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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

​Book Review of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Book Summary
Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Develop these 7 good habits to make your life go uphill 

Introduction of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey 

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach to solving personal and professional problems. 

With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, 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.

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators, and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.

Is a rich person a highly efficient person? Is a person with a happy family a high-performance person? Is a person who owns a listed company a high performer?

Maybe, maybe not. After reading this book, I found that high-performing people have happy families, and good relationships, do things without regrets, and can live in peace no matter what the environment is.

Truly effective people know how to listen to others, be respected and respected by others, and can greatly influence others and even the world for the better.

Highly effective people are not only the kind of people want to be, but they themselves learn to keep up with the times.

There is also a passage in "How Steel Is Tempered" that can describe highly effective people, yes, as you think, people feel no regrets when they die, and have a sense of happiness, a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of relief for future generations.

Specifically how to do it? Next, we will briefly talk about the seven habits of highly effective people. If you also want to become a highly effective person, this article can give you some useful advice.

Book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey


About the Author: Stephen R. Covey  

Stephen Richards Covey was the author of the best-selling book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". Other books he wrote include "First Things First", "Principle-Centered Leadership", and "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families" ". 

In 2004, Covey released "The 8th Habit". In 2008, Covey released "The Leader In Me—How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time". He was also a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. 

Covey died at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on July 16, 2012, due to complications from a bicycle accident he suffered the previous April.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Book Summary

What is a habit? Stephen Covey said that "habit" is a combination of three things, that is, knowledge, skill, and willingness".

In layman's terms, I can do it, I know how to do it, and I want to do it.

What really determines our life is habits, so how difficult is it for a person to change habits? If you can change the first few days or ten days, then it will be easier and easier later.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Develop these 7 good habits to make your life go uphill.

Habit #1: Be proactive

What is being proactive? We need to start with a new concept, what is the ultimate freedom of human beings.

Frankel, the author of Living the Meaning of Life, believes that the ultimate human freedom is "no matter when and where you are in any situation, as a human being, you always have the right to choose."

Stephen Covey also found that "from stimulus to action, there is a big space called choice." A truly proactive person will not give up the right to choose.

For example, once President Roosevelt's home was stolen, many friends wrote to him to let him not be sad. His reply was as follows:

I feel fortunate in this matter, they just stole things and didn't hurt anyone; they only stole some things and didn't steal everything; he was the one who stole things, not me.

Roosevelt chose such an idea, the thief stealing things would not hurt him, he just chose the right to make himself not sad.

And there are many people in our lives who are not proactive and give up their right to choose. For example, when you were in school, you gave up studying a subject because you didn’t like the teacher, and you left the choice to the teacher.

Stephen Covey said, "You have to be able to insist that you have a choice, and there are four things to support this matter, self-awareness, imagination, conscience, and independent will." With these four things, you can really do it Do not waive the right to choose.

There is a second definition of being proactive. We have a circle of influence and a circle of concern in our lives. The center part is called the circle of influence, and the outer part is called the circle of concern. The circle of influence is when you do things that can change the surroundings, and the circle of concern is where you can only comment and express opinions, but they are useless.

Throughout the ages, successful people have focused their energy on doing things in the circle of influence. The losers focus their energy on the circle of attention, complaining, scolding, and angering, but to no avail.

So being proactive is: first, you have to choose, and second, you must focus on doing things in the circle of influence.

The second habit is to start with the end in mind

Find the principles of your life, write down your life direction, and set a goal in advance.

Many of us focus on one-sided things, such as only work. These people threw themselves into work and sacrificed their health and family harmony. In the end, even if they made a lot of money, they could not live a good life.

Stephen Covey said that you should never focus on any one-sided thing, you should focus on principles. 
"A principle-centered person has a good mind about his choice, no matter what the outcome is, he can focus on it, and he has peace of mind and no fetters in his heart. A principle-centered person always has extraordinary insights and unique thoughts and behaviors. A strong and stable inner core gives them a high sense of security, direction, wisdom, and strength. It will enable them to live a positive and fulfilling life.”

To find the principles of your life, set a goal, and start with the end in mind.

The third habit is to do things first

Stephen Covey did such an experiment. He invited a woman up and gave her a pile of large stones, each with the words: Family, Health, Leisure, etc. He found a bucket, poured a bunch of small stones into the bucket, and then asked the lady to put the big stones into the bucket. The lady wanted to put the "family", "health" and other big stones into the bucket, but they couldn't put them at all. The bucket is full.

Stephen Covey changed the method. He poured out the small stones into the bucket, put the big stones in first, and then poured the small stones in. The result was just right, and all the stones could be put in.

Many people in our lives are occupied by a large number of small stones. We spend a lot of time on Weibo, chasing dramas, playing games, and putting important things to an end. This approach is not desirable.

We should get the important things done and spend the odd time entertaining.

The fourth habit is win-win thinking

First of all, we need to understand a word called "emotional account". There are emotional accounts between people. We can not only know how to "withdraw money" in emotional accounts but also know how to "save money" in them.

There are some basic ways that emotional accounts can be invested: "You learn to understand others; you pay attention to social details; keep promises; be clear about your hopes; maintain integrity, apologize, and unconditional love."

