7 Habits of Highly Effective People


When faced with defining crises in life and business, most people would rather go for a “microwave“approach that offers quick and soothing reliefs but merely addresses the issue on the burner at the peripheral and leaves the real problem unresolved. In his seminal and groundbreaking book: “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen R. Covey suggests a more enduring approach to solving any and every crisis, in life, in business and in a career that people might confront at one point or the other: confront the problem headlong through decisions (often tough) that flows from within you.


Being proactive is more than taking the initiative; it means taking full responsibility for every in your life (negative, positive, past, present and future). The moment you shift the responsibility for what is happening to you to others, you have missed it. Covey established that no one owes you anything.

Your current circumstance is a product of your past decisions, and to change it, you need to refine your decision making. No one can make you unhappy unless you choose to be unhappy. Everything you would ever need to solve any problem that confronts you is within you or within your reach. You need to develop the capacity to think through every challenge by drawing on the internal forces available to you. The more you do this, the better you are to develop your proactive muscles. Here are a few truths about the first habit:

1. Stimulus vs Response: There is a gap between every event that happens to you (stimulus) and your reaction to such event (response). Inside that gap is the only freedom you have to turn things around. When someone abuses you, for instance, rather than reacting immediately, the most intelligent thing would be to pause and process your decisions. That ability to pause brings the power which you should exercise all the time.

2. Circle of Concern vs Circle of Influence: One way to demonstrate proactivity is to refuse to focus on your current challenges, which in any case, you have no control over. Rather, you should be solution-driven by focusing on what you can do to solve any of the problems that are within your control. Keep solving them one after the other until your concerns over them disappear. When you focus on your problems, you help to magnify them until they become so big that you cannot see any ray of hope around you. This is a dangerous zone to be, for, at that point, you would be enveloped by a negative aura that can sometimes lead to foolish decisions. But when you are solution-driven, you constantly increase your circle of influence


One core foundation for personal effectiveness is to envision the result of your decisions. When you can see the end clearly from the beginning, you are likely to come up with hypothetical solutions to problems you are likely to meet on the road. You are better off than someone who just plunges into things without knowing where they would end. Things are created twice: first in your mind and then outside. Unless you can see the big picture with your mind eyes, you are likely to get your life messed up, for you would be tossed here and there by events. You would end up becoming a “victim of circumstance” rather than being a “creator of circumstances”. They once asked the late founder of IBM Computers why his company was so successful, and here is the abridged version of his response.


Take some time to analyse how you have been thinking and talking about money matters. Doing this would reveal where your money problem is located

Read the review of My Book of the week (7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey) to learn how you can recalibrate your mindset

List just one action you would take this week as a result of reading this investment tip and reading the book of the week

Share your insight with me for review

PS: Any reader who wants to share his or her insight on the assignment with my Billionaire friend should send such to ayo.arowolo@thisdaylive.com; and I will share with him.

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