7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary and Review

This book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is written by Stephen R. Covey. With his pioneering work in Principle-Centered Leadership, he is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on empowerment. Thousands of organizations worldwide-including more than 150 of the Fortune 500-have adopted his innovative techniques on quality, leadership, innovation, trust, teamwork, customer-focused service and organizational alignment. His audio book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a Nightingale Conant best-seller. Stephen has recently published The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

It was in early 2008 when a big change happened that turned my world up-side-down.  That moment gave me a whole new perspective of what and how I see life.  It started a new journey of conscious living instead of living life merely to fate.

But before this change entered my life, I was one of those who were living unconsciously of what my life, and life in general, means.  I was unaware of the principle that governs life that I leave circumstances to other people, luck, fate or destiny, except my own self.

  • When I fail to achieve my goals and wants in life, I turn the blame to luck.
  • When I fail to get a good relationship with other people, I pass the lack of understanding to the other person.
  • When I fail to find my real purpose in life, I rely on destiny and let life happens for me.
  • When it comes to dealing with life’s circumstances, I tend to react (negative) instead of responding (positive).

As I continue living unconsciously, my life became much harder and stressful as I grow older because of my lack of knowledge on the principles that governs life and maturity.

When the big change happened, it crashed me down, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.  But the good thing about change is that even though it initially burdens you up when it first hit, later on, it gives you deeper courage and wisdom to better move forward in life.

Thanks to such change for it started my search for life’s meaning and principle that governs it.  I did this by expanding my horizon through seeing places, meeting and observing people, and by reading books.  Words are food for the soul, as they say.  As I move forward from the change, I’ve read motivational and inspirational quotes, articles and books.  These helped me a lot in seeing the positive side of life.  One of the books that created a big positive change in my life is this book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  And here’s why:

7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary and Review

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People teaches us the deep-rooted principles of being an effective and successful person rather than teaching us the techniques of acting like one.

The current world is teaching us to be more and more efficient, no wonder fast food, multi-tasking and instant messaging is the “in” thing nowadays.  But the more efficient the world becomes, the higher the level of stress, physical and emotional fatigue we encounter everyday.  It’s not because economic development is not good, but because we are unaware of the principles on how to handle success.  Efficiency lacks something that effectiveness has, and that’s quality.  Time is our most important asset.  So make sure you are spending it wisely not only by its speed but also by making out the most of it (quality).

What is a Habit?

Habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire.  Knowledge is the theoretical component (what and why). Skill is the practical side (how).  Desire is the motivational side (want to do it).  Short speaking, when you know what you want and why you want it, then how follows.  This is the key to a conscious living that forms a habit of effectiveness.

And to help you create a habit of effectiveness in your life, here are the guiding principles that composed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

Private Victory (First 3 Habits)

1) Be proactive

2) Begin with the end in mind

3) Put first things first

Private Victory forms the deepest part of our character. (Self-mastery & Self-independence)

Public Victory (Next 3 Habits)

4) Think Win-win

5) Seek first to understand then be understood

6) Synergize

Public Victory forms our skill to work well with people.  (Effectiveness with others)

Constant Renewal

7) Sharpen the saw

It teaches us the value of constantly improving ourselves in all aspects of our life.

What is the Basis?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People were formed based on the three (3) basic levels of maturity:

1) dependence;     2) independence:      3) interdependence

    • Dependence – You oriented.
    • Independence – I oriented.
    • Interdependence – We oriented.

The first three (3) habits will help you develop your independence (self-mastery and self-dependence).  You have to have true self-mastery because you cannot go to the next three habits until you do so.  You cannot be interdependent if you are not independent.  And you cannot work well with others if you do not have true self-mastery and self-dependence

Furthermore, the next three (3) habits will help you develop your interdependence (effectiveness with others).  The highest level of an effective life is being able to contribute for the welfare of others.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People will give you a detailed step on how to apply these habits in your life so as you can create a life of effectiveness.

After I’ve read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it gave me a clear picture of what principles that were missing in my life.  Should have I known them earlier, it could have lessened the pain that a tragic change brought my life.  Also, it gave me an understanding of the roots that created the change.

It opened my eyes to see what other successful people have that I do not.  It showed me the path on creating my purpose instead of painstakingly searching for it.

Start reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

You may buy a copy of the book in Amazon.com, click here.


  1. Kay Em Panaligan says:

    Hi Lou,

    I just got time to visit your blog. Anyway, congrats for this site. I will let my friends know about this. At least now, it’s more encouraging to read the articles knowing the author. One time, I’ll share some insights. =)

  2. Thanks for the time visiting this blog despite your really busy schedule. And advance thank you for sharing it to your friends. Hope to publish your article here soon! 🙂

  3. That is some inspirational stuff. Certainly not knew that opinions may be this varied. Several for every just one of the enthusiasm to provide you such actually very helpful info in this post.

  4. Thanks Stacey. Indeed, this book was really an amazing piece to awaken us of the simple truths of life. 😀

  5. Very effective… Got my full attention on your pic 🙂 Should i say cute? maybe not… that word sounds like a pet… I think I must say, you look like a total package… Cheers!

    just trying to sharpen my saw.. 🙂

  6. Hi Bob, thanks for dropping by and reading this article. Glad it was helpful. 🙂 Thanks for the nice comment on how I look. Let’s keep sharpening our saw! Have a great week! 🙂

  7. thanks for the good review

  8. You’re Welcome! 🙂

  9. Pastor Omoade T. Elijah says:

    I will let my friends know about this book because is really powerful an amazing. God bless you for this great work you have done.

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