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The power of Habits for Personal Change

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen Covey
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Habits play an important role in our decisions. We make unconscious decisions because of our habits. For instance, the choice of eating fast food instead of a healthy salad dish is not because of the lack of knowledge but because of your habits or you feel bad about yourself because of your attitude towards yourself or feeling stuck. These problems can not be turned off, however, a set of habits, which do not expire, can help you with living your life the way you want. It takes sixty-six days to build a new habit, to change your living. It is very important to achieve the private victory with yourself first and then seek the public victory. In the end, you must update yourself to cope with the new trends.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Reacting to bad weather, a mean text, or a parking ticket is very common and there is no need to react the way others do. When you make choices that focus on yourself rather than bringing others down, that is when you know you are being proactive. Proactive person forgives, communicates about their doubts, has a sense of realization, work better, compare themselves with their old self, and takes responsibility. Reactive people, on the other hand, find excuses to make their lives sound miserable. Bad weather, for example, is something no one can control, and yet, reactive people take it as their problem and as an excuse for bad luck on them. It is just a waste of time to be concerned about things you can not control. While there is a long list of things you can control such as your health, exercises, work, assignments, etc.

Habit 2: Begin with an end in the mind

It does not matter even if you work hard without having a goal. It starts with a direction where you need to work in. Before deciding to work, one must decide the destination beforehand. ‘Begin with an end in mind’ simply means to begin something with having a target, a destination in your mind. It does not matter which direction you go if you are not aware of where you are going. This does not mean to have answers to every doubt, but it is about how to solve those doubts you have.

Habit 3: Put first things first

This habit gives the idea of organization and prioritization of important things. Every individual has an independent will, it is to us, and what we decide to give our time. Spending time scrolling through the internet, playing games, and hanging out with friends, while you have got assignments due disturb your schedule. Some things can be planned, such as projects, meetings, work, etc, while some things are unexpected such as urgent calls, interruptions, and failures. These things need to be given your attention first. Other activities such as parties, gaming, texting, and pleasant activities can be at the bottom of your concern list. 

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Now starts the part of achieving the public victory. There can be five types of paradigms about comparing yourselves with others. Some people have a Win-Lose mindset where they want them to win but others to lose. Them winning is not the only important thing but they also need to make sure that others lose. Some people think Lose-lose. They want no one to succeed, if they lose, others should too. Some people are programmed in a different way, they think Lose-Win. They want good for others but can not support themselves. The best thinking is the Win-Win where people want others to win too. They do not get into comparisons and want the best for everyone. A win-win mindset is encouraged to humble yourselves and create a healthy atmosphere for yourselves.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, and then to be understood

Many people want to delay their message to others and not listen to theirs. To improve your relationship with someone you must try to listen and understand them. When you start taking an interest in them and talking to them, they get the message of your interest in them. This seals the relationship. When you only seek to be understood, you show that you are self-absorbed and talk only about yourself. 

Habit 6: Synergize

This habit shows how two heads are more than one. We often feel that we can work better ourselves, while in reality, if done in the right way, a team can give excellent results in a short period of time. Synergy helps us explore different achievements you could achieve in a team rather than working individually. Especially in business, synergy could play a major role in making a group successful. 

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

After all the habits, we can apply them in our daily life and try to make better decisions. This habit tells us to keep ourselves updated with whatever is new. We need to now maintain our schedule and habits that we have developed from previous principles. The balance between having fun and being responsible is supposed to be maintained. The whole habit revolves around the idea of maintenance of the saw, in other words, sharpening the saw.


All these habits help you build ‘That version of yourself’ that you have dreamed of. However, they must be followed in the order that is provided. You can not build another habit by skipping the previous one. In the end, one must keep the hope alive and maintain the same cycle to reach the destination they have planned. These habits are a guide to improve themselves in every aspect of life.


Covey, S. R. (1997). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. Macmillan Reference USA.

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