Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Living the 7 Habits: Stories of Courage and Inspiration

You may recall the publication of a book titled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey in the early 90s. I know it was a long time ago, but the book continues to inspire people, and better their lives, and their relationships with others.
For those who need a memory jog, the 7 Habits are as follows: Be Proactive
  • Put First Things First
  • Begin With the End in Mind
  • Be Proactive
  • Think Win-Win
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the Saw
Living the 7 Habits is a collection of success stories and testimonials from people who have taken the 7 Habits and put them into practice. There are stories from individuals who turned over a new leaf with the Habits, and changed their lives. Using the tools provided by the 7 Habits, people found courage to change. One got an education she thought was beyond her reach, and another moved out of a successful job into doing something that made him smile. Others found balance in their lives, and gave up the need to be control freaks.

There are beautiful family stories about raising young children, and providing the structure they need in their lives using the 7 Habits. Others found the Habits helped them build communication with their teens, and by modeling the Habits for their teens helped their teens to lead purposeful lives. Stories of people building their marriages by valuing the differences between them, and their spouse instead of criticizing.

Another section is about Community and Education. Teachers who learned to live the Habits were able to inspire students and parents alike, and grew a culture of learning in their classrooms. It didn't happen by catering to the students, but by helping them learn to take responsibility for themselves.

Do you wish that it was a better place where you work? The testimonials in this are incredible about the changes in their workplace which flowed from individuals changing how they dealt with each day's challenges.

You don't have to have read, or even be familiar with the original 7 Habits book to read this one. And, you don't have to read it all in one sitting. In fact, I recommend reading only a couple of stories at a sitting. Do consider reading it, though. It's thoroughly enjoyable, and inspiring.