The answer to these questions was put forward by Stephen R. Covey, who sold over 10 million copies of a book titled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and brought about a complete revolution in the field of popular psychology. His book provided a lesson to readers, a motivation and a learning tool, and also encouraged readers to reflect on their values and the power of personal development.
The author of the book, through a detailed presentation of the seven habits of successful people, offers an opportunity for readers to explore themselves, to understand their influence on others, and to establish and communicate their wisdom and compassion in order to achieve practical success. In order to do this, it is necessary to change the perception with which one looks at certain life circumstances, challenges, and successes through the development of habits.
But let’s start from the beginning: what is a habit? It is, to begin with, the intersection of knowledge, skills, and desires. So, a habit is a three-dimensional personality trait, which aims to put in place what we must do to achieve a realization of our desires and an understanding of why to need to do it, then how to do it, and what we want to do. If you have set a goal for yourself or you have an unfulfilled desire, then through further reading I offer seven habits by which you will achieve everything you do not have at this moment, but firmly want.
Habit 1 – BE PROACTIVE
The fact that people have the ability to control their thoughts, to recognize their feelings, and to describe how they sometimes feel, gives them a tremendous power to achieve enormous results by understanding their own thoughts. Now imagine losing a job or breaking up a long-standing friendship, so how do you feel? Bad, certainly. And imagine now that you get a raise or win some money in a contest, how are you feeling now? The difference is amazing, is not it? This is an example of the power that you have, because you have produced both feelings yourself, through your own thoughts. However, the most common problem is that people think very rationally and say, it’s great how I feel, but that feeling will not pay my bills, and what will pay my bills is a job I do not like and a boss who harasses me. To overcome these situations, it is extremely important to change the perception with which you look at all things and remember that in any situation you must first begin with yourself. Do you ask yourself why your boss is bullying you? When you give yourself the right answer to this question, you will be able to change your situation. In fact, BE PROACTIVE and take your life into your own hands. If you know that you have done something wrong and that you have a bad relationship at work, in your family, or with your friends, you must take responsibility for your actions and behave in every situation as you would like to be treated by other people. This means that the first step to success in a social environment is to act wisely, to choose the behavior, the reactions, and the mood you represent, and let them be exactly what you would like to see in the people around you.
Habit 2 – HOLDING ONTO A GOAL
The essence of this habit is the work of self-cultivation, self-esteem, and personal growth. To adopt this habit, it is necessary to start at the end, therefore, with a goal. Ask yourself first what you want either in business, in your love life, in family life, or in friendly relationships. As you reflect on what your deep desires and sincere needs are, do not be ashamed of them, but write them down to establish a plan that you must carry out. Do you want to be a millionaire? No problem, write this desire down and behave as though it has already become a reality. Everything that you are doing from this moment, everything you think, and how you behave today, tomorrow, next week, next month, everything must be as though you have already accomplished your desire. It must be acknowledged that one can not act at once as if the wish has already been turned into reality, considering that for years you have lived with the realization that your reality does not reflect your desires. It is therefore advisable to begin with relatively modest plans and goals. So, if you want to become a millionaire, first start by setting yourself a goal to earn 10% more than the previous month, the next 20%, and so on. On this journey, it is extremely important to reward yourself each time you achieve a small goal that brings you closer to the large one. The most important thing is that on the road to your goal, you remain firmly committed to the goal and do not give up on it even if you encounter some challenges. To do this, it’s important to practice Habit 1 to change your perception of the challenges you face. Hence, “if you know where you are going, it is important to understand where you are now, and what problems you have to resolve in order to ensure that the steps you take will always be in the right direction and towards your goal” (Covey, 1989). That’s why, if you fail to earn 10% more than the previous month, do not give up, but be proactive, keep the goal set and plan to earn twice as much next month. And since you can do this, act as if it has already been done.
Habit 3 – ESTABLISH PRIORITIES
This habit is unlike the previous two, which are designed to encourage mental growth, the first practical habit, which is a clear indication of the strength of your personality and your desire for success. To test yourself and to determine honestly whether the goals you have set may be too big at this moment and require a bit of time working on the previous two steps, it’s important that you set clear priorities for yourself when setting definitive goals. So, if your goal is to earn more money this month, you must first identify the priority areas that will, in case of temptation, return you to the goal. For example, if you want to make more money, tell yourself why you want to buy a car or a house. In both cases, the most important thing is to list the most important jobs that will lead you to this goal, so you will work more, you will spend less, you will not buy expensive shoes or a new phone. When you do this, you need to test yourself by measuring your performance against the need to do what is most important to achieve your goals. So, if you know what you spend most on, throw it away! To achieve this, set some limits on yourself, for example, if you spend more than you should this month, then you will not go to a meeting organized by your company. In this way, you will force yourself to succeed and explore, but it is very important to have a goal in front of you and adhere to it. If you cheat and you are not keeping your eye on the goal, you are still on trial, and you need to return to the beginning of the program to adopt the habits of successful people.