To achieve a win-win situation, we have to trust each other, so emotional accounts are important.

The fifth habit, know the enemy and understand yourself

You just have to learn to listen. We need to know that loving listening is being able to express the feelings of the other party at this time, and you do not need to make any judgments.

The counterpart to pleasant listening is the autobiographical response. 

Autobiographical responses include value judgments, such as "you're doing this wrong"; getting to the bottom of things, such as "what's going on"; being a good teacher, such as "you should do this and you shouldn't do that"; and One is self-righteousness.

The sixth habit is integration and synergy

Nature is the most typical result of synergy, all living things combined to play the best effect.

The most important thing to achieve synergy between us and others is to be able to collaborate creatively. You have to drive each other to be creative and communicate together. In order to achieve a good synergy, we must respect differences and achieve creativity in communication.

The seventh habit, keep updating

We are constantly renewed intellectually, physically, socio-emotionally, and spiritually.

On the intellectual level, you can read and study; on the physical level, you can meditate, eat healthy food, and exercise; on the social-emotional level, you need to join more connections and “save” in emotional accounts with others; Spiritually, you need to have higher cognitive abilities.

Be proactive, start with the end in mind, put things first, win-win thinking, know each other and understand yourself, integrate and synergize, and keep updating. These are the seven habits of highly effective people. Develop these seven good habits to make your life go. uphill road.

Book Review of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Author Stephen R. Covey proposes a very comprehensive and principles-based methodology that can address a variety of personal and workplace problems, known as a classic for personal growth and management.

At first glance, this book seems to have a lot of "I understand the truth and still have a bad life" advice.

But as I grew up, some of the words in the book resonated more and more in my heart and made me constantly reflect and think. Every time I go back and read the author's meaning again and understand it again, it is a process of "internalizing" my own experience and pain.

To this day, it has even brought me a great sense of peace and well-being in an impetuous environment, and being able to make some decisions with peace of mind and still do me regularly without being "forced" by people or the system what to do.

1. Why many people are successful but unhappy inside

Many people, including myself, have inner anxiety and confusion. Some of them even appear to be very successful on the outside, but they are often miserable inside.

Have you ever encountered such anxiety?
"I've worked my way up the career ladder, but I've sacrificed my time. I often ask myself, is it really worth it?"
"I've taken a lot of management classes, hoping to manage my employees well. I've worked hard to be nice to them. But I just can't get their hearts. As soon as I take a few minutes of rest, they also give themselves a vacation. Why can't they take the initiative to take responsibility for the company?
"My children just can't learn, they're stupid, it really worries me"
"I'm very busy, I'm very busy every day, I don't know why I'm so busy, what's the meaning of my life"
Author Covey, who has spent years studying human perception, found that since World War I in 1920, the definition of success has changed dramatically, and people's perspectives have changed.

People are starting to pursue " Personality Ethics" instead of the previous "Character Ethics".

What is character literacy? Such as presentation skills, and communication skills, those skills that make you look more decent. And character qualities are those qualities that have been respected across any culture for centuries: honesty, kindness, patience, etc.

In other words, people are looking for skills, not character.

For example, we usually study how to get children into better colleges, not how to get children to learn the subjects they like.

For example, everyone will say: "Laugh more and frown less, so that it is easier to make more friends". Don't say "being honest with people".

Instead of developing mutual trust with employees, we usually study the routines that make employees work more overtime.

Instead of asking stupid questions, exposing our ignorance, and learning, we'll look at how to make it seem like we don't know everything.

We study how to act better, rather than thinking about the true meaning of being awesome.

These techniques and routines are like quick shots that can bring some results quickly. Skills can be disguised, but the character takes time to shape and develop.

Today we may meet some people who live like a machine. He doesn't know or understand himself, the only thing he knows is what kind of person he should pretend to be. Boring words replaced meaningful communication, fake laughter replaced genuine laughter, and dry eyes of despair replaced real pain. 

Today we come across an individual who behaves like automation, who does not know or understand himself, and the only person that he knows is the person that he is supposed to be whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech, whose synthetic smile has replaced genuine laughter, and whose sense of dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain.

2. Change yourself from the inside out: from perspective to habits to character 

As the saying goes. 
Sow an idea, reap an action. 
Sow an action, reap a habit. 
Sow a habit, reap a character. 
Sow a character, reap a life.
Your thoughts determine your actions, your actions determine your habits, your habits determine your character, and your character determines your life.

If you want to have a self-disciplined and free life, a life under your own control, you must start by changing your perspective.

Did you realize that many people see the world from a very different perspective (Paradigm)?

Different perspectives see the world differently and behave differently.

Many people use the wrong perspective, and therefore the wrong way to achieve success. The way we see the problem is the problem

If you base your perspective on Personality Ethics, you're bound to gain a wrong habit and end up unhappy.

For example, if you think that you can win friends by laughing more, then you will learn to fake a smile. Although you may indeed win the appreciation of many people, your heart is empty.

If you want to be truly "efficient", you must first change your perspective, truly from the root, from the inside to the outside, from the perspective, to change behavior, behavior to change habits, and habits to change character.

Perspectives must be based on principles, not any artificial values.

