I have began reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey for a class, and have decided to share with you all about what I have thought and what I have learned from each chapter.
Though I am only two chapters in at this point (i.e. installment 1), here is what I think so far.
After reading the first chapter, “Inside-Out”, I believe the main point of the chapter is: how we think and react on the inside effect what happen to us on the outside. Covey, went through multiple personal stories in this chapter about how the way he reacted to a situation, effected the outcome in that situation. Then he would speak of how in hindsight he would react differently, and how that in turn would help the situation play out differently. He spoke a lot about our personal paradigms, and how those effect how we communicate and act, and how if we change those paradigms, this around us will change as well. All in all, Covey discussed how we communicate and act, effect the things and people around us.
I can use this message in my everyday life, by thinking before I react. This will help me to develop better relationships with my friends and family, as well as classmates and coworkers. I think that sometimes I come off very sarcastic, so when I am serious people may not take me seriously or think I am just trying to be funny. If I take time to think about what I say before I say it, I think that people will start to take me more seriously. Overall, I think I can use his idea about personal paradigms, in my own life to cultivate better and truer relationships.
The next chapter, and the first habit Covey has introduced, was all about the idea of being proactive. Not proactive like doing things before they need to be done, but reacting to things in a proactive way. Instead of blaming situations on outside factors, he suggests deciding on how you can handle them or how you can change them. He went through many examples of ways people have done just that, or ways that people can do that. He spoke of how our stimulus is not the reason for our response, that we have a choice of how we respond.
I think I can use this in my personal life, as well as in my school and work life. In terms of school, I tend to complain about classes and work load based on how much do or do not like my teachers. If I have a lot of work in classes with teachers I do like I do not care as much. But when I have a lot of work in classes for teachers I don’t like, I get easily annoyed. In terms of stimulus and response, I need to treat all classes the same, focus on my learning, not focus on the professor.
I can use this at work to, on days that my boss isn’t very nice, I have worse days at work. But instead of reacting to him as the stimulus, I can just focus on getting my job done and making the most if it. All in all, I think I can learn to not react right away, and focus on the situation as a whole, not just one thing that annoys me.
Overall, Covey has intrigued me more than I thought he would.
Be looking for my next installment of Covey summaries in the next few weeks.