Dr. Stephen Covey is one of the world’s most important authorities on the subject of time management. He has obtained international acclaim with this book as it has sold more than 12 million copies all around the world. It is one of the best selling books on personal development, self-help, and management of all times.
This book is about expanding one person’s set of values so that the individual would be able to create solutions to all problems that appear in his/her life by applying those values.
Here are the seven habits that Covey describes in his book:
1. Be proactive – do not focus on things you cannot control, but on the ones you can control.
2. Begin with the end in mind – think of your life from its end to the present point in time. Develop a mission statement of your life.
3. Put first things first – effective people focus on aspects that are important but not urgent (very important to grasp this one).
4. Think win/win – many people view the events of life as situations where one person wins and the other looses. You can train yourself to find victory for both sides in any given situation.
5. Seek first to understand, then be understood – this is one of the most important principle that Dale Carnegie mentions in his book How to win friends and influence people. Covey focuses on pointing out that solutions should not be sought until the fully story is told.
6. Synergize – this habit will help you to get along great with the people you fail to get along by finding out how these people could provide benefits to you.
7. Sharpen the Saw – it will help you by teaching you how to become better in all aspects of your life, such as: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social.
This book describes in detail each of the seven habits of successful people that are listed above. It takes a philosophical approach on describing these habits, which is why each individual can acknowledge a different understanding of it. However, the core principles that should be understood in the book remain the same to every person that reads the book.
Quote from the book: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Here is how to get the most out of this book through the technique of Smart Reading:
1. Take a pen and start interacting with the book by underlining concepts, circling words and/or highlighting paragraphs which you think are the most import.
2. Different ideas will flow through your mind as you go along with reading the book. Write them down on the blank sides of the pages.
3. Take the book every now and then and re-read everything you have highlighted, circled, and/or underlined. Focus on the ideas you have written down.
Doing these three easy steps will practically boost your knowledge, it will help you to easily apply the most important principles of the book and you will land among the 3% of world’s money earners.
Note: If you read the book on a smartphone or tablet, just use an application which allows you to highlight and write notes within the book. There are plenty of such applications.
Get it here (I highly recommend the hard cover version):