The 8 Habits of Highly Effective People is a book written by Stephen Covey in 1989. The habits are principles that he learned from people who had been successful and applied them to his own life. This article will discuss how you can achieve the same success.
1st Habit: Be Proactive
Be proactive means taking charge of your life instead of waiting for things to happen to you. It’s an active verb that means “to act.”
As opposed to reactive which means “to react.” When you’re reactive everything happens around you, and when you’re proactive it feels like your world revolves around what YOU want! Think about it this way: If someone throws a ball at the back of your head, you’re going to react and duck out of the way. If someone throws a ball at you from in front of you, then it’s up to YOU whether or not you catch it!
Ways of becoming proactive
– Set goals and put them in writing.
– Start the day with a list of what needs to be done that day, which will allow you to get more work done each morning because it takes less time than trying to figure out what was supposed to happen throughout the course of the day.
– At night before bed, make sure all outstanding tasks are written down on paper so they’re not forgotten about tomorrow when responsibilities need attention again.
– Write three things every week that was good for your life or made you happy – this reinforces positivity while also making others aware of how much is going right in one’s life as well (positive reinforcement).
– Be proactive in thinking ahead about potential challenges and plan it accordingly – this allows one to be ready for the challenge and have a plan in place instead of waiting until an issue springs up.
– Push yourself out of your comfort zone periodically because sticking too close only leads to stagnation – get those creative juices flowing by tackling new tasks and challenges!
2nd Habit: Have A Goal in Mind
– Setting goals helps one stay focused on their future – it allows them time and space to long-term plan without being pulled back into distractions that are happening around themselves at any given moment.
– Goals should not just be ‘pie in sky’ ideas either; instead, they need realizable elements that can be achieved in time.
– The goal should be sufficiently challenging but not too difficult. If they are too easy, the reward will not feel as great – if they are too hard, then one may get frustrated and give up trying to achieve them. Tip: Ask yourself ‘is it possible?’ or ‘can I do this with my existing skillset?’.
An example of a goal that an effective person might set is having five years’ worth of retirement savings by 2028 (or some other date). They would need to have their salary increase steadily enough over time so that the desired amount could accumulate without taking on any more debt than necessary; also make sure to plan for emergencies in case anything were to happen during these next few years. In order for this will assist in having the goal be achievable, the effective person will need to set attainable goals that he or she is capable of achieving.
Note: When setting a goal for oneself it may be best to set small and simple goals at first in order to make sure that they are not too difficult; one way would be by beginning with basic weight loss/exercise routines such as going on walks each day or doing quick yoga exercises. After these actions become a habit, then bigger tasks can gradually build up (i.e., running long distances).
3rd Habit: Set Priorities
Always having priorities in tasks will be more efficient because it will allow the individual to complete tasks with more ease and in a timely manner. One way of setting priorities is by using a To-Do list, where an effective person can see what he or she needs to do now as well as later on down the road.
Note: It may be best for one’s priority list not to have too many items that are time-sensitive; this will ensure that each task does not become overwhelming when trying to figure out which ones need completion first.
An individual needs to spend time on the things that are important and not just fill their day with any task they come across. Spending more time on what is most important will ensure a higher quality of work without all the unnecessary tasks being completed at once.
Note: Focusing one’s attention on what matters may be difficult, but it can lead to much better outcomes in life; therefore, focusing energy on making goals and living out those personal values should be prioritized over anything else.
4th Habit: Think Win-Win
We must not only think about what we want but also how to make the other person feel like they are wanted as well. We must not only think of our own wants and desires alone; instead, we should be able to come up with a solution that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved in order to have a lasting relationship.
Being successful does not mean being better than everyone else; it just means thinking differently from others so as to create an effective strategy for achieving goals.
The win-win mentality will help one find ways where there are two or more solutions that can satisfy both people’s needs without compromising on either side.
The focus should always be on cooperation rather than the competition because this tactic may lead individuals down paths that might end up hurting them so we must think for others and not only for ourselves.
The win-win mentality is not just a nice theory; it’s a practical guide to success for people who want to discover and apply the most effective ways of achieving goals that involve others.
