Book review #3: The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey

Title: The 7 habits of highly effective people // Powerfull Lessons in Personal Change

Author: Stephen R. Covey

Nr. of pages: 391

Edition: Simon & Schuster



I am coming back to you today with the 3rd book review post called “The 7 habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey. I got the book recommended by a very good friend (the advantage to have valuable friends) thinking at the beginning that it would be just another “The 7 myths to happiness ..” like kind of books (which is totally not the case). The book shows and interconnects psychology with business and human behaviour, is quite easy to go through it and the examples really can have the wow effect on you by making you visualize and become aware of some truly valuable aspects related to your own behaviour.

I decided to write a blogpost per each chapter of this book. Therefore stay tuned;). The structure of the book is based on the maturity continuum showed in the figure below:


Part I is called “Paradigms and principles” and gives an overview of the 7 habits and also explains the inside-out technique. Many people have deep problems, problems that quick fix approaches can’t solve. Let us begin to realize that if we wanted to change a situation, we first have to change ourselves. And in order to change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions. Inside-out means to start first with self (your perception about the world, your character, your motives).

The author is describing how perceptions are formed, how they govern the way we see, and how the way we see governs how we behave (pygmalion effect). Look at the lens through which you see the world, as well as the world you see, and that the lens itself shapes how you interpret the world. Paradigm = perception = frame of reference = maps (the map is not the territory that you are looking for).

There are 2 categories of maps:

  1. maps of the way things are = realities
  2. maps of the way things should be = values

Our attitudes and behaviours grow out of those assumptions. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.

“If I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other – while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity and insincerity – then, in the long run, I cannot be successful.”  You are missing the foundation. “get rich quick” scheme promising “wealth without work”. Get to work on the root, the perceptions from which our attitudes and behaviour flows. The more you are aware of it, the more you will enlarge the objective perspectives and understand other people too. So break your old way of thinking.

Principles = govern human effectiveness; are natural laws in the human dimension that are just as real, just as unchanging and unarguably there. Examples: fairness, integrity, honesty, human dignity, quality and excellence, potential.

The way we see the problem is the problem.

The book offers you one of those Aha experiences in life when suddenly things click into place.

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” 

Other concepts that i like in this chapter: P/PC Balance. P stands for production; PC stands for production capabilities. Effectiveness lies in the balance.

Whatever your present situation, I assure you that you are not your habits. You can replace old patterns of self-defeating behavior with new patterns, new habits of effectiveness, happiness and trust-based relationships.” 

Are you already excited to find out about the habit #1 seen through my lenses? Then looking forward to see you next, here on my vanilicious place 🙂

Warm hugs,



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