7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Hello fellow book lovers, scholars and personal development enthusiasts . I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, wherever you are. In today’s post I will be reviewing the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People so get comfy and enjoy.

Author’s Biography

Stephen Richards Covey was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 24th 1932 and died on July 16th 2012, at the age of 79. He had a B.Sc in Business Administration, a MBA  and a Doctor of Religious Studies. In his youth Stephen was athletic but due to a slipped capital femoral epiphy he had to retire very early from sports. This change redirected his focus to his academics  and so began his scholarly journey.

Stephen was an educator, professional speaker,  best-selling author and receiver of several awards. His books include the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, The 8th Habit, Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People, First Things First, The 3rd Alternate, among others.

Book Summary

In this book you will learn about the seven habits and how they will move you from from living a life of dependence to independence and finally to interdependence.  He discusses the value of Character ethics over Personality ethics and the differences between principles and values. You will discover how the habits move you from private victory, which is about mastering the self to public victory, building relationships with others. It is essentially changing from the inside out.


This book has been amazing. I enjoyed it immensely and it really motivated me  to exam my life as it is and think about how much it aligns with my values, roles and goals. As you probably know from my posts, personal development and continuous learning plays a major role in my life and this book really speaks to both aspects.


What I enjoyed about this book:

  • the examples, illustrations and stories incorporated made the reading easier and memorable.
  • his explanations and demonstrations of how each habit builds upon each other to transform you into a principle centered, interdependent, quadrant II focused individual.
  • the practical applications included so that you can begin your journey towards interdependence and living a life based on character verses personality ethics.
  • how thought provoking the material is.

Downsides of this book:

  • it is a book that requires deep thoughts and time to reflect and analyse so it can become a lengthy reading process in order to thoroughly engage with the content (not much of an issue for me but could be for those who prefer a quick read)


“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

“To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”

“It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.”

“My wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can i do?”
“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked.
“That’s right,” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“Love her.”
“You don’t understand. the feeling of love just isn’t there.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend , love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her. Serve her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”

“to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.”

“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).”

“There’s no better way to inform and expand you mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature.”

“How you treat the one reveals how you
regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.”

“When air is charged with emotions, an attempt to teach is often perceived as a form of judgment and rejection.”

“Where we stand depends on where we sit.” Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are—or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them.”

“Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase. Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. The negative energy generated by that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do something about, causes their Circle of Influence to shrink.”

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

“Look at the weaknesses of others with compassion, not accusation. It’s not what they’re not doing or should be doing that’s the issue. The issue is your own chosen response to the situation and what you should be doing. If you start to think the problem is “out there,” stop yourself. That thought is the problem.”


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Playlist

Goodreads Book Review

Samuel Thomas Davies Book Summaries

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