Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review: “ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ”

Book Review: 
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
 by Steven Covey

By Guest Blogger - Marc Smith

I am not going to give you the schbeel you are used to hearing about how a book changed my life from being a miserable soul to a thriving billionaire. Did I ever think I would read this book? No. Does the title and language sound corny? Immensely. Does it seem like it is for suckers and losers; those pathetic people who can’t get their life together and need to resort to self help books in some pitiful attempt to fix things? Yes. Is it these things? Absolutely not. This book is not a quick fix technique to make all your problems go away. If used correctly, it can be an aid to help you replace old patterns of self-defeating behavior with new patterns and habits of accomplishment, happiness, and trust based relationships.

To change something in your life, you need 3 things: What, Want, and How. You need to know that there is something wrong and acknowledge that there is a trouble in your life – this is the What. Next, you need to Want to change the problem and not be complacent. Last, you need to know what actions and skills to employ that will effectively solve the problem – this is the How. To really reap all of the benefits of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, I believe you must already have the What and the Want, and this book will give you the HOW.

What you will need for this book to be of any value to you:

·      An open mind (to suppress the cynic in you)
·      Humility (to admit you are not above opening yourself up)
·      Patience
·      Persistence
·      The ability to step out of your comfort zone
·      A willingness to try new and unfamiliar things
·      The ability to be honest with yourself and make yourself vulnerable

What you can expect to get from it:

·      A clearer understanding of your deepest values and unique skills
·      A sense of inner-directedness
·      Self confidence
·      Full control over your life
·      Less anxiety and confusion
·      The ability to connect more deeply and effectively with the people in your life
·      The ability to define yourself from within rather than by other people’s opinions or comparing yourself with others

The most important thing to know about this book is that it will not give you short term, superficial, attitude/psych up techniques to solve predicaments you are facing. It is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It stresses focusing on your CHARACTER, not your PERSONALITY. Essentially, this means that using temporary, shallow, phony strategies to get what you want that may get you by in the short term have no permanent value for the long term, both for yourself and in relationships. Eventually, if there isn’t deep integrity and fundamental character strength, the challenges of life will cause true motives to surface and relationships will fail.

It doesn’t tell you specific things to do; rather it gives you a framework for how to think about the type of person you actually want to be and the types of relationships you genuinely desire and how to get there. To solve any problem, you need to focus on yourself, your character, your motives, and how you have been conditioned to think about and look at things. This book says that the way we see our problems is the problem. As Albert Einstein said “the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”.

I would not try to force anyone to read this book because it is impossible to convince someone else to change that doesn’t believe they have anything to fix. If you want to make your life better, you are willing and ready to make an effort to live the life that you truly want, and you have the What and Want for change, I challenge you to open yourself up and try the How presented in this book. It just might make all the difference.

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