Note: Values ​​and principles are not the same. Values ​​are man-made, and principles seem to be immutable, across time and culture, such as Integrity, Honesty, Dignity, Value, Patience, Encouragement, and Nurturing.

A principle is like a lighthouse that always points in the right direction. Principles are human-proven codes of conduct that endure.

Only basic goodness gives life to technique.

Once you base your perspective on principles, you can begin to develop effective habits, otherwise, everything will be in vain, and there are no shortcuts, only a solid foundation.

So what is a habit?

Habits are the result of the intertwining of knowledge, skill, and will. To form an effective habit, all three are necessary. Knowledge dictates "what to do" and "why to do it." The trick is "how to". Will is "wanting to do".

Even if you change your perspective, you must know why you do it, what you do, and how to do it, in order to be truly effective, otherwise, it's just "I understand the truth and still don't live a good life."

3. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: An Introduction and a Framework 

So what exactly are the 7 principles-based habits?

Covey proposes a framework of seven high-performance habits, in order: Be Proactive Begin with the end in mind First thing first Think win-win-win) Seek first to understand, then to be understood Synthesize Keep updating Sharpen the saw

List of 7 Habits

The 7 Habits seem simple, but they are actually extremely difficult, so we must correctly understand what each habit is, why, and how to do it, otherwise it is not a habit, just a creed.

Covey pointed out that there are three stages of human beings from infancy to maturity:

When people are born, they are all dependent on their parents. They are dependent on their parents if they are not full or happy. They will cry to show their parents.

However, many people don't realize that even if many people are in their 30s, they may not be out of the "dependency period" Some symptoms:

Passive, dependent on others, emotionally controlled by others, and unable to arrange a time for themselves. Many people's thinking is often manipulated by others and driven by trends.

What school you go to is arranged by your parents, what unit you go to is assigned, and the boss stipulates that you go to get off work. It is psychologically uncomfortable to be said a few words by others, and I completely lose control over my emotions, thinking, and time.

Habits 1, 2, and 3 help us achieve independence. 

From relying on others in everything to mastering oneself, not being controlled and influenced by others, and not being dependent on the emotions of others. You are your own planner, master, and reshape your goals. And be able to have the self-discipline to complete the goals that you have planned for yourself, gain personal victory (Private Victory), and defeat yourself.

The second stage can only be pursued after independence

After you can control yourself, you must achieve the balance of cooperating with others in society. After all, we are not playing single-player games. Many things require cooperation and teamwork. Those who do not understand win-win cooperation can only end up fighting alone, which is not as efficient.

Habits 4, 5, and 6 can help us achieve mutual support (Interdependence)

During this period, we learn win-win thinking instead of zero-sum thinking, know how to communicate with others and cultivate trust, and finally get the maximum benefit 1+1>2, gain the public Victory (Public Victory), after all, this society needs cooperation.

Last Habit 7 allows us to constantly update and iterate to grow ourselves.

Why Are These Seven Habits Highly Effective?

First, let's understand what efficiency is. 
Covey defines high efficiency as
output/capacity balance(P/PC Balance)
  • P - Output obtained by Production; 
  • PC - Production Capability Capacity, and assets or capabilities of production. 

Before understanding this concept, let's first tell a well-known fable: 

Once upon a time, there was a goose that could lay a golden egg, only one per day, but a farmer killed the goose to dig out the egg because of his anxiety, but the goose died and the egg was gone. Here the goose is the PC egg is the P. If you want to speed up the laying of eggs (P), you will kill the goose (PC). But if there is too much emphasis on a goose (PC), P will decrease (P). Only by finding the perfect balance of geese and golden eggs can you get golden eggs and guarantee a healthy and productive goose.

Finding a balance between output and production capacity is truly high-efficiency.

Usually, efficacy can be reflected in three types of assets: Physical, Financial, and Human Capital.

For example, in terms of manpower, if a boss blindly wants to produce a lot of work in a short period of time, it will make employees work a lot of overtime and P will increase. But in the long run, PCs will run out and employees will quit. But if you keep taking good care of your employees, if you don't live, PC will rise and P will fall. In the same way, if a machine is used all the time, the machine will break down, but if it is maintained in time, the machine can be maintained better.

High performance refers to a balance between short-term and long-term goals.

Only you have control over your time, attention, and emotions (initiative), know what you want (short-term and long-term goals), know what is more important than what (first things first), and know how to let others When it is comfortable, both parties benefit (win-win, listening, and synergy), and continuous iterative updates are the real way to achieve high performance.

Covey found that most people believe in "character literacy" and do a lot of superficial skills. Although they have achieved some results, it is still difficult to be happy because they often lose their original direction, purpose, and balance. His point is that to be truly effective, that is, to be able to balance short- and long-term goals, you must base your perspective on principles and character, not skill. Based on this perspective, he proposed 7 habits that can help us to achieve individual victory in turn, to achieve true independence, then to achieve public victory, to achieve interdependence in social cooperation, and finally to continuously update and iterate.

Above we talked about the reason and thinking framework of the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The author believes that if you want to be truly efficient and happy, you need to focus on the essence rather than words and deeds and change from the heart, not just behavior. 

