7 habits of highly effective people – Begin with the End in Mind…

Monday, January 30, 2012 22:00
Posted in category Success Tips

When I was a student in college doing my grads in mass media and communication, I was assigned a project to read this literary marvel on self-help written by Stephen R. Covey and present my interpretation to the class.

My first reaction to this book was not very good. Like most youngsters of my age, I thought it to be a book where some gray-haired would share their success stories. Despite the initial hitch, I opened the book only before the deadline of the project almost two months after simply staring at the cover.

The first chapter I skimmed through uninterestingly, it was only while reading the second habit that the power of this book rubbed on me.

Habit # 2 – Begin with the End in Mind

“The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed. It focused on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.”

It is important in life to be self-aware of our goals and vision. Until and unless we know our vision we cannot formulate a way to make it happen. Despite of all the philosophy that one should live in the present, this made sense because it is giving wings to our imagination and to visualize our future. Everybody should have a purpose, a dream or a goal in life otherwise life would just become a survival game.

Stephen Covey further explained on how you can practically develop your own mission statement. In the end, you would realize what you want to be, what you will do to achieve that and your core values and principles.

Habit # 1 – Be Proactive

Influenced by the self-improvement tips discussed in the second lesson I started to read the book again and this time with much more concentration.

“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”

Our responses to different situations are just the learning that we have developed over the years. We may feel that this is how I am programmed to react and I have no control over this whatsoever. However, this is not true. We are the masters of our thoughts and we can determine how we wish to respond. In short, we can change our script with constant efforts and for that we must be proactive.

To start with analyze your responses, do you come across as a person in control of your responses or the one who is influenced by other’s actions. To gauge this, Stephen Covey developed ‘Circle Of Influence’ and ‘Circle Of Concern’. Follow the exercises mentioned by him and you would soon realize how dependent you are on other people’s actions.

Many other helpful lessons can be learnt from other habits – Put First Things First, Think Win/Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, Synergize and Sharpen the Saw.

After reading the book twice, I was ready to give my presentation. I had visualized how I would go with it and the end result before preparing the key points to be presented. Surprisingly, it went just as planned. 7 habits of highly effective people can guide you to the road to success, it is you who has to be proactive and start the journey.

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