7 Habits Of Highly Successful People


If you feel this title is familiar to you, you wouldn’t be wrong! 

7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is widely recognised in the personal development book scene. What habits do successful people engage in? What creates sustainable success? Is this advice still relevant in today’s day and age? 

The book essentially uncovers effective habits that brings along a good mindset and thus, more room for success. In this article, we summarise and discuss the habits that successful people have, and that you could adopt to be successful too.

1. Be Proactive

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Driven by values, proactive people take charge of their lives. Instead of blaming their surroundings or coming up with excuses as to why things cannot be done, proactive people set goals and actively attempt to complete them. A good gauge of proactiveness is one’s ability to stick to commitments made by yourself and/or others. 

Proactivity has plenty to do with a sense of self, if one is able to understand how they react to situations and their surroundings, as well as how they are able to adapt such happenings to their benefit. In his book, Covey actually suggests a 30-day proactivity test where you make a list of small commitments and attempt to check things off of this list.

2. Begin With The End In Mind

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Think of how you wish to be remembered, or how you desire to live your life, or what you’d like different in your life. This should be your starting point. 

Covey displays this by suggesting readers to envision their funerals, as grim as thatnmay seem, his intention was to provoke readers to ponder on how they’d like their loved ones to remember them, or what achievements they’d like their loved ones to acknowledge. 

Questions like: What change would you like to make in your life / others’ lives? What is something different you’d like in your life? What end goal would you like to achieve? Are just some of the questions he suggests you ask yourself to ensure that you live your life in a way that can help you achieve that final vision. Covey suggests three main points to consider when deciding on your end goal: Who you want to be (your character), what you want to do (your contributions and achievements) and the values in which these goals will be based upon.

3. First Things First

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This habit encourages readers to consider what should come first. In fact, “First Things First” is also a book by Stephen R. Covey, discussing time management approach and how readers can achieve greater levels of efficiency – a book which would help better reiterate this point. 

Realistically, we aren’t able to achieve or do everything all at once, hence, there is a need to prioritise your tasks according to what you feel is most crucial. This way, you’ll have better management over your life as you’re working towards your goals one step at a time, leaving you space to breath and recuperate. 

More often than not, when there are too many things to do at once, and we aren’t able to set them according to priority, we end up paralysed and thus, doing less or nothing at all. Covey suggests his readers to consider these few questions: What one thing could you do regularly, that you aren’t currently doing, that would improve your personal life? Similarly, what one thing could you do to improve your business or professional life?

4. Think Win/Win

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According to Covey, Win/Win isn’t a technique, it's a mindset. One which can be achieved via viewing the world as a cooperative and not a competitive field. 

This idea essentially boils down to developing mutually beneficial situations for all parties involved. Such a mindset should be incorporated into one’s social interactions. In discussing this habit, Covey also points out five main factors that should be considered: Character, Relationships, Agreements, Win/Win Performance and Processes.

5. Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood  

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It is crucial to ensure the safety of your business’s financial information. An experienced accountant will be able to keep up to date with data security regulations and standards, allowing you to be at ease knowing your financial information is kept safe. 

Whether this means using the best financial softwares, implementing the right practices or introducing the best cybersecurity solutions, your accountant should be able to keep your business’s information safe. Having an expert with you whilst running your business also means catered advice specifically suited towards helping you grow your business. An accountant will be able to provide advice on steps you can take to better your business in order to grow and increase revenues – thanks to their experience in the field. 

6. Synergize

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Synergy essentially refers to the enhanced performance achieved by a team of people as compared to a single individual. Covey discusses that synergy is achieved through effective communication, allowing a group of people to aim for the same goals, and thus, fuelling teamwork, understanding and motivation. Creativity, productivity and efficiency are increased.

7. Sharpen The Saw  

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Covey suggest that to “sharpen the saw” is essentially to work on exercising these four points to the best of one’s capability. These points include: Physical, Social, Spiritual and Mental. 

A positive effect is also that working on one of these factors inevitably helps another, for example, working on your physical health will inadvertently improve your mental health. Working on these elements in your life work as great investments in yourself, allowing you to push forward with full capacity. 

To achieve great success, one has to understand the importance of working on oneself. While it may sometimes seem out of reach to attain certain goals and achievements, it more often than not is easier than it seems. Why? That’s because it all starts with simple habits. To build one’s skills, capabilities and motivation translates to fuel for pushing forward towards one’s goals. 

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