Certain basic principles and values make people more effective.
• Focus on developing character, not personality.
• You are what you habitually do, so adopt productive habits.
• Excellence is a habit, not an aptitude.
• You are free because you can determine how you respond to circumstances.
• Choose sound principles — integrity, dignity, quality, service, patience, perseverance, caring, courage — and endeavor to live by them.
• Write a personal mission statement to clarify your principles and set your goals.
• Think of what you want people to say about you at your funeral; try to deserve it.
• Build trust in your relationships.
• Try to allocate time to your responsibilities and relationships.
• Understand that you have the ability to improve your habits and your life.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Highly effective people take the initiative, and they do not impose limits on themselves that prevent them from acting. They live by the “principles of personal vision.” and they see what they can do, and do it.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Begin by drafting a personal mission statement that outlines your goals and describes the kind of person you want to be. Decide what you need to change and what you want to become.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Never let your most important priorities fall victim to the least important. The urgent is easy to see. The important is harder to discern. Emphasize planning, avoiding pitfalls, developing relationships, cultivating opportunities and getting adequate recreation.
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
A win/lose relationship is destructive, because it produces losers and, therefore, enemies and bad feelings, such as hatred, defeat, and hostility. Highly effective people become highly effective by multiplying their allies, not their enemies.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Find out what the other parties want, and what winning means to them. Don’t assume you know. Listen. Always try to understand what the other people want and need before you begin to outline your objectives. Do not object, argue, or oppose what you hear. Listen carefully and think about it.
Habit 6: Synergize
Cooperation multiplies the power of one. In combination with communication, it builds the two legs of a synergistic relationship.
Listen, reflect, respond, and cooperate.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Effective people take care of their bodies with a program of exercise that combines endurance, flexibility, and strength.
Effective people also care for their souls with mindfulness and self-renewal. Never neglect this spiritual dimension; it provides the energy for the rest of your life.