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7 habits from the Late Stephen Covey

Professor Stephen Covey in his home

Professor Stephen Covey in his home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On a scale of one to ten, what do you rate your effectiveness. AS the year comes to an end we often think about how the past year has gone. A lot of things come into my mind. Things I wish I had done, opportunities I wish I had taken, people I should have spent time with and so on. Most people are also writing down resolutions for the following year. Most get tossed by the first week of January. But if don’t make a plan, you plan to fail. So what separates the winners from the losers. The winners plan and they focus and they train and they work hard. They get up when they fall and they never quit until they get it right. Easy to say.

If 2012 hasn’t been to good to you, don’t despair, 2013 is another chance to try again. Here are some pointers from the late Stephen Covey.

  1. Be Proactive:

Plan ahead and take the necessary steps to get to your goal. Anticipate future problems and make a plan as to how to avoid and tackle them if they were to occur. After the September the 11th attacks, the British police and emergency services staged an attack on the London’s underground at Oxford Circus one of London’s busiest underground stations. They tackled the attack as if it were real to see how the emergency services would respond. A few years later an attack did occur in the underground and I believe they were in a good position to deal with the reality of the attack.

  1. Begin with the end in mind:

Always think of the end. Anyone can start something, but only a few see it to completion. Always finish what has started. Moving on from one project to another without completing it, will diminish and discourage you. The end of a thing is better than the beginning of a thing.

  1. Put first things first

Each day, start with the most important thing in mind. Plan each day the night before, and not while in bed otherwise it will not be possible to get a good night sleep, which is necessary for a productive day. Start with the most important things then move on to the least important. The reason many people never achieve their goals is because they do not do the most important things first. If you have an exam, focus on the exam and everything else will follow after that. This way, you develop the disciple to accomplish goals. Once you do the important things, the not so important things tend to get deferred continually and maybe never get done. But because they are not a priority, it doesn’t really matter. Rather fill the day with high priority tasks. Keep a diary and diarize all the important tasks first. Once these are done, it is now possible to do the low priority task.

  1. Think win- win

Don’t always seek to win. Think win -win. Interpersonal relations are very important in the quest for success. It is impossible to succeed without the help of others. Many people step on others to get to the top, but I believe that if you think about others on the way up, it will be easier to get to the top, because people take others with them to the top.

  1. Seek first to understand

Referring once again to wedding preparations, (which could be any project), it is easy to make hasty judgments before trying to understand the other persons motivation. Heads were banging during the preparations as emotions flared and the stress kicked in. Take a step back and seek first to understand why the other person is doing what they are doing and this will reduce the amount of conflict. Always do a lot more listening than talking.

  1. Synergize

No man is an island. Make use of valuable contacts and connections that have been built over time. Take time to build relationships and make use of them when necessary. If a contract can be given to friend, do so, because this will help them build their business. If a Jew manufactures shoes, they would find a cousin that makes rubber soles, deals in leather and so on. If there was no one to fill the required need, they would create a company to do that and set someone up while they were at it. Maybe this is why Jews are successful in business. With the right synergies, great things can be accomplished.

  1. Self renewal

Don’t deplete yourself. Self renewal is an important aspect of success. It is impossible to give what you do not have. As we work, drain ourselves and pour ourselves into work, family and life altogether we deplete ourselves. It is important to take time to renew oneself and restock, re-energize and regenerate oneself. This is why many people relocate in pursue of a certain lifestyle. A constantly hectic and busy schedule drains one, inhibits creativity and hinders the ability to perform at the best.

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