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on April 8, 2004
I was reading a Dale Carnegie book at jury duty 10 years ago when a fellow juror told me he had also read the book I was reading. He then said he had read pretty much every book out on personal growth and that hands down the very best one in his opinion is the 7 habits. This guy just lit up as he started talking about how much it had changed his life, so on the way home I bought it for myself and started reading it that night. I could not put it down. It rang of so much wisdom. The thing that I love about the 7 habits is that it is a systematic, wholistic, and step by step approach. If you follow the 7 habits you will figure out what your true mission in life is and also have a framework to achieve it. It touches on everything that is important Family, Friends, Health, etc. Like the guy at Jury duty told me, I am telling you. This is the best book ever written on the subject.
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on October 20, 2002
I think this is a good book to read. Not everything in this book works for me but I can use some of the things mentioned in this book. The book teaches me how to have a good relationship with my friends, family, and co-workers.
As you know, habit, according to psychology, is a conditioned response to stimuli. This means that it can be learned through repetition or reinforcement. Unlike Pavlov's dogs, people are highly complex and dynamic and each reacting differently to the same or different situations.
According to Stephen Covey the 7 habits are:
1) be proactive,
2) begin with the end in mind,
3) put first thing first,
4) think win/win,
5) seek to understand, then to be understand,
6) synergize,
7) sharpen the saw.
It has a high level of abstraction. Also, part of this book sounds more like philosophy or even religion, which will not sit well with everyone. It is also important to reread this book because it will talk to you in different ways at different stages in your life.
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on January 23, 2011
I loved this book since I am someone who is always trying to become more efficient and better at what I do.

There were a number of things about this book that I felt really struck home for me, and they were:

1. Proactive people can and do effect the future. While I can't control what happens to me, I can control my reactions to it and in doing so can feel better about the impact of my actions.

2. Directing my efforts can only come about when I am clear about what my goal is. Until I understand what my dream or my goal is, I can't effectively direct my actions towards that goal. For me, this was a big key in terms of helping to direct my energies towards my goal.

3. The concept of "first things first" was an eye opener for me. It distilled the difference between doing something that is "urgent" versus something that is "important". It was easy for me to be pulled away from important tasks to attend to something that is urgent, but I learned that focusing on Quadrant two (important but not urgent) would get me to me goal. Some of the things in Quadrant two are: planning, preparation, prevention, and relationship-building. All these things helped leverage my time and helped me towards achieving my goal.

4. Thinking Win-Win was another valuable lesson for me. An important distinction from my previous interpretation of this axiom was that win-win does not mean compromise. It means finding solutions to problems that truly benefit both sides of a dispute. The beauty of this approach is that it allowed me to focus my energies on finding great solutions instead of wasting time and effort trying to persuade someone of why my side of the dispute was better.

5. The fifth habit is - Seek First to Understand. At first I thought this was about letting the other person speak first, but the important distinction for me was really understanding the other person's point of view. The beauty of this approach is that when they felt I was truly listening to them, it made them much more open to listening to what I had to say and less judgmental about my point of view.

6. Habit #6 is all about synergizing. Finding a synergistic solution means finding a solution that is better than either party might have first proposed. When I let me guard down and release from my defensive posture regarding a point of view, and then work with the other person, the results have been surprisingly good.

7. The final habit is just getting better at all the other habits.

Another book that helped me achieve more was "GOAL! Your 30 Day Game Plan for Business & Career Success" Goal!: Your 30-Day Game Plan for Business and Career Success It moved me into action right away with regard to achieving a goal. It had me working on my goal from Day One and, importantly, kept me motivated through a series of exercises that had me thinking about my goal from the perspective of having already achieved it - a very powerful tool. I highly recommend this book for help with goal achievement.
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on May 11, 2002
Stephen Covey today counts as one of the absolute top-management gurus. If you read this book, you'll understand why.
The book is divided into four parts.
The first part deals with the fundamentals that everything else builds upon: paradigms and principles. An important theme running through all of Covey's work is that of ethical behaviour and delivering one's contribution to society as a necessary ingredient of succesful living.
In part two the author shows you a number of principles that help you to deal with yourself, such as taking responsibility for your own actions and prioritizing your goals.
Part three talks about working with other people, addressing such issues as win/win thinking and active listening.
The fourth and last part talks about sustaining the things that you have learned and continuing to grow.
This book is not a push-over. It has a high level of abstraction. Also, part of this book sounds more like philosophy or even religion, which will not sit well with everyone. However, the author is perfectly correct in first discussing basic values and priorities ("doing the right things") before discussing techniques for raising efficiency ("doing things right").
Also, it is important that you realise that this is not a self-help book for people who have real specific issues on their hands (self-discipline, traumas, lacking social skill etc.) They will probably need to deal with those specific issues first, before they will be able to take the maximum out of this book.
For those who feel that their life is reasonably sorted out, but would like to go (much) further, this is a must-read book.
Highly recommended.
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on June 27, 2016
I wish I read it and understand the message years would make my life so different. Well, not too late. Very lucky to have read a good book like this: valuable insights and executable advice to improve oneself in a fundamental way by everyday effort.
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on March 5, 2004
I would consider myself young at 20, and discovering this book has changed my life. It provides a great foundation for communication with the people you work with and love. I've given this book as gifts numerous times, and i've read it numerous times myself, always coming out with something new.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to change their direction in life, to get to where they want to be, and become the person they've dreamt of.
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on February 3, 2013
Are you looking to succeed in your life? Have you had some minor or even some very large failures that you want to change? Are you looking to become someone that others want to be instead of someone who looks up to those people? Well this book by Stephen Covey is one that has been spoken of for years. It's a book that many people have read, enjoyed and raved about for a long time. That's because it's a great book that will provide you with all the information that you need in order to become a far more successful person.
With The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you'll be able to learn the secrets that successful people have known for years. You will be able to learn what they have done and what they continue to do throughout their lives that leads them to be so successful in everything that they do. It's not merely luck at all. It takes skill to succeed in life and these people have the skills. With this book, so will you so that you too, can be a 'highly effective' person.
This book will help you learn what it is you're doing wrong and what you should be doing. And the best part of it all is that these things it wants you to do are incredibly easy. They're things that people everyone can do they just aren't. And for what reason? If you engage in these things you'll be able to make your life a greater success than ever before.
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on October 23, 2012
I bought this amazing book in late 80's, more than twenty years ago. Wow I just surprised, knowing that I have purchaseed the book so long time ago.

I remember, I was buying it on a book store, at an airport in USA, just before went back to my country, Indonesia. I stated reading the book while waiting boarding in a boarding lounge. As soon as I was starting reading it, I felt love it. I was impressed with the content, with the way the book is systematically organized. The language that are easy to follow and to understand, and those are important criteria for me, as I am not english native.

I was so attracted by the content of the book, until I almost forgotten with situation surrounding me, at the time. I just continued reading it pages by pages, and continue reading while in the airplane cabin.
Travelling from USA to Indonesia took about 32 hours, so it was boring time if you don't have anything to do, and having the book was amazing fortune for me.

Since reading 7 Habits, my way of thinking somehow is affected by the content of the book, almost from in every aspect addressed by the book, such as, interdependence, be pro active, begin with the end of mind, sharpen the saw, synergie, win-win, etc.

However, the most important, in my view is that to have habit to whatever activities you think important & good. That is the key (HABIT), and only after that, it becomes effective.

If you want to understand betrer to what I said, just read the book.
Best regards,
Bambang Setijoso
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on June 28, 2004
People who aspire to exhibit effectiveness in their professional and personal lives should read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, because this book provides a collection of values and principles by which an individual can achieve accomplishments in his or her daily life, meet long-term goals, and develop habits to promote personal change.
This book is based on abstract values and principles rather than concrete facts. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether the author remains an objective observer or whether his emotions and beliefs cloud the information. Dr. Covey did not directly engage in scientific collection of research data or information to validate the ideals of The 7 Habits. The book also gives no indication that he had any safeguards or controls governing his research manner or methods. Dr. Covey simply expressed that he reviewed 200 years of success literature as part of a doctoral program, which assisted him in identifying the seven habits. Consequently, the validity of the information presented rests largely with trusting in and identifying with Dr Covey's credentials, personal perspectives, experiences, and practical examples.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People encourages readers to strengthen core principles of integrity, honesty, and human dignity through concepts of independence and interdependence in seven easy steps. Dr. Covey uses these principles and structures a path toward human effectiveness that can easily be applied to both business and personal relationships. The book was easy to read, and the examples were realistic and engaging.
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on May 13, 2014
I read this book 20 years ago and have lived my life by it. Since then I've read many more wonderful works including Anthony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracey, Four Agreements (all books and authors I love) but still reference 7 Habits as my 'go to' for foundational growth, values and life vision!
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