“We shall never cease from striving – and the end of all our striving is to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.” -TS Eliot

Stephen Covey passed on today at 79.

The following is pulled from his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I admit to have gleaned a few important morsels out of this book when a coach made me read it in college. I”m banking you will get something from it to.

Dont forget to “sharpen the saw.”

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(The first three habits are called “Character ethics.” The second three habits are called “Personality ethics”)

#1 Be Proactive – Take responsibility for your own life: Have a Personal Vision

-behavior based on value vs feelings based on conditions

-proactive people carry the weather within (no such thing as bad weather) them and make the best of situations. Reactive people go the other way. Rainy day ruins everything.

-dont blame other people and circumstances for your happiness

-you have the power to choose

-your basic nature is to act and not be acted upon

Example: Man’s Search For Meaning By Victor Frankel

-how you deal with suffering

-the last ultimate freedom – “They could hurt my body.. but not hurt me”

-Conclusion: You are responsible for your own happiness and fulfilment

#2 Begin with the end in mind: Leadership Habit

-write you value system

-top line – what is it that we’re fundamentally about?

-dont tie yourself to history but to potential

#3 First thing first: Management Habit

-manage things but LEAD people. Dont manage people.

-can control of time and events – as seeing how they relate to you mission

-reorganizing your life around your mission and then having the discipline to make it happen

-important vs urgent – must act upon it. Ringing phone.

-QUADRANTS: IMPORTANT (See Diagram Above)

Quadrant 1: urgent + important

Quadrant 2: not urgent + important: exercise, reading, relationships, education, etc

Quadrant 3: urgent + not important

Quadrant 4: not urgent + not important

PERSONALITY HABITS

#4 Think Win-Win

-agree to communicate until “we can find a solution we both feel good about”

-create new options – new alternatives

#5 Seek First to Understand… Then to be Understood

-Example: Try – “let me listen to you first”

-As opposed to the “collective monologue/ dialogue of the deaf”

-first listen – then talk

#6 Creative Synergy

-Creative solutions

-compromise = 1+1 = 1.5

-synergy = 1+1 = 5

-better solutions than alone

-authority vs martyrdom – win-lose or lose-win

-create Win-win OR no deal

-if we cannot get to win win – then lets go for no deal

-approach synergy with an abundance mentality

#7 Self Renewal: Sharpening the Saw

-Review and renew – teach then live

Common sense is NOT common practice

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You can purchase Covey’s book here

And watch a great little video about “The Big Rocks” here