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Habits are the activities that we repeatedly do in the same manner, day after day. Our character is a composite of our habits.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a #1 Bestseller book on personal development, written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 15 million copies since its first publication in 1989.
Covey says that you can replace old destructive habits with new habits of effectiveness, happiness and trust-based relationship; you just need to examine and find out your bad habits to replace them with these seven habits.
7 Habits can help you:
- Get control of your life
-Improve relationships
-Make smarter decisions
-Define your values and what matters most
-Get more done in less time
- Increase your self confidence
- Be happy
- Find balance between work and home (and everything else!)

Habit 1: Be Proactive

The most important things that the humans have is their ability to think, You can control your mind, You have the ability to control your moods, feelings and thoughts and by doing this you can change your circumstances and conditions.
Proactive means taking initiatives. You need to become proactive; you need to take full responsibility of your life. You have ability to take actions and make things happen.
There are two kinds of problems or obstacles we face in our life. First type are the problems you can do something to reduce them, while other problems just occur in your life, you don’t have any control on them.
Focus your time on what you can control instead of spending your time focusing on events that you cannot control. Take some actions to reduce your problems.
The clearest manifestation of proactivity can be seen in your ability to stick to the commitments you make to yourself and to others. This includes a commitment to self-improvement and, by extension, personal growth. By setting small goals and sticking to them, you gradually increase your integrity, which increases your ability to take responsibility for your life.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

You need to imagine, what the other people are saying and thinking about you if you are dead and they have come on your funeral? What character would you like them to have seen in you? What achievements and contributions would you want them to remember? The things you want them to say about you are your core values so from now you should work on those values.
You should develop a personal mission statement that focuses on what you want to be and do in your life. Covey states that the most effective way to begin with the end in mind is to create a personal mission statement. It should focus on the following:
What you want to be (character)
What you want to do (contributions and achievements)
The values upon which both of these things are based

Habit 3: Put First Things First

“Put First thing First” is the most powerful and effective habit, the author has written a whole book on this habit. This is the habit of time and life management.
All the things you do daily can be divided in two categories they are either urgent and important or not urgent and not important. You should ask yourself following questions:
1-What one thing could you do regularly, that you aren’t currently doing, that would improve your personal life?
2-Similarly, what one thing could you do to improve your business or professional life?
First things are those things that you, personally, find most worth doing. They move you in the right direction. They help you achieve the principle-centered purpose expressed in your mission statement.
“The key is not to prioritize your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” – Covey
Importance: an activity is important if you find it valuable, and if it contributes to your mission, values and high-priority goals.
Urgency: An activity is urgent if you or others feel that it requires immediate attention.
Effective people have genuine crises and emergencies that require their immediate attention, but they keep focusing on the "important but not urgent" activities instead of the "urgent but not important" activities.

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

Covey argues that win/win isn’t a technique; it’s a philosophy of human interaction. It’s a frame of mind that seeks out a mutual benefit for all concerned.
Think Win-Win habit teaches you to work together to seek mutual benefits. This habit encourages you to see other people as cooperative rather than competitor.
It is based on the theory that there is plenty in this world for everybody and one person’s success should not be achieved at the expense of the success of others.
Normally people think that if I win you lose. Most people have been deeply scripted in the win-lose mentality since birth. We are being programmed that this world is a zero sum game where some people win while other lose.
To become more effective you should work with other people to get leverage of the abilities and strengths of other people. This habit is essential to become successful.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

If you want to improve your interpersonal relations, Covey argues that you must endeavor to understand a situation before attempting to make yourself understood.
There are four basic types of communication – reading, writing, speaking and listening, The most important factor in good communication is listening carefully what the other person is saying. Unfortunately people spend most of their time to improve their speaking, writing and reading skills. They don’t try to improve their listening skills. They don’t listen what other person is saying instead they are thinking in their mind what they are going to say next.
The author says that if you want to become effective, you first need to listen and understand what the other person is saying.
A good salesperson first understands the needs of others, a good doctor first understands the problems of the patient, a good lawyer first gathers all the facts to understand the situation.

Habit 6: Synergize

Synergy can be defined as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For example if you plant two plants together, they will grow better than if they were separated, two pieces of wood together will hold more weight together than they will hold separately.
According to this principle one plus one equals three or more. The way one man and one women bring a child into this world is synergistic. To be effective we must value the physical differences between people to create new opportunities for each other.
Synergy is almost as if a group of people collectively wish to work together to create some productive things. Synergy is making improvements and creating something new with the cooperation of others.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

This seventh habit is all about enhancing yourself through the four dimensions of renewal:
1-Physical: Exercise, nutrition, and stress management. This means caring for your physical body, eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
2-Social/emotional: Service, empathy, synergy, and intrinsic security. This provides you with a feeling of security and meaning.
3-Spiritual: Value clarification and commitment, study, and meditation. In focusing on this area of your life, you get closer to your center and your inner value system.
4-Mental: Reading, visualizing, planning, and writing. To continually educate yourself means expanding your mind. This is essential for effectiveness.
To “sharpen the saw” means to express and exercise all four of these motivations regularly and consistently. This is the most important investment you can make in your life, as you are the instrument of your performance. It’s essential to tend to each area with balance, as to overindulge in one area means to neglect another.
However, a positive effect of sharpening your saw in one dimension is that it has a knock-on positive effect in another, due to them being interrelated. For instance, by focusing on your physical health, you inadvertently improve your mental health, too. This, in turn, creates an upward spiral of growth and change that helps you to become increasingly self-aware. Moving up the spiral means you must learn, commit, and do increasingly more as you move upwards and progressively become a more efficient individual.

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