The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey
What follows is a plan for building true, enduring success. It is not a
handbook of tricks or techniques.
It is a guide for strengthening your
Character alone will give you the consistent energy and know-
pursue opportunity and
the courage to prevail
challenges you will face.
Our character, basically, is a composite of our
Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, habits
constantly express our character and produce our effectiveness - or our
In the words of Aristotle, "We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
I identify here seven habits shared by all truly effective people.
Fortunately, for those of us not born effective (no one is), these
habits can be learned
The Two Sides of Success
Aesop's Fable, "The Goose and the Golden Egg", is the story of a poor
farmer who one day visits the nest of his goose and finds at her side a
glittering golden egg.
Though he suspects it to be a trick, he decides to
take it home where he learns to his delight that the egg is actually pure
Every morning thereafter the farmer gathers one golden egg from
the nest of the goose, and soon become fabulously wealthy.
As he grows
rich, however, he also grows greedy and impatient with the output of the
In an attempt to get at once all the gold in the goose, he kills and
opens it, only to find nothing.
The moral of this old fable has a modern ring to it.
Like the foolish
farmer, we often emphasize short-term results (golden eggs) at the
expense of long-term prosperity (the goose).
Indeed, it seems that we
are often more concerned with doing things right (efficiency) than with
doing the right things (effectiveness).
In his attempt to be efficient, the
farmer became grossly ineffective; he destroyed his capability for getting
Habits are patterns of
components: knowledge, attitude, and skill.
Because these are learned
rather than inherited, our habits constitute our second nature, not our
We are not stuck with our current habits; hence, we should avoid
defining ourselves in terms of our habits, characteristics, and reactive
Successful people daily weave habits of effectiveness into their lives.
Often, they are internally motivated by a strong sense of mission.
subordinating their dislike for certain tasks, they develop the following