7 Habits of Highly Effective People [Book Summary from a Gen-Z]

On the advice of a friend, I’ve read a self-improvement book. Despite some efforts, at my life quarter, it seems that I’m still far from my vision of success.
Stephen Covey, the author, affirmed that if we want to change our life positioning, we need first to change our perceptions. He studied 7 habits to reach success. With a new perspective, I would like to summarize and share them with you.

What is the success?

Everyone has his own definition of it. Today, I describe someone (male/female) as successful,
    • Someone who has achieved a personal goal which has a meaning for him.
    • This goal is sustainable and allows him to be free from unwilling constraints.
    • This person succeeded to develop personal effectiveness that he is proud of.
  • This person develops healthy relationships with other people, with his mind and his body.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

As human beings, we can examine our environment and try to take control of it. It distinguishes us from the wild world. It means we are responsible for our choices and in fine our lives.
Some people don’t understand this first statement. Out of control, they blame the government, destiny or faith for what happens to them.
    • There’s nothing I can do.
    • That’s just the way I am.
  • It’s too late to change anything. 
Others, not victims of their faith, react in advance to respond to any external circumstances. They fight for their long-term goals and they put themselves in a way to accomplish them.
From my point of view, this first habit seems a bit too idealistic. What about all those refugees who faced many dangers to be in the end rejected at the borders? What about all those actors who never made it?

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Devote ourselves is a new standard to follow. We work hard to get a new promotion, more responsibilities, to climb up the ladder but what for? All those victories are worthless if at the end of the day we don’t feel satisfied.
The author advises us to give a sense to our daily actions. Each action or decision we take should get us closer to goals which are meaningful for us.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

We need to manage and prioritize our daily actions. All the actions which won’t help us to get closer to our goals should be delegated or delayed.
Learn to say : NO! NEE! NON !
Prioritize on important matters, not urgent ones. A focus only on urgent things leads to stress and burnout.

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

There are two ways of thinking:
    • Abundance Mentality: the cake is large enough for everyone.
  • Scarcity Mentality: you need to fight others to get the best piece of cake.
Like most of the people, I have a Scarcity Mentality. If I don’t become the best, someone will be. There are only 3 places on the Olympic Games podium. Where are the 40 other participants?
According to the author , this mindset leads to long-term failure because we don’t look into cooperation and mutual benefit. To grow better, I should change this.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood

Most of the people and I particularly don’t listen. We just wait to speak… Unfortunately, we didn’t learn to listen attentively at school. It requests a lot of focus and empathy.
The results are worth though. Indeed, we might come up with better solutions for the other party.

Habit 6: Synergize.

Two brains get more results than one. We can accomplish more by sharing our discoveries, and by co-creating. Indeed, we learn from others and create synergies especially when there are a lot of differences between people. This allows us to discover new opportunities. It requests teamwork, open-mindedness and creativity.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

The last habit advises us to improve continuously our best asset: ourselves. We can invest our time in different areas,
    • Physical: Exercise daily, eat healthily, relax (enough sleep, massages 😊).
    • Spiritual: Meditate, spend the time to be in contact with Nature, listen to music.
    • Mental: Keep reading, write your own thoughts, create, imagine.
  • Social: provide your time to understand others, serve others in a meaningful way, volunteer.

Gen-Z Conclusion

The success that the media sells can seem hard to reach. You don’t need the Ferrari and the 50 prostitutes to be successful. Our own personal success can be reachable and certainly more satisfying. If we improve only one habit, we allow us to improve the rest. Indeed, it will create a positive spiral.
Now the hard question comes:
What is your personal goal?
Once you know, let’s get started.