Habit 1: Be Proactive

There are a lot of stimuli that come into our brains around us every day, insults, contempt, teasing, pleasing, laughter, etc.

But have you ever wondered: do we all have the same conditioned response to every stimulus? Will I be sad if you scold me? Will I be angry if you accuse me today that your article is badly written?

No, because people are born with a filter.

The reason why human beings are different from animals is that between "accepting stimulation" and "responding", humans actually have the freedom to choose. The reason why we have this freedom is that people have self-consciousness, imagination space, moral heart, and free will.

But not everyone knows it exists and actually uses it. 

What is self-awareness? 

Let's do a little exercise:

while you are reading this right now, imagine that your consciousness is floating in the sky, looking at yourself as you read, looking at yourself as if it were a doppelganger of you.
  • Think: How are you feeling now? How do you feel? Are you happy or peaceful? What's going on in your head?
  • OK, stop. Looking back on the situation just now, have you found that you can even completely disconnect from your own body and think about the way you are thinking?
  • This is "Self-Awareness". Being able to think about your own thinking is the biggest difference between humans and animals. It is also why humans have the ability to build and rebuild their own habits. So you can reshape your life.

Because people are self-aware, we have the ability to isolate ourselves when we are angry and angry, and find out in peace that "Oh I'm angry".

Think about it again, every time you are angry, can you clearly realize that you are angry, and you can even get out of another sober self to comfort yourself and stop being angry?

The people who are comfortable using this filter are the ones who have really mastered Habit 1: Proactive.

Because active people are not stimulated by the environment, surrounding stimuli, others, or emotions, they can actively use self-control, effectively filter, and leave "freedom of their own".

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Victor Frankl, whose parents, wife, and brothers all died at the hands of the Nazis, was brutally abused in Nazi prisons.

One day, Frank was lying naked in a small room by himself. After going through countless twists and turns and thinking, he suddenly had an enlightening realization and felt incomparably peaceful:

No matter how the Nazis abused his body, they could not rob him of his spiritual freedom. The last freedom of human nature—the freedom to choose one's attitude and way of life in any situation—cannot be taken away.

No matter how painful the body is, he can imagine that he is teaching students in the classroom, he can isolate himself mentally and physically, and choose not to think about the pain.

In fact, if you think about it, we get hurt for so many things only because we give them the right to hurt us.

Active people do not attribute their choices to the environment, external conditions, or the influence of others. They consciously choose the way they interact with others according to their own values and do not act in response to external or emotional impulses.

Passive people take every feedback from the outside world seriously, and in the end, they become pawns for other people, scarred. Think pure concubine.

Think about the negative people around you again: do you remember those grumpy women who always felt that the whole world was embarrassing them?

For example, some people will tell me that I am very old and my mother is urging me to get married all day long. If only I were a few years younger.

Some people will say that the salary of the company is too low, it would be better if the boss thinks more about the employees.

That's just because passive people focus their energy on things they can't influence and blame the outside world.

In fact, people have two circles: the circle of concern and the circle of influence.
  • The circle of concern is everything you care about, such as salary, market conditions, other people's opinions, family expectations, etc.
  • A circle of influence is something you can influence.

The circle of influence is divided into 2 types: 
  1. You can directly control 
  2. You can indirectly influence. 
What directly affects is what you can personally control, such as your experience, how you allocate your time, what you invest in, and so on. Indirect influence is what you have to influence by influencing other people. The former is won by individuals (Habits 1, 2, 3), and the latter by public victory (Habits 4, 5, 6).

The blank space between the circle of concern and the circle of influence is what you pay attention to but cannot influence, such as other people's affairs.

If you keep focusing on your circle of influence, it will get bigger and bigger.

But if you keep focusing on your circle of attention, your circle of influence will get smaller and smaller.

For example, if you want a raise

The active person will focus on the improvement of her workability and how to communicate with the boss, and her influence will increase.

Passive people pay attention to why the boss doesn't give you a raise and complain about making irresponsible remarks. Instead, they will become more and more negative and gloomy and lose their position in the workplace.

Active people pay attention to their circle of influence, improve their abilities and public influence, and find ways to achieve their goals.

Passive people are preoccupied with the "circle of attention," focusing on other people's weaknesses, environmental problems, and things beyond their ability, complaining about others, and feeling self-pity.

Are you an active personality or a passive personality who is responsible for your life? 
Listen to what you usually like to say.
Passive people like to say:
I can't help it. 
I can't change it.
He's mad at me. 
They don't agree with me. 
People who have taken the initiative like to say: We think about what else we can do. We may have to go another way. I will control my temper. I will find a way to convince him. I will do it in an appropriate way.

How to change from a passive personality to an active personality?
  1. Starting today, practice repeatedly and deliberately. Whenever someone attacks or stimulates you, remember that it is a stimulating input. You have the freedom to choose not to react to it. You say that the person who decides your life is not someone else.
  2. Focus on the things you can influence and focus on expanding your influence.

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind

Let's take the story of Yanxi Palace as an example. In the play, Wei Yingluo can endure many people's criticism of her and the emperor's indifference to her, and hangs up all the way, why? Because she has a very clear goal: to seek revenge for the queen and to declare justice.

