top of page
  • Writer's pictureAalia Phiri

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

What are the 7 habits?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a self-development book written by Stephen R. Covey. He wrote this book because he believed that the way we see the world is based on our own perceptions. In the book he states that “Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It's not logical; it's psychological.”

The 7 habits are as follows:

§ Habit 1: Be proactive

§ Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

§ Habit 3: Put first things first

§ Habit 4: Think Win-Win

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

§ Habit 6: Synergise

§ Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Do I incorporate them into my life?

Habits 1,2 and 3 are focused on self-mastery and becoming independent. Habits 4,5 and 6 are focused on developing teamwork and communication skills and moving from independence to interdependence. Finally, habit 7 is focused more on self-development and growth and it embodies all the other habits (Hussain, 2019). In my opinion, I feel like I incorporate most of the habits, although not to the highest level and not all the time but I do see myself incorporating them more and more into my life. However, the 2 habits I feel I need to work on a lot more are habit 2 and habit 7. This is not to say I don’t do them ever; they are just the 2 I seem to struggle with the most. Even though I try to start with the end in mind, sometimes I can’t help but feel discouraged by the present. I sometimes get stuck in thoughts that things may not change, or things may worsen. I also tend to not take care of myself as well as I should and that happens due to a lot of different things, mostly mental health related but I do try, and I feel like I should try harder.

“If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing I have control over - myself. And it starts with my daily habits." - Stephen R. Covey.

A video by Motivation2Study explained the 7 habits really well. Beginning with the end in mind is all about imagining your desired outcome for everything you do. By doing so, we can ensure the steps we're taking are in the right direction. I struggle with this occasionally because I get caught up in the moment and turn to catastrophising, which entirely eliminates my ability to foresee any positive conclusion. An example is once during my work experience, I was tasked with the difficult job of managing a shop alone for a couple of hours. I constantly had thoughts about how I would mess up, upset a customer or even sell something at the wrong price. Although none of those things happened and the situation went better than expected, catastrophising is something I still deal with. However, I have a deep desire to change this, and some suggestions Covey gives to beginning in the end are:

§ Visualise in rich detail your own funeral: Who is there? What do they say about you, how you lived your life and your relationships? What would you want them to say? He says to think about how we would prioritise our life if we only had a month to live and to start living like that.

§ Break down different roles in your life: whether it’s personal, professional or community, write down these roles and list 3-5 goals for each role.

§ Define what scares you: Write down the worst-case scenario of your biggest fear, then visualize exactly how you would handle it (Hussain, 2019).

When it comes to habit 7, the video emphasizes the importance of self-care. It all comes down to having a well-balanced self-renewal program for your physical, social/emotional, spiritual, and mental health. It's critical to take care of all four aspects of yourself, as well as to take breaks from them, otherwise you risk being burnt out and ineffective. Again, I struggle with this since I once had low self-esteem and confidence. Low self-esteem has been shown to alter how a person cares for oneself, leaving them feeling unworthy of care and kindness (Cherry. K, 2021), something I used to experience with and still do on occasion. To combat this, some suggestions to sharpen your saw are:

§ Physical: eat well, get enough rest and exercise regularly.

§ Social/Emotional: Create genuine, intimate relationships with family and friends, seek to deeply understand other people, make contributions to meaningful projects that improve the lives of others and maintain an abundance mentality and seek to help other find success.

§ Spiritual: Meditate daily, communicate with nature and immerse yourself in culture such as art, music or literature.

§ Mental: Read, keep a journal and limit TV and watch things that can enrich your life and mind (Hussain, 2019).

Becoming a highly effective person

Personally, I think this is a book everyone should read at least once, or at least learn about the habits because I feel like they can really help you become the best version of yourself. There are so many self-improvement books out there that can enhance one’s life, including one called Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-love is The Key to Unlocking Your Greatness by Vex King. This book talks about improving your mentality and spirituality and after reading it, I felt like I had not only learned a lot more, but I knew I would be incorporating a lot of the teachings in that book into my own life. There are some chapters that can help me develop my 2 habits including one on meditation. Vex gives us steps to follow when meditating (2018, p. 70-73) and he also talks about manifestation and living in the end in chapters 5 & 6: Manifesting Goals: Mind Work & Manifesting Goals: Taking Action (2018, p. 161 - 234). I plan to improve myself by doing some of the strategies suggested such as meditating for 15 minutes daily and reading at least two books a month. I want to also make sure I eat healthier and exercise regularly by taking a walk for an hour daily. Moreover, I will be visualising my end with clear intent and in detail and writing down my visualisations so that I can always remind myself of them whenever I get stuck in negative thoughts.


Cherry, K. [2021] 11 Signs of Low Self-Esteem [Online]. Available from: < > [Accessed 25 February 2022].

Covey, S. [1989] The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, USA, Free Press.

Hussain, A. [2019] 7 Habits of Highly Effective People [Summary & Takeaways] [Online]. Available from: < > [Accessed 25 February 2022].

King, V. [2018] Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-love is The Key to Unlocking Your Greatness, United Kingdom, Hay House.

Motivation2Study. [2019] The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. [Online video]. Available from: < > [Accessed 25 February 2022].

12 views0 comments
AP Logo.png
bottom of page