7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey was an incredible book. I can see why was the best-selling phenomenon the last 25 years.
Covey's complete honesty throughout the book makes it very compelling to read. He uses examples from all parts of his life, his work, his family, his friends. It shows you how effective the habits can really be.
It was a refreshing change to have a self-help book written with such notable authority full of examples of so many people throughout history so many other pieces of work. The last self-help book I read was how to be a badass by Jen Sincero. Which was good but it was a little bit airy fairy. She had a nice message, but it was basically, just do it, trust what you're doing and it will work out. It was an interesting book but I’m much more of a logic and reason kind of person.
I love how straightforward and practical the book is. There is nothing that couldn't be done by every single person and it can apply to every situation through your life. It was so clear and concise.
For example, the first habit is to be proactive. He talks about the difference between a proactive and a reactive person. In the book, Covey describes this as such: a reactive person has their moods affected by the weather, so they get sad when it's raining and happy when it’s sunny. A proactive person carries their own weather, they have their own sunshine to make them happy night and day. I really liked this metaphor, that everything including your mood can be under your control.
I personally learned a lot from habit 5, seek first to understand then to be understood. Covey talks about empathetic listening which I realised is something I'm not very good at. It is a form of listening which makes you have a full understanding of the problem before offering any sort of comment.
You don’t need to give advice unless you are asked for it. I’m terrible for offering solutions, I always jump straight to what will fix the problem without really listening to what the problem was. But now that I know this, it is something I can work on. Covey talked about how important this is in all relationships from family to the corporate world. Two business partners must fully understand each other before a deal can be made.
It was interesting to read about how to apply the different habits in all areas of life, not just the business world. When I first looked at the book I assumed it would be all about entrepreneurs and what they do. The habits of figures like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates how they got to where they are. The book was much more down to earth than that. Its goal is to teach you how to be the best person you can be. It's not just about success and accomplishments. it's about being everything you can be and I love that.
I read the book on my Kindle but I think I'm going to try and get a hard copy of it because it's not a book just to read once. It is definitely a reference book so I want to have a hard coffee maker later to scribble on and dog ear my favourite Pages.
Overall the book was really good, it was a really well-organised, full of great practical example that can apply to everything. A definite staple for anyone wanting to be everything they can. Click here to buy it on Amazon!
For the next to Book Club, I'm going to read Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals. I'm a huge Terry Pratchett fan. I have read a solid half to three-quarters of all his books but I have not read Unseen Academicals. I do love the Unseen University setting, I really enjoy the parody of the traditional English university, especially while I was at university so it should be good. Alternatively, if you have never read a Terry Pratchett Novel before I would recommend starting with either The Color of Magic or Guards, Guards.