7 lessons from 7 habits
Whenever I want some clarity in my life I turned myself to only one thing that I know would never let me down. Yes, you guessed it right — it’s BOOKS.
I recently read a book that I had heard a lot about but wasn’t interested in reading it. Man, I was wrong. After I was done reading, the only thing that came to my mind was, “I wish I had read this earlier in my life”.
That book was none other than “7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE” by Stephen Covey
The lessons that I learn from this book are timeless and that’s why today I am sharing them with the hope that you would also find these as precious as I found them.
Habit 1 — Be Proactive
The first habit as the name suggests, tells us to take responsibility for our actions. You would have observed that there are many things that we do but not even conscious about it ourselves. For example, Actions on which we have full control and actions on which we have no control.
Suppose you wanted to do a workout today but it starts raining. Many people now would say- “Oh! it’s raining now. Why God does this every time I wanted to start working out”. They will not take responsibility and start blaming others or even God for their lack of action.
Here in this situation, you didn’t have control over the climate. But you sure have control over what it is that you are going to do about it. You can say “FUCK THAT I AM GOING TO DO A WORKOUT NO MATTER WHAT”.
BE PROACTIVE teaches us that no matter what situations life is going to throw at you, you are capable of making a decision about what you are going to do about it.
Habit 2 — Begin with the end in mind
Imagine you are going to a funeral. You reach there and saw all your friends are in sorrow. You enter the place where the funeral is to start. Upon, enter you saw that It is your funeral that is happening today. Seeing that, how would you like to be remembered by your loved ones.
Why did I ask you to do this? Because we spent our lives not acknowledging that we are on this planet for a very short period of time and once we are dead there is no coming back.
At your funeral, now you are wishing that you could that done some things differently. You could have been a better son, brother, or husband depending upon the screwups you have done in your life.
How you could have done things differently. I am so glad you asked.
Make a mission statement. List down all your roles and how would you wanna be perceived by the people you have this role rather it being as a son/daughter, brother/daughter, husband/wife, or as a boss of your employees. After doing this take your every action upholding this mission statement with its highest regard.
BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND teaches us that using self-awareness, imagination, and conscience we can improve our life to great extent, and with the mission statement now at our disposal, we can use it to have fewer regrets in our life.
Habit 3 — Put First Things First
How many times you have seen yourself struggling with deciding what things to add to your to-do list and sometimes adding the things that you do not want to do.
Well, here’s the third habit that comes to your rescue. It suggests that we divide the tasks into four categories:
- Important and Urgent
- Important and not Urgent
- Not Important but Urgent
- Not Important and not Urgent
Activities like growing your skills, completing your projects that have deadlines comes under Category 1.
Activities like relationship building, reading books, planning for your goals, exercising comes under Category 2.
Activities like phone calls, office meeting comes under the Category 3
And last but not least activities like mails, checking social media all the time comes under Category 4.
PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST teaches us that if we wanna improve our life we have to start doing more Category 1 and Category 2 activities in our routine. With this not only we will be able to reach our goals we will have a healthier and happy lifestyle.
Habit 4 — Think Win/Win
With the above three habits, you can take charge of yourself and win at personal development.
Habits 4, 5, 6 teaches us how can we win in public spacing.
We don’t have an abundance mentality where we think that there is a lot for all of us out there. We have to change this because until we do we cannot win not only in public but in life.
Suppose you are pitching for your startup in front of your potential investors. After pitching, its time to negotiate about the amount of equity you are willing to give, To your surprise, they ask you about 50% of your company as they are taking a huge risk by investing in a beginning state startup,
Now you have two options, either by talking you come up with a plan that has a Win/Win for both the parties or you say NO Deal and leave the meeting.
It is the ability to talk or even say No can only come if you have an abundance mentality otherwise you are always going to compromise in many situations.
THINK WIN/WIN teaches us that we should think about how we can benefit both ourselves and the other and come up with a solution that works best for both of you and in case you didn’t come up with it, you should have the courage to say NO.
Habit 5 — Seek First To Understand
We all love to talk about ourselves, even in situations we should really listen to the other. This is the reason why people struggle to understand each other, whether it may be communicating with employees, or communicating with our spouse, or communicating with strangers.
Why we talk only about ourselves, because we want to have an influence on the other person, we want to manipulate them.
There is a great saying, “TRUE INFLUENCE CAN ONLY COME WHEN WE LET THE OTHER PERSON BELIEVE THAT WE ARE INFLUENCED BY THEM”.
But if you are faking, being influenced by the other person, trust me they will know. And, that is the reason we should understand the importance of deep listening.
Deeply listening will help build trust and cultivate open communication which will help you even in the Win/Win situations mentioned above.
SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND teaches us that we should try to understand people by deeply listening to them by understanding their point of view and then we should put our point.
Habit 6 — Synergize
With the help of habits 4 and 5, we can be ready to truly take the advantage of the 6th habit. When you understand people deeply, you can be more productive with them.
Suppose, you and your colleague were always on each other’s throats. You read about the habits mentioned above and try to incorporate them into your life. You started not just to talk about yourself but trying to listen to the other person. You try to understand their point of view.
And now that you understand to can come up with a Win/Win situation for both of you. What happens next is he/she will try to understand you as well and then, the thing that will generate between the two will be true synergy.
Habits 4 and 5 are necessary to take advantage of the 6th habit.
Habit 7 — Sharpen The Saw
Now, you understand how to win a personal development battle with habits 1, 2, 3 and how to win the public battle with habits 4, 5, 6.
So what is habit 7? Habit 7 will help you sustain the above 6. With this, you can keep yourself regularly in check whether you are following the above habits.
So things come under this habit:
- Physical: Exercise regularly, take a healthy diet.
- Mental: Incorporate reading, visualizing, and planning.
- Social/Emotional: Develop empathy and synergy.
- Spiritual: This will help you to truly understand what are your values in life, meditation can help in achieving this.
With the above activities, you will have a clear mind and you will make better decisions for yourself and that will lead you to a more sustainable and happy life because remember happy life is not something that life gives you, it is something that you have to build yourself.