Author: Stephen R. Covey
Genre: Self-help, Non-Fiction
How I came about the book
A few years back, a friend read this book via kindle and what he shared was so amazing that I decided it was a must read. Last year, I bought a copy at a roadside bookstand in Lagos. It took all of N1500, and the book was worth every penny.
From what my friend had shared, I knew reading this book was going to impact me in every way.
I especially looked forward to becoming a better version of me and I wasn’t disappointed.
Can I just say that this book is deep?
And not in the spiritual sense of it.
A lazy mind cannot grasp its many insights.
Talk about the mind-blowing lessons in this book.
It’s not hype. It’s real.
To keep it simple, I have put the lessons under some sub-headings.
On Habits, Principles & Perspectives:
- -A habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire.
- -There is no short-cut to success, the price must be paid and the process followed.
- -Principles are like lighthouses, they are natural laws that can not be broken.
- -Principles don’t die. They are bigger than people or circumstances.
- -If you’re not sure people trust you, you should ask yourself if you are trustworthy.
- -Private victories precede public victories. Every time.
- -Making and keeping promises to ourselves is more important than making and keeping promises to others.
We are what we continously do, Excellence then is not an act but a habit (Aristotle).
- -Responsibility is the ability to choose your response.
- -Between what happens to us (the stimulus) and our response to it, is our greatest power- the freedom to choose.
- -Until we can say we are who we are today because of the choices we made yesterday, we cannot choose otherwise.
- -Many people wait for something to happen before they do something.
- -If you wait to be acted upon, you will be acted upon.
- -“Proactive people focus their efforts in the circle of influence. Reactive people focus their efforts in the circle of concern.”
- -Not to acknowledge a mistake, is a mistake in itself.
That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods. (Thomas Paine).
- -Success in one area does not compensate for failure in another area of life.
- -Delegation to time is efficiency, but delegation to people is effectiveness.
- -To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.
- -Effectiveness deals less with how much effort we put but on whether we are putting it in the right direction.
- -Effective people are not problem-minded but opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems.
- -Not every problem that arises is important.
- -We must beware lest we focus on winning the battle that we lose the war.
On Vision & Values:
- -Your mission statement is your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values.
- -Having a sense of vision about what you’re trying to be not only gives you long-term satisfaction but also short-term excitement.
- -By identifying where you want to be, you discover where you are.
On Discipline & Time-Management:
- -Discipline is the ability to do something even when you don’t want to do it.
- -Not all urgent matters are important, and not all important matters are urgent. It takes wisdom to know the difference.
- -To say YES to what is important we have to say NO to what is not important.
- -The key is not to prioritize our schedules, but to schedule our priorities.
- -Some important activities are more important than others.
- -When your values control your schedule and not vice-versa, you’re flexible enough not to feel guilty when you don’t meet up to a particular schedule.
On Relationships & Loyalty:
- -Look at the weaknesses of others with compassion, not accusation.
- -Our most constant relationships require our most constant deposits.
- -A quick fix is a mirage. Building and Repairing relationships take time.
- -To make an emotional deposit, what is important to another person must be as important as that person is to you.
- -We must be sensitive enough not to project our own intentions and interests on the behaviors of others.
- -To do unto others what you want them to do to you, is to make them feel as good as you would want them to make you feel by doing the things they would love, not necessarily what you’d love.
- -It’s better not to make a promise than to make a promise that you can’t keep.
- -One way to show integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.
- -Relational problems are a great opportunity to build relationships.
- -Win/Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions.
- -No man’s success should be achieved at the expense or exclusion of another’s.
- -Conflict resolution is not about my way or your way but a better way.
- -Unexpressed feelings never die, they are buried alive and often wreck havoc in future.
- -Maturity is the balance between courage and consideration. You not only have to be empathic, you have to be confident.
- -We must take time to know a problem before we offer advice.
- -Empathic listening is listening with the intent to understand.
- -Communication is 10% of words, 30% of sounds and 60% of body language.
- -It’s not enough to listen with our ears, we must also learn to listen with our eyes and our hearts.
- -In an effort to understand others, we listen, and by listening, we learn.
- -The best way to look at people’s problems is through their eyes.
On Self-Care and Personal Development
- -Self investment is the single most powerful investment anyone can make.
- -We can’t live without eating, but we don’t live to eat.
- -Your physical health affects your mental health; your spiritual health affects your social health.
- -Improvement in one habit affects productivity in others.
- -That which we persist in becomes easier.
- -Many of us think we don’t have enough time to exercise. We don’t have time not to.
- -A good exercise program is the one you can do in your own home and that will build your body in endurance, flexibility and strength.
- -The person who doesn’t read is no better than the person who can’t read.
- -The law of the harvest governs life- eventually we all reap what we sow.
The world shapes human behavior but Christ changes human nature.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Teilhard de Chardin.
The book is such a long read that if you’re not determined, you’ll get bored after a few pages.
Secondly, the author made to really emphasize some points over and over which wasn’t necessary in my opinion.
Because I had a hardcover copy I was not able to read it on the go. So I to had to create time at home for it.
Who should read the book?
You already know the answer? *winks*
Whether you’re trying to be an effective student, parent, employee or boss, this book will make you sit up.
I’ll give the book a rating of 4.5/5
Just because it took me all of 3 months at least, to finish it.
I hope you enjoyed this review.
Have you read this book?
Pls share your thoughts.