People who don't know their purpose and meaning can easily get overwhelmed by all kinds of trivial matters and find themselves busy doing the wrong things.

Begin with the end in mind, that is, you have already thought about the final appearance of everything before you do it. And the creation at this time is actually the second creation (All things are created twice). In fact, things have been created in the heart for the first time (Mental Creation), and the second time is the actual creation (Physical Creation).

For example, if you want to start a startup, you have to think about what the mission of your company is, what kind of problems you want to solve, and you already have a blueprint and your beliefs in your heart, but the actual company you create is just It's really just creating the blueprint in your heart.

On the contrary, if you don’t know your purpose and meaning in your heart, you will be caught in the middle of a lot of trivial repeated discussions because you can’t make a lot of decisions, and you will eventually become a pawn in someone else’s plan.

Our company has invited growth engineers from Facebook to share their growth experiences. The first question everyone asks is always: Do you know what the mission of your company is? People who don't know the company's mission will only end up tangled in strategic decisions.

It's the same as being a person and doing business.

We all need to lead our lives, not just manage. Leadership and management are like thoughts and actions. Leaders focus on "what do I want to achieve". Management is concerned with "how to get things done effectively". True leadership is doing the right thing. Leading in the right direction is more important than hard work.

So, what are your mission and vision in life?

When it comes to personal vision, it is easy for many people to focus their lives on one thing. But in fact, no matter what you focus on, it may cause some small changes in this matter and completely capsize your life.

For me, my focus has been on work for the last few years, I take pride in what I do, and I feel very comfortable working. I make work a lot of my priorities in life. But a little dissatisfaction from my boss or a little bit of unhappiness in my work would make me overwhelmed, and it was very painful.

Therefore, the focus of a person's life vision needs to be based on principles, inner character, and various social relationships (family, self, friends, work, lovers, etc.)

How to find your life vision and purpose?

Close your eyes now, use your rich visual imagination, and imagine if...Tomorrow is your funeral, your children, your loved ones, and your friends are talking about your life, and you have the opportunity to be able to float in the air and listen to others How did they say about you, what do you want them to say about you?

Do you want your kids to say you are a great father/mother? Do you want your friends to say you are a righteous person? What do you want the world to say about you?

Think about it for 5 minutes and write it down. This is your real purpose in life.

By asking myself this, I wrote down my own vision of life that I can share with you:

My life vision:

To be a person who has an impact and meaningful help to others. You can also be happy, grow, and have positive energy. 
Goal: I want to inspire people and help them live better lives. A happier life with positivity.
Family: keep family members healthy (fitness, eating, and drinking), happy (company), rich (education, medical care, basic, housing, entertainment). Hope you have love, cultivation, trust, understanding.
Friends: There are 5-6 best friends and newcomers to each other. Support, maintain communication, support. Friends (weak ties) are all over the world
financially: financial freedom, being able to do what I want to do, and the people I love too.
Workplace: Own your own brand (shop, restaurant, company, or whatever), have my philosophy but also make money, and give positive energy to others.

What is yours? Feel free to write it down or share it with me.

After I wrote it down, I was surprised to find that many of the things I was usually busy with did not seem to be related to the things I wanted to achieve. It suddenly dawned on me that life was short and that what I had to do was meaningful.

"Those who know why they live can survive."

Habit 3: First Thing First

  • Habit 1 tells us that we are the masters of ourselves. 
  • Habit 2 tells us that we must have our own mission and purpose. 
  • Habit 3 helps us differentiate what is important and prioritized based on our goals, and how to accomplish them efficiently.

The completion of efficiency is divided into three parts:
  1. Know what is important and have priorities
  2. Know how to allocate time
  3. Know what to do by yourself and what to let others do

1. Know what has priority

Many people are aware of the well-known four quadrants of time and prioritize what is important and urgent. But often many people tend to ignore the important and not urgent second quadrant.

Over time, many people are always doing urgent and important things, so they are fighting the fire every day, and the pressure will increase in the long run, but not for long.

Things of long-term value tend to come from the second quadrant, things that make sense in the long term but don't seem urgent in the short term. They may seem useless in the short term, but a long-term accumulation of bits and pieces will add great benefits, such as fitness, writing your own life manifesto, drinking tea with your parents, cultivating friendships, etc. So there is a saying, do more useless things.

2. Know how to allocate time

In addition to prioritizing, it also needs to be done efficiently. For this purpose, Covey invented a new weekly and daily schedule. It starts from your social role, and you need to write down what goals you need to accomplish this week according to the personal declaration you wrote each week, and then split it into what you need to do every day, and finally what time you do every day.

I specially copied this timetable, and I can download this timetable and guidance by replying "time" in the background of my Princess.

3. Know how to assign to others

The improvement of efficiency lies only in what to do and what to do in advance, but also in how to make others do it efficiently.

Don't do everything by yourself, delegate the work in your hands. What kind of deserving appointment? Doesn't help your own PC, just P's work. (For the concept of PC and P, please see the previous article)

There are generally two types of appointments:
  1. Gofer Delegation is a way of teaching the other party how to do it. This kind of appointment is not long-term but will make you more tired.
  2. Steward Delegation focuses on the outcome rather than the process of delegation. The appointer only needs to tell the other party his 4 elements (RRAC) and leave the rest to him. A. Results B. Confirm the required resources C. Specify the time and standard Accountability D. And clearly do the good and bad Consequence of Consequence 

How to start managing time to accomplish your goals?

