The 7 Habits, Simplified

In 2011, I hijacked my sister’s bookshelf and discovered Stephen Covey‘s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was sold by the end of the Foreword. I couldn’t put the book down. When I finished reading, I couldn’t stop talking about it. More importantly, I began applying the habits described. Each day I had a growing desire to share what I learned. But, I soon realized that those who truly need to exercise these habits are too lazy to read 300+ pages of a book or listen to a 25-minute podcast. So today, I lay out for you the 7 Habits in a short blog entry:

1. Be Proactive: We cannot choose the events that occur, but we have the freedom to choose our response. Proactivity goes beyond taking initiatives; it is taking responsibility for our own lives. Responsibility = response ability = the ability to choose your response. Highly effective people do not blame circumstances; they are proactive, not reactive.

2. Begin with the End in Mind: Envision the end of your life. Make that your reference point, your set of criteria, for which everything else is examined. Make sure your daily actions do not violate with what you value as supremely important. Never lose sight of what matters most to you. Write a mission statement. Here’s my take on it.

3. Put First Things First: Don’t always act on urgent matters for they may be unimportant (i.e. interruptions). Assess activities and pursue those that align with your values first. Define your roles in life (i.e. student, mother, CEO, etc.) and set three important goals under each role to fulfill on a weekly basis.

4. Think Win/Win: Seek mutual benefits in all human interactions. Cooperate. Don’t compete.

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood: In other words, listen before you talk. Listen more than you talk. Diagnose (confidently) before you prescribe. Listen with the intent to understand, not to reply.

6. Synergize: Don’t compromise. Don’t settle on a solution that would make one party unhappy. Seek a third alternative through synergism. It’s not your way. It’s not my way. It’s the better way.

7. Sharpen the Saw: Make sure you are healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Exercise (perhaps with Power 90 or Insanity?). Read. Write. Study. Volunteer. Meditate.

We Say
Make every day count. You can lead the productive and successful life that you desire. Just follow these 7 habits to a healthier and more effective lifestyle!



  1. I had previously read “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers” for a leadership course in high school – most of the concepts are the same, but it’s definitely a much easier read. Perhaps a good alternative? ;)

    I must say that I had a very hard time getting through this book. It was one of the ones Daniel and I read together, and within the first chapter he was like “Stephen Covey must be a Mormon – this sounds exactly like what I used to hear in church.” I looked at him with googly eyes, but when we looked it up, it was true! Haha. I appreciated the ideas, but I did find his writing and delivery really quite – for lack of a better term – preachy. :P


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