Book Review: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Wow, I'm on a roll lately with my book reviews!

I finally caught up with my book reviews and here's a new one for everyone. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a highly acclaimed book for personal development and growth. I bet everyone has heard of this book, and if you haven't, where have you been in this world?? Haha, I'm just kidding.

A lot of personal development training discusses the 7 Habits as they are effective means of how to improve oneself. It does not focus only on changing our own lives, but also how we can be effective with other people and use that for success.  The habits are well-rounded and really demands you to look beyond what you have now.

I'm taking a different approach to my book review this time. I will discuss each of the 7 habits on how I understood it, rather than picking up quotes and saying my reflections. If in case you're not a fan of reading books, then hopefully this blog entry could summarize the book for you.


7 Habits of Highly Effective People

1. Be Proactive
When we hear the word 'proactive', we usually relate it to taking initiatives, doing things by our own free will... but being proactive means more than. What it means to be proactive is to be accountable for your own life, being accountable to yourself, to your commitments, and to the people around you. You take responsibility on what life throws out you, and not blame the circumstances surrounding as to why you are where you are. You own your life, you take full ownership of how your life is going to be. Proactive people don't sit around and act victims of life.  They take actions to getting their own success.

2. Begin with the end in mind
Being with the end in mind is knowing your goals... knowing what you want in a month, or in a year, or in 5 years and so. When you know where our destination is, you will try to find the way in reaching that. Even when you have all the tools and skills imaginable, if you don't know where you want to go or where you're supposed to be, all those tools and skills are useless. Having that goal in mind navigates you to what actions you should take and skills that you needed to learn. It's like traveling. Even when you have the most advanced GPS and most effective map, but your destination is wrong, you'll never get to where you wanted to go. You need to know where you're headed to, to get accurate directions. 

A tip from the book on having the end in mind is creating a personal mission statement.

3. Put first things first
Now that you have set your goals, and taken responsibility for your life, you have to make actions. And for you to act, now you have to know your priorities. You need to know what is important to you in reaching your desires and goals. You have to stop procrastinating on the things that are vital to your own success. One good example of putting first things first is when you want to become physically fit or lose weight. You already know your goal - that is to lose weight and be physically fit  (Habit 2), and you already know what you have to do - that is to eat healthier and exercise (Habit 1). But the question is do you actually do it? Habit 3 tells you that to reach your goal is physically doing what you have to do, eat healthily and exercise.  

One way on identifying what actions that you have to prioritize is looking at the Quadrant II of your tasks. Quadrant II tasks are those important but not urgent. Below is a graph for your reference.

4. Think Win-Win
For the first three habits, they were focused mostly on self-improvement. Habits 4-6 will be focusing on the relationship with other people as well.

Think Win-Win is finding that sweet spot for people to be able to agree on. It's finding that alternative that works for everyone. In most organizations, there will be differences in opinions and sometimes, there are people who won't agree on certain things. Think Win-Win is the mindset wherein people will find a compromise that will be beneficial for all, not just for one group of people. Being able to choose that alternative would require individuals to be mature and to respect another's opinion, these traits you should have built on the other 3 habits. 

Win/Win mentality is also trying to focus on getting the results done by using the right methods and tools. This helps the individual to be more accountable for their actions and also practice the value of integrity. 

5. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood

This habit tells you to listen to other people with the intention to listen to understand, and not to listen to reply. We have to be emphatic listeners and viewing things the way the person sees it. Once you have heard and understood the other side, it is also important that you'd be able to relay your message well. 

To be able to get habit 4 (Think Win-Win) it is important that we know how to listen to other people. Understanding what you both need and want, it helps you find the best alternative for your problems.

6. Synergize
"The essence of synergy is to value differences - to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weaknesses." 

The sixth habit is the culmination of all other habits. To synergize is really to value on each other's differences, but make the most of each other's strength. To understand that every individual is unique enables a person to be more humble and open-minded.  Through synergy, you will be able to exercise the act of habit 5, and finding the best solution which is habit 4.

7. Sharpen the Saw
"...the single most powerful investment we can ever make in life - investment in ourselves, in the only instrument we have with which to deal with life and to contribute. We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time regularly to sharpen the saw in all four ways."

Habit 7 is telling that just because you have done the other 6 habits, it's telling you to continue moving forward, to continue growing. The concept of continuous improvement is what sharpening the saw is all about. It's continuously improving one's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It's an ongoing cycle of growth and development. 


I hope you all learn a bit from that quick rundown of the habits. Below is a cheatsheet of the 7 Habits I found in Pinterest. See you all again next time!

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  1. I probably should read this lol such great tips.

    1. Yes! You should try and reading the book. :)

  2. This is one of my favorite books and have it included in my 'permanent stash'! If you do reviews, I welcome to check out my newly published book on Amazon. If interested, just check out my profile. Blessings.

    1. Thank you for the comment, and I will look i to that. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

  3. I really like this approach of yours instead of pickign quotes. Also you provided us with all the book's value in just one blog post, that's super interesting for me! Keep up the good work!

    1. Yes, I think this format is workable for this book. I’m glad you liked it, thanks for dropping by!