Try to sort all the work you do into these four quadrants?

I will do a demonstration myself, for example,
  • in the first quadrant (important and urgent): prepare for the upcoming official account article.
  • The second quadrant (important but not urgent): cook dinner for my husband,
  • the third quadrant (urgent but not important): buy toilet paper, pay phone bills

Have you ever noticed that you are constantly procrastinating your second quadrant indefinitely, while you are constantly fighting the fire?

Use the downloaded schedule to start planning your priorities and schedule each week, deliberately making time for quadrant 2.

Distribute things that don't help your own product to others, using RRAC principles. 

Habit 4: Win-Win Thinking - Be bold and considerate of others

Usually, when two people have different positions, many people have a psychological scale of winning and losing: if he wins, I lose, and if I win, he loses.

For example, when I was in charge of the operation of Alipay in North America and negotiated with Airbnb, I thought that I must win. When I was on Alipay, I often had the thought "You still depend on me?", so I often spoke with a kind of arrogance of "You have to give me more". (Now that I think about it, I'm really stupid)

Such a "you win or I win" mentality is called a " poor mentality Scarcity Mindset"
People with a poor mentality believe that resources in this world are very scarce, and that the game is ultimately a zero-sum game. So he either chooses to win, or loses. They believe that only one person can get it, either you or me. Even if I can't get it, you can't even think about it, we will lose together.

People with a poor mentality are not only aggressive in negotiation but usually have difficulty seeing others happy and successful in life. Because they will feel in their hearts that the success of others in disguise means their own failure.

Have you ever seen someone who heard that their friend was successful and then became very upset? Feel like you're falling behind and failing? This is the mentality of the poor. This kind of mentality is very common, but what many people don't realize is:

Whether it is to benefit others at the expense of others, sacrifice oneself for others, or lose both, it is a friendship that means the end of long-term cooperation.

If you win and he loses, although you win temporarily, it is actually at the price of the other party's concessions, and the other party will no longer cooperate with you next time, and you will not always take advantage of it. All friends.

If you lose and he wins, you will always have scars on your heart the next time you cooperate, thinking about getting the money back this time. Still friends.

And people who can have good long-term cooperation often have an "Abundance Mindset", they believe that there are enough resources in the world that everyone can profit and succeed.

And people with a rich mentality often have a win-win mentality: if I win, you can also win.

Often the bolder people are better at fighting for their own interests, and the more considerate of others, the easier it is for them to make concessions. A win-win thinker is someone who achieves the highest values of courage and consideration for others: a state of balance between daring and empathy.

In my example at the beginning, my leader’s solution to this matter was to fly to meet Airbnb’s executives in person, spend a lot of time together, understand each other’s needs, and make some adjustments based on the Alipay business itself, and also communicate with each other. Opened more requirements in exchange for Airbnb's support for Alipay during the global travel season.

"Maturity is the ability to express one's own emotions and beliefs while being considerate of the thoughts and feelings of others."

So how do get a win-win? In fact, the following four steps can be used to complete the win-win process:
  1. Look at the problem from the perspective of the other party. Really understand the other person's thoughts, needs, and concerns, sometimes even better than the other person.
  2. Recognize the main problems and concerns behind Shengwei
  3. Determine the results that everyone can accept.
  4. Find all possible ways to achieve this result.
"When you develop a win-win mentality in yourself, you'll discover a wonderful thing: relationships become easier." - George Elliott

Small exercise:
  1. Think of a person you are very close to or a negotiation you are about to meet. Think about your inclination. Are you competitive or always give in? Try to have the courage to fight for yourself and consider the other person at the same time. What would you say?

Habit 5: Know the other side and understand it - empathic listening and expression

With win-win thinking, what is more, important is how to express it next.

Have you ever been in such a situation,
for example, you and your boyfriend are talking about a very annoying thing that happened to you today, and before you finish, he said: Oh, this kind of thing is very common, you can do it like this... ... chatting and chatting, you have lost interest in chatting.

In fact, this kind of thing happens not only among couples, but also among friends and partners every day: I tell you about my grief, but you use my grief as your own judgment.

We think we are very good listeners, but in fact, when you listen to your usual words, you are often "self-answered".

Self-response is often divided into 4 steps:
  1. Value judgment - only accept or not accept the opinions of others.
  2. Investigate the bottom line - explore other people's privacy according to their own values.
  3. Be a good teacher - give advice from your own experience.
  4. Self-righteousness – Measure the actions and motivations of others in terms of their own actions and motivations. 
The conversation between her and her boyfriend was like this:
"I'm going to be pissed off at the company today"
"What's wrong?" (to get to the bottom of
it) "My boss, he's really stupid, and he wants me to kick this out tonight. PPT, changed a dozen times "
"What PPT?" (to get to the bottom of it)
"It's the XXPPT that the boss wants tomorrow"
"Your boss also has her reasons, (value judgment)
Don't be so emotional, you must obey your superiors" (self-righteous, good teacher)
Have you ever been in such a situation? You complained a few words, but you were taught a lesson by the other party. You didn't hear my real troubles. I'm too lazy to tell you.

Such communication is not only ineffective but also greatly reduces the emotional savings of both parties, which is very detrimental to the establishment of mutual trust. Instead, empathetic listening should be used.

Empathic listening is also divided into three steps, and learning is very simple:
  1. Repeat the other party's words
  2. Reorganize the other party's expression in another way
  3. Reflect the other party's feelings
  4. Combine the other party's feelings and content to express them together

Back to the above example of being pissed off by her boyfriend:
"I'm so pissed off at the company today"
"You're pissed off at the company" (repeating the other party's words)
"Oh, my boss, he's really stupid. He insisted that I get out of this PPT tonight and changed it a dozen times. "
"Your boss asked you to change the PPT a dozen times until now?" (reorganized repetition)
"Yeah, that's the XXPPT. In fact, she told me clearly what needs to be changed, and it's enough to explain it once, it doesn't need to come like this. Repeated back and forth"
"You must be very tired, this is not professional" (reacting the other party's feelings)
"Yes, I am exhausted, I must communicate this with her next time, it is a waste of everyone's time"
" You’ve done so many PPTs and you’re so tired now, talk to her next time, come and let’s have dinner together” (expressed together with each other’s feelings and content)

Empathetic listening can not only make the other party feel that she is understanding and listening to her, but also increase the emotional account stored value of the two people, and she will also communicate her hidden willingness more and be more inclined to listen to you.

In fact, 10% of our usual communication comes from our language, 30% from our voice, and 60% from our body language.

Once you understand the other person, you can express yourself more effectively.

How would you express it? When talking or giving speeches, many people hope to talk about logic as soon as they come up, but people are not born to accept dry goods as soon as they come up. So, instead of just being reasonable, it is better to let the other party understand you and empathize with you first, and then expand the rationale.

The so-called, mediocre salesman sells products, outstanding salesman sells the way to solve problems and meet needs, this is the truth.

How to achieve empathic communication, the best way is to combine the three elements of Ethos (credit), Pathos (sympathy), and Logic (logic) in order.
  • Ethos is your personal credit, the trust others place in your competence and integrity.
  • Pathos is empathy, resonating with the feelings and emotions of others.
  • Logic is logic, the rationale behind the speech, etc.
First, use Ethos to make the other party trust you and let them understand why they should listen to you. 

For example, you can say "I have a good idea that has worked very well before". Then use Pathos to generate empathy and put the other party in the situation, "I also had a boss at the time, he asked me to do PPT for a long time, and repeated changes, I felt too uncomfortable..." Finally, I went deep into the logic layer and said, "I found the reason behind it because..."

To put it bluntly, first move with emotion, and then understand with reason.

Use empathic understanding and expression, first understand and then express, not only the other party is full of goodwill towards you, thinks you understand him, and then makes the other party believe in you, agree with you, and finally listen to you.

Small exercises:
  1. Observe two people chatting, try covering your ears, observe each other's body language, and feel what his true emotions are?
  2. Next time your girlfriend complains that you don't understand her, try what I call "emotional listening", maybe she will open up to you instead.
  3. When communicating next time, use Ethos, Pathos, and Logos to convey convincing, empathy, and logic in turn. Is the effect better?

Habit 6: Synergy - Accepting Differences

Even so, many times we understand the truth, but there is still no way to endure each other.

Have you ever been in a situation where someone said something and said it right, but it always upset you?

For example, I am an ENTP, and people I meet with ISTJs often have a hard time communicating. I like to see the big picture, he likes to see the details. I like to look at a lot of things with optimism. He always said that this needs to be carefully considered and that that needs to be rethought. I find that people like me and I can't always agree with each other. When I'm imagining the future, he just limits my imagination!!

But this is actually because his way of thinking is different from mine.

The so-called comprehensive synergy is actually based on the first two habits (win-win thinking, knowing each other, and understanding each other), respecting differences, establishing advantages, and making up for shortcomings. Begin to be inclusive to the outside world, producing an effect of 1+1>3.

Think about it. If a person with considerable intelligence and intelligence disagrees with you, then the other party's proposition must have a mystery that you have not yet realized. Isn't it actually an opportunity for you to improve yourself?

The most important thing in working with people is to pay attention to the different psychology, emotions, and intelligence of different individuals, as well as the different worlds that individuals see in their eyes.

Communicating with people who see the same way is of little benefit, and there are differences to gain.

Small exercise:

Think about the people around you that you can't always talk to, and always feel that there is a difference in thinking? Think about who do you always have the same opinion and think the same way?

However, by stacking Habits 4, 5, and 6 in sequence, a public victory in the interdependence period can be achieved. From the beginning of winning or losing, gradually trying to respect each other and make concessions, and comprehensive synergy is the ultimate state. I respect the differences between you and me and would like to have friction with you to improve my reverse thinking.

Habit 7: Keep Updating

Habit 7 is based on the last link after Habits 1 to 6: constantly updating personal productivity. It's really about protecting and optimizing the most important asset you have - yourself.

It renews and iterates your nature in four dimensions: physical, spiritual, intellectual, and social/emotional.

Renew body assets: eat well, rest and relax well, exercise regularly, and stretch. This can also help exercise Habit #1: Actively build your muscles.

Renew spiritual assets: daily meditation, communication with nature, reading literature, and listening to music. Practicing to renew your mental assets can also help exercise Habit Two: Start with the End in Mind.

Renew your intellectual assets: reading, writing (writing your own thoughts, ideas, and experiences), and watching TV in moderation that will make you feel refreshed. Practicing to renew intellectual assets can help develop Habit Three: First things first.

Renew social/emotional assets: Find ways to understand others, do projects that are meaningful to others/society, have a "rich mentality", and help others succeed. In this way, it can also help us to exercise Habits 4, 5, and 6, a win-win mentality, know each other and understand each other, and produce a comprehensive synergy.

The most worthwhile investment in life is to hone yourself because you have to rely on yourself to live and serve people, which is the most precious tool. Work itself does not bring economic security. Only with good thinking, learning, creativity, and adaptability can you be invincible. Having wealth does not mean economic independence, but the ability to create wealth is truly reliable.

To achieve a virtuous circle, you must learn, persevere, practice - then learn, persevere, practice...

"Small things can lead to amazing results, and every time I think about it, I think there are no small things in the world." -Bruce Bardem

The influence of this book on me

It took me a year and a half to finish reading this article, forcing myself to write down these reading notes, to understand the book many times, and then write down my own precipitation.

Nowadays, many people are very successful but are often unhappy. It is because they have pursued too many "arts" and pursued shortcuts, but their essential self has not improved. If you want inner peace, you must first return to your own moral literacy, recognize, accept, and grow yourself, and then have a good social relationship with others. Otherwise, it will only go further and further.

This book had a very big effect on me. 

Especially the first one: Be Proactive.

For example, my husband and I once said, 

"Now the divorce rate is getting higher and higher, and when I hear that men are rich and powerful, they will change their minds." 

He said to me, have you forgotten the first Be Proactive? It is something we can control ourselves, and we don't need to listen to the "big environment" of the outside world. If the two of us were close, this wouldn't have happened.

It dawned on me at the time that just because something like this happened doesn't mean I need to be affected by it.

Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" album has the song "Lost", which I like very much. Two of the lyrics are clearly written between the stimulus and the reaction. 

we have a choice:
  • Just because I'm losing, doesn't mean I'm lost
  • Just because I'm hurting, doesn't mean I'm hurt
The second rule, Beginning with the end in mind, also makes me ask myself in the dead of night, at my funeral, what do I want others to say about me? What value am I creating? I hope others say that I am a good daughter, a good mother, and a good wife. I hope people say that Doris has helped many of us, giving us hope and sustenance when we are most confused and helpless. The brands and products created by Doris have given us new energy. With that in mind, I found my way.

The third rule is First Comes First. When I am busy, I am willing to stop and accompany my parents, cook meals for my husband, go to the gym, and read books. Focus on the second quadrant: things that are important but not urgent. I made Covey's schedule, and when I made my plan, I drew a weekly schedule that included not only work but also time for rest and company.

The fourth is win-win thinking. It makes me reminds me that when I want to win in cooperation with others, I also know how to think about others when I dare to fight for it. Every time someone helps me, under the circumstance that it is not excessive, I will enthusiastically help others and increase the balance of the emotional account, and as a result, the other party will often give me a greater return.

Article 5 Knowing the enemy and understanding, I have not done very well. When someone talks to me, I always make premature judgments or be a good teacher. I wish I could be more attentive to listening to the other person's meaning, the meaning that the language does not express.

The sixth comprehensive effect, I have not yet achieved. I hate people who don't agree with my thinking, even yelling at each other, and trying to win verbally. But after knowing this, I will remind myself to tolerate the difference in the other person's thinking. A CEO once told me that when you can look at a problem from the perspective of more people, it’s time to do bigger things. I think the same is true.

Article 7 is constantly updated

And I'm doing a terrible job. I often burn out, wandering between sickness and toil. But then I want to give myself regular rest time as much as possible, and it’s good to go out for a walk.

But I'm taking this book as a guideline and reminding myself all the time.

These seven principles are integrated and progressed layer by layer. Only then can we truly achieve self-victory and public victory, form a form from the inside to the outside, and find the balance and continuous iteration of efficiency and production capacity? 

Finally, let me give you a famous sentence:

“Life is a book, and you are its author. You set its plot and pace, and you—and only you—turn it page by page.” — Beth Mond. Connie

Conclusion: Book Review of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Disclaimer in advance: This article should be the best analysis of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People you can read.

After all, I have read this book for more than 2 years, and I have read it 4 to 5 times before and after. It took a long time to brew this long article.

It is not easy to create if it is useful to you, please like it and share it.

Muhiuddin Alam is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He serves as a consistent contributor to various websites and publications, including Medium, Quora, Reddit, Linkedin, Substack, Vocal, Flipboard, and Amazon KDP. Alam personally read numerous books and, for the past 10 years, has been providing book recommendations and reviews. Find Me: About Me & Google Knowledge Panel.

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