From the author of one of the greatest personal development books ever written The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, have surfaced a great deal of life-changing lessons. Stephen Covey’s books are and will always be appreciated by people all over the world, in all areas of life.
Whether you’re a professional looking for motivation, a partner looking to improve their relationship or simply wanting to be a better YOU, then this is for you. Here we go.
30 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from the Inspiring Stephen Covey
1. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”~ Stephen Covey
2. It takes honesty to know who you truly are.
“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”~ Stephen Covey
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”~ Stephen Covey
4. Spend more time on what is important.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” ~ Stephen Covey
5. Decide what are your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smiling, nonapoloegetically – to say ‘no’ to other things.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smiling, nonapoloegetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”~ Stephen Covey
6. To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.
“To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”~ Stephen Covey
7. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.
“If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” ~ Stephen Covey
8. If you really want to improve your situation you can work on the one thing over which you have control- yourself.
“If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself.” Stephen Covey
“Be a light not a judge. Be a model not a choice. be part of the solution not part of the problem.”~ Stephen Covey
10. Strength lies in differences not in similarities.
“Strength lies in differences not in similarities.”~ Stephen Covey
11. Motivation is a fire from within. Only you can light that fire within yourself.
“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”~ Stephen Covey
12. Get a clear picture of your priorities that is values, goals, and high leverage activities, organize your life around them.
“Once you have a clear picture of your priorities that is values, goals, and high leverage activities, organize your life around them.”~ Stephen Covey
13. Highly proactive’s behavior is a product of their own conscious choices.
“Highly proactive people don’t blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice.”~ Stephen Covey
14. When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.
“When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”~ Stephen Covey
15. Trust is the glue of life.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”~ Stephen Covey
16. To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.
“To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.”~ Stephen Covey
17. It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it.
“It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it. People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive the mistakes of the heart, the ill intention, the bad motives, the prideful justifying cover-up of the first mistake.”~ Stephen Covey
“Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her.”~ Stephen Covey
19. Reading good literature is the best way to inform and expand your mind.
“There’s no better way to inform and expand you mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature.”~ Stephen Covey
20. How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.
“How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.”~ Stephen Covey
21. Our lives are different when we really know what is deeply important to us.
“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.”~ Stephen Covey
“Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement, no commitment.”~ Stephen Covey
23. When air is charged with emotions, an attempt to teach is often perceived as a form of judgment and rejection.
“When air is charged with emotions, an attempt to teach is often perceived as a form of judgment and rejection.”~ Stephen Covey
“We are not our feelings. We are not our moods. We are not even our thoughts. The very fact that we can think about these things separates us from them and from the animal world. Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine even the way we “see” ourselves—our self-paradigm, the most fundamental paradigm of effectiveness. It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors, but also how we see other people.”
25. Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.
“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”
26. The more serious identity theft is to get swallowed up in other people’s