionable advice, it empowers readers to establish effective habits that lead to personal growth and achievement.
    • By combining real-life examples and relatable stories, Covey delivers an engaging narrative that makes the book both informative and relatable.
    • The book's emphasis on character and principles ensures that readers not only achieve success but also develop a strong moral compass, fostering personal integrity and authenticity.

    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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    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People FAQs 

    What is the main message of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

    The main message of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is that success comes from developing effective habits and principles.

    How long does it take to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

    The reading time for The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is worth reading because it offers practical advice and insights for personal and professional growth.

    Who is the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

    The author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is Stephen R. Covey.

    What to read after The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • The 8th Habit by Stephen R. Covey
    • 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn