In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey shares seven great insights on how to be better in whatever one does in life. I this short paper, I will offer a personal perspective on each of the 7 habits.
The first habit being proactive is one that I have found highly useful. It is no accident that Covey identifies it as the first habit of highly effective people. Life must necessarily involve proactivity. I personally believe that the world owes me nothing and that it is my job to work and progress towards meeting my objectives. The second habit, beginning with the end in mind, is one that regards planning. This is a habit that I have found to be particularly useful in my academic life. As I study, I set specific objectives regarding the grades that I want to get at the end of the semester. By beginning with the end in mind, I am able to quantify the amount of effort required to meet my objectives. The third habit (putting first things first) is strategic in nature. This is perhaps the most important thing in the defining of strategy. Consequently, I believe many people fail in their endeavors because they cannot prioritize their actions. As a student, I want many things in life. I want to study as well as do other things that amount to fun. In doing this, I have embraced the habit of doing first things first my academics come before any other thing. For example, as much as I love checking my social media accounts, that is done only when I am relaxing, not when I am studying.
Covey identifies thinking in win-win scenarios as the fourth habit of highly effective people. I believe that this is crucial for anyone to succeed. The reason for this is simple: collaboration is imperative in all undertakings, because no one knows everything. A deal that hurts other stakeholders will hurt you in the long run. This is a habit that I have embraced in my discussion groups with fellow students. I have found it to be remarkably useful. The fifth habit, understanding others before one is understood, is of crucial importance in the social realm. We must never forget that we live in a social world where it will always be important to maintain relationships. From experience, I have found that many problems arise because many people seek to be understood before they understand others. In life, I have learned to listen more and talk less in an effort to understand others even as I ask that they understand me.
At an organizational level, Coveys sixth habit (synergy) acquires heightened importance. It can be a very fruitless endeavor to work alone. Cooperation increases efficiency, especially when careful coordination is undertaken to ensure that the outcome of a group is more than that of individuals or separate entities. I have seen this is tasks involving teams during group dynamics. As I look forward to finishing school and getting into the job market, I will particularly aim to be better in this habit. Lastly, Coveys seventh habit (sharpening the saw) has endless importance. In our everyday struggles, we will often get tired, even frustrated. This habit aims to renew our spirits. It teaches on how to nourish a person physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Personally, I have found the practice of meditation important in relaxing me when I have inner tensions. Through meditation, I get to sharpen the saw for another fresh battle in the many battles of life.
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