Summary of 7 Habit of Highly Effective People
No matter how many inspirational articles you read, your enthusiasm and inspiration will diminish over time. And, in the end, you’ll resume your “habits.” Because humans are creatures of habit, and breaking them is extremely tough. But first, we must determine which habits we need to change or cultivate in ourselves. Because having the proper habits might imply the difference between success and failure, not only in our personal lives but also in our professional lives and in our communities. So, in this post, we’ll go over the seven habits that will help you become a more effective person. So let’s begin and read the summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
A cockroach came into a restaurant and sat on a lady. She began to scream in terror. She started jumping with both hands, scared face and shaking voice, attempting to get rid of the insect. Her panic was contagious, and everyone in her group felt the same way. The lady eventually pushed the cockroach away, but it landed on another woman in the group. The other lad in the group was now in charge of continuing the drama. The waiter dashed forward to save them. The cockroach then landed on the waiter in the relay of throwing. Instead of yelling or panicking, the waiter maintained his composure and studied the cockroach’s behavior on his shirt. He grabbed the cockroach with his finger and hurled it out of the restaurant when he felt confident enough.
Now, we can relate this story to the concept of proactive and reactive people. Here the waiter was a proactive person because he did not react to the situation which came to him unlike the ladies did. But instead, he handled it with proper thinking and action. There is a great difference between proactive and reactive people.
Reactive Vs. Proactive People
Reactive people love to play the blame game. According to them, all the problems happening to them are because of the government, their boss, other people, etc. According to them, things are not in their control but in the hands of other people or circumstances. They think that others are responsible for their problems. In reality, however, that thought is the issue. Reactive people feel increasingly mistreated and out of control when their reactions become self-fulfilling. They usually say things like, “There’s nothing I can do. That’s just the way I am”.
On the other hand, proactive people take the control of their feelings into their own hands instead of giving someone else. They take 100% responsibility for their actions and behavior. They don’t blame the situations but rather think of solutions instead. So in order to be proactive, we must focus on the Circle of Influence that lies within our Circle of Concern. In other words, we must work on the things we can do something about and no to focus on things we can’t do anything about like the reactive people usually do.
Habit no 2: Begin with The End in Mind
Now imagine you are at a funeral but this one is different from any other funeral you have ever attended. As you come to know that it is actually your own funeral. Now stop and think what are the things you would really like others to say about you or what would you like to say about yourself at that time. E.g. Do you want to be remembered as a great friend? Then are you behaving as a great friend right now which will make your friends say that? Do you want to be remembered as a person who added a lot of value to society and helped many people in need? If yes, then are you working on it right now? Are your actions aligned with the goals you want to accomplish? Ask yourself what are the things that you want to achieve before you die and start working on them. Don’t just do things without any clue of the end.
Habit no 3: Put First Things First
How many times do we catch ourselves self-scrolling our Facebook feed, watching YouTube videos or TV when we have a lot of other important things that need to be finished. This is one of the most common habits which wastes so much of our time and holds us back from going above the average. In order to successfully handle ourselves, we must prioritize our activities. Our daily actions must be prioritized based on what is most important, not what is most urgent.
All the habits in this book are related to each other. So, when you decide your end goals properly and then work to complete that goal, you must put things that will help you to complete your main goal in the first place. Never let less important things keep you away from doing things that are of most importance. Time is very precious so be stingy with your time rather than money.
Habit no 4: Think Win-Win
Suppose you think of starting your own business. You make a plan thinking all about your profits, growth and create a product that is not that helpful to your customers. However, just because of your excellent marketing staff and persuasive talents, you sell it to a large number of people and begin to profit. Now, do you think you will really make it big by doing this and get long-term results? Of course, you won’t because by doing this you are creating a win-lose situation.
In order to make it big, you should always think of a win-win outcome for everyone. You should think more about adding values and benefits that you can bring to your customer. Doing this will automatically make your profit and hence yourself big.
There are a lot of people having the mentality that in order for them to win, someone else has to lose. This is called the Scarcity Mentality. However, there is enough for everyone out here. We just need to develop the mentality which is called abundance mentality. And, for the best results, always strive for win-win outcomes in any event, business, or commitment.
Habit No 5: See First to Understand Then to Be Understood
Let’s suppose you go to an optometrist because you’re having problems seeing clearly. “You should try these- they’ve been working for me for years!” he adds as he removes his glasses and hands them to you. So you put them on, but the problem simply becomes worse. What are the chances now? Would you visit that optometrist again?
We do the same thing in our everyday encounters with people. Before we can fully diagnose the problem, we must provide a solution. Also, we start criticizing people without understanding their feelings. We focus on what the other person said and react thinking how he can say that. Rather than this, our main question should be why did he say like that and what were the real feelings behind it.
So, before you give advice, offer solutions, or effectively communicate with that person. You must first understand them. In any case, empathic listening is required to fully comprehend someone and their opinion. You should not listen with the intent to reply but rather to understand. The most important point is that the person should feel you understood. When you will start doing this, people will also start understanding you.
Habit No 6: Synergy
When you grow two plants close together, their roots will mix and improve the soil quality, allowing both plants to develop more effectively than they would on their own. The principle of synergy encourages us to team up with people rather than fighting or trying to take each other down. For example, there was a tree with apples on it. Two men were trying to pick an apple from it but they were too short to reach them. So one man got above the second and picked all the apples. This was the use of synergy. Like this example, if we synergize with other people we can obtain better results, increase our capabilities tremendously and have much better chances of reaching our goals.
Habit no 7: Sharpen the Saw
Once a man was trying to cut down a tree but even after putting in a lot of effort, he was not able to complete his task. There was a lumberjack who was watching him and after understanding his struggle. He came to him and gave him advice that he should first sharpen the saw as his saw was not sharp enough to cut down the tree. After listening to this, the man replied but it will take time. Now you might find the reply stupid but we are also somewhat like this man. We can’t take out 30 min of our day to exercise so that we can have good health. We can’t read a book for 15 minutes to improve our knowledge and then we shamelessly complain that why we have such a kind of life.
Habit 7 is about improving our self, or taking time to “sharpen the saw.” One of the best things you can do with your time is to spend it on improvising yourself continuously. We must spend time to better ourselves physically, socially, emotionally, and morally in order to be productive. Indeed, this will help us to practice the remaining 6 habits. It surrounds all of the other behaviors and permits them to exist by keeping and enhancing our most valuable asset. we have, i.e. our self.