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Stephen R. Covey — Universal Principles

Inspired by — Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey is a professor, professional speaker, and author of best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.


The 5 Choices

FranklinCovey is an education company founded by Stephen R Covey, author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The 5 Choices logo

Recently they have launched The 5 Choices, a set of five principles to improve one’s productivity. They are:

  1. Act on the important – don’t react to the urgent
  2. Go for extraordinary – don’t settle for ordinary
  3. Schedule the big rocks – don’t sort gravel
  4. Rule your technology – don’t let it rule you
  5. Fuel your fire – don’t burn out

To properly launch this new concept, they do a 175 city world seminar tour. These seminars are free and available in most countries, so take a look, they might be coming to you too. The seminars are obviously marketing for their concept, but they might very well contain something of value for you nevertheless.

August 5, 2011   Comments Off

The proactive language challenge

A challange taken from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It is something very simple, which you can do at anytime.

Challenge yourself. Please, Nicholas James Santiago

For a full day, listen to your language and to the language of the people around you. How often do you use and hear reactive phrases such as “If only”, “I can’t”, or “I have to”?

Now, go try it! Then think about what you could say instead.

June 23, 2011   Comments Off

Live or be lived

Again, from the great book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

People who exercise their embryonic freedom day after day will, little by little, expand that freedom. People who do not will find that it withers until they are literally “being lived”. They are acting out the scripts written by parents, associates, and society.

My Live Earth, by Noël Zia Lee

Are you living your life, or are you being lived?

May 24, 2011   Comments Off

Don’t make a second mistake

From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

For those filled with regret, perhaps the most needful exercise of proactivity is that past mistakes are also out there in the Circle of Concern. We can’t recall them, we can’t undo them, we can’t control the consequences that came as a result.

Don’t make a second (bigger) mistake by not accepting that you made a mistake, or by constantly reiterating the mistake in your mind.

2nd Class Citizen, by JenWaller

May 9, 2011   Comments Off

Happiness is a choice

From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice. There are things, like the weather, that our Circle of Influence will never include. But as proactive people, we can carry our own physical or social weather with us. We can be happy and accept those things that at present we can’t control, while we focus our efforts on the things that we can.

We Are Climbing..., by drp

Do you carry your own weather inside  you?

February 22, 2011   Comments Off

Affected by the weather?

Some ideas about how weather affects different people, from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and their performance. Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them.

SUNFLAIR, by Sandra Marek

Reactive people are also affected by their social environment, by the “social weather”. When people treat them well, they feel well; when people don’t, they become defensive or protective. Reactive people build their emotional lives around the behavior of others, empowering the weaknesses of other people to control them.

Does your mood depend on the weather?

guaranteed, by Ramon Rosati

February 18, 2011   3 Comments

Leaving gravity

Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, notes that changing habits are hard.

Habits have tremendous gravity pull – more than most people realize or would admit. Breaking deeply imbedded habitual tendencies such as procrastination, impatience, criticalness, or selfishness that violate basic principles of human effectiveness involves more than a little willpower and a few minor changes in our lives. “Lift off” takes a tremendous effort, but once we break out of the gravity pull, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension.

guaranteed, by Ramon Rosati

Yet another use for the Pareto principle – the first 20% of change takes 80% of the energy?

February 15, 2011   Comments Off

Essence of proactivity

Stephen Covey defines proactivity in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.

Can you control your impulses?

rhızomıng εmεrgεncε▲submεrgεncε plεats, by jef safi

February 12, 2011   Comments Off

That thought is the problem

it's that time again..., by Luke Montague

If you want to change your life, start with yourself. Or, as expressed by Stephen Covey’s in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Anytime we think the problem is “out there”, that thought is the problem.

Now, where was that problem, again?

February 9, 2011   Comments Off

“I choose to”

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey suggests that our language and choice of words are important for our level of proactivity, or consciousness.

El Capitan, by Wes Browning

Here follows a couple of examples of reactive language, followed by a more appropriate proactive way to say the same thing.

  • There’s nothing I can do. – Let’s look at our alternatives.
  • That’s just the way I am. – I can choose a different approach.
  • He makes me so mad. – I control my own feelings.
  • They won’t allow that. – I can create an effective presentation.
  • I have to do that. – I will choose an appropriate response.
  • I can’t. – I choose.
  • I must. – I prefer.
  • If only. – I will.

So, next time you find yourself saying “I have to clean my apartment,” stop behaving like a victim and say “I choose to clean my apartment (because while I may not enjoy cleaning, I prefer it to having a messy apartment).”

December 22, 2009   Comments Off