Habit 4 – WINNING AT RELATIONSHPS
To become a successful person, you need to develop habits that will define you as a person who knows people, who understandS people, who respects the integrity of someone else’s personality, who respects other people’s principles, and maintains healthy interpersonal relationships. The essence of building excellent relationships at work, at school, with friends, with neighbors, with relatives is not just to have some people around you, but to have “real” people around you. In Covey’s book, it is made clear that what a person is, is best seen by how many friends he has around him, what relationships he has, and what are the characteristics of those relationships. If you know a man who, in relation to you, only sees the benefit that enables him to achieve some of his goals, do you think such a person is successful? No, he’s actually very unsuccessful! To take on this habit, it is extremely important that all relationships that you have nurtured must be carried out so as not to hurt or stifle others, although that does not mean that you have to give up your goals to please others. This practically means that in order to maintain successful social relationships, it is important to develop an understanding of the virtues of compromise. If you have silenced your ego in a relationship and agreed to compromise, that means that you have mastered all the previous habits of successful people. So, if you have a challenge with a person who holds a conflicting opinion, it is important first to understand that person (Habit 1), then to keep the goal firmly in mind, no matter how your journey may differ from his (Habit 2) to review priorities, noting when it is important to agree on a compromise (Habit 3), and in accordance with all of these find a common solution (Habit 4). It is important to note that to establish and maintain this habit, ego control and self-control play the most important role.
Habit 5 – LISTENING TO HELP YOURSELF
During your lifetime, through various forms of education, you have learned to communicate, first by speaking, then in writing, and now electronically. However, have you learned to listen and listen well? To understand the essence of the core habit of listening to others, this does not apply to the day-today culture of hearing someone when you talk, but to understand, feel, and appreciate people because of what they say to you, or try to persuade you of, or seek advice. This habit is extremely important in any form of communication, because by considering the way people behave in these interactions, you can learn much. First of all, it is important that you are able to recognize the human essence of communication, which begins with understanding that in communicative relationships, you listen to others without interrupting, or falling into the error of speaking out of turn or creating distractions, and then looking people in the eye while listening to them, and trying to understand what they are saying and how they feel. All of these steps are very important, because you can recognize when someone is being honest with you, or is telling you something that is really important and confidential, or whether there is shame in telling you, or whether the speaker feels excitement while talking to you, or feels fear, or shows the elements of aggression while speaking or indications of emotional hurt, sadness, or happiness. In order to be successful in this habit, it is important that everything that you hear while conversing is seen from the perspective of the one who is talking to you. So if someone who does not have a lot of success at work tells you that it is very hard to make progress today, and for example you have just succeeded in carrying out an improvement, you must understand that the individual you are speaking with is telling it from personal experience and that his perception is whatever it is. It is also important to note that to be a successful interlocutor, you must have your own personal opinion, which may be different from someone else’s, but understand that your opinion is actually an indicator of your perception of things, so if someone else has a different opinion, respect it, then others will respect your opinion.
Habit 6 – INCREASING YOUR POWER
The essence of this habit is to build closer relationships among people in order to achieve better, more effective, and more productive results. Namely, man is a social being and without interaction with other people cannot function. However, in all relationships it is very important to maintain quality relationships based on mutual respect. This habit is extremely important in the business world, for jobs require working in teams. To be a respected and successful man in the team, and to establish yourself as an expert in a field, it is important to improve your competencies constantly. This means that if you have a talent, ability, or skill, you need to develop it to the maximum in order to make the most of it possible to solve a problem or meet a challenge. As an expert in an area, you will seek recognition, right? Seek, because you deserve it, but also respect experts in other areas. Therefore, in order to increase your productivity and success, it is important to respect others and to support what others do better and respect their knowledge. In this way, if you show respect for others’ advocacy, work, knowledge, and skills, you can expect that they will respond similarly towards you. Also, in team work, do your best, do not be selfish, but take advantage of all your capacities, because in this way you will show your team that you are worthy, that you are a great contributor and that you are successful in what you do.
Habits 7 – ENJOY YOURSELF, BE EVER BETTER
To become a successful man, you need to constantly work on your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development, since the power of success in every person, by his will and the desire to work on himself and to improve, determines whether he will become successful or not. Remember, everyone has the same chances, they only differ by whether the individuals in question work to improve themselves by self-development or not. Although you often say that experience was not needed in your life and that an even better life might have happened to you, it’s important that you look at all this as a valuable experience, which had it not happened, you would not now be reading this article. Encourage yourself to develop. So everything that that has happened to you will be good, and everything that will happen to you in the future will be even better. However, do you notice that you are doing well in one field, while in another, not? For example, you have a great job, but you do not have the love of your life? It’s great if you now notice these relationships, because now that you know what part of your life you would like to change, you can move in that direction. Be successful in it! Change that which is within yourself and which you do not like! Do you not have enough free time? Great, make a plan to have it. Are you getting good results in business? It does not matter, make a plan to get them. Do you spend enough time with your family and friends? It’s OK, make a plan and organize some time together. Do you want to learn a new language? Great, sign up right now. Remember, there is no limit to a successful man, all power is in you, use it!