Achieving one’s goal without hurting someone else will produce desirable results that last because such agreements are never broken if they force both parties into taking care of their own needs first before considering those of the other person.
In order to be successful, we must learn how to cooperate with others in mutually beneficial relationships while still getting what we need or desire out of them rather than driving selflessly towards our objectives at all costs.
5th Habit: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Many people do not want to listen because they don’t feel like it or are just too busy for the other person. This is a mistake because listening involves one of our most important skills in communication and problem solving, which is empathy.
In order to develop this skill, we need to understand what motivates others and their reasoning behind choices so that we can use them as resources instead of opponents or enemies. It also allows us time to find an alternative solution when two parties cannot get on the same wavelength with each other quickly enough.
We must remember that without understanding how someone feels about a topic before thinking ourselves right into the conversation, all we will be able to say is “I know better than you! ”.
The best way to find out how someone feels about something is by asking a question that will get them talking in order for their thoughts and feelings to show through. These questions are easier than trying to read people’s minds or guessing what they want us to hear, which typically leads to misunderstanding on both sides of the conversation.”
– “What do you think?”
– “How does this make you feel?”
– “Could we try it my way first before deciding? How would that work for me if I could have my input early enough?”
Why don’t we save some time and talk more later when there’s no pressure.”
The key ingredient with these types of questions is not following up with more probing questions when the person is talking and understand their side.
6th Habit: Synergize
Its always best practice to find solutions in a group then work to solve the problem together.
Covey’s example is when a company has an idea for how to improve their product or
service and they bring in several people from different departments, such as sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc., who have knowledge on the subject matter of how this change will affect other aspects of the business. This way everyone can contribute their thoughts without feeling like someone else is taking over.
This was also one of my favorite habits because it showed me that I don’t need to do everything myself and sometimes it’s better if I work with others so we are all equally invested into the outcome. It doesn’t hinder creativity either! We have more perspectives which means there are more ideas being shared–which leads us closer towards a solution faster.
Sometimes we will find the solutions much faster this way and it’s easier to find a common ground with others.
With this habit, I learned that you can’t do everything yourself because then you will be overwhelmed and stressed out. You’re also not able to communicate effectively if all the work is on your shoulders–you need people in order to make sure things move forward smoothly!
7th Habit: Sharpen the Saw
We need to have a balanced life by spending time on our personal development–this is called ‘sharpening the saw’ and it’s important to do for your own mental health. It doesn’t have to be a long-term thing, but I would recommend doing something every day that helps you grow as an individual.
That might mean playing with your kids or going for a walk outside by yourself!
This habit helped me understand how crucial self-care is in business because if we don’t take care of ourselves then nothing else will get done successfully. This leads to my next point…
We need time off from work so that we can recharge our batteries and come back ready to give more energy towards our projects again. Without this, people tend to burn out quickly which has been there but if we take time to r time off on a regular basis then we stop that from happening.
A few years ago, I had to take some time off work for Explore different jobs and it was the best thing I could have done! Work is important but so is taking care of your own mental well-being.
Without this habit, you can’t be as productive in your career because when people are burnt out they don’t want to do anything at all.
Nowadays I do take care of my body, eat healthily, and work out. I am able to get more done because of this habit!
8th Habit: Find Your Voice
When we find our own voice then there’s no doubt about the type of person that we want to become! we will be able to achieve success in all areas of life and this is why it’s such a habit that should be cultivated in every person.
Inspire others around you and make them feel encouraged and confident that they can do anything.
Sound like a cliche but it is true nonetheless!
This habit will not only strengthen your relationships with those around you, but also give you the confidence to take more risks in life which ultimately leads to success on all fronts.
I’ve found my voice through volunteering so I know how important this is for people who are introverted at heart because when we volunteer, we don’t have to talk much or be as social as others might require of us otherwise. This allows us time just for ourselves while still giving back and helping other people out too.
We’ve discussed some of the habits that can lead to professional success and happiness. I hope you have found this article helpful in your journey towards reaching your goals. If there are other habits, tips or lessons from people who have been successful that you would like to share with our readers, please post them in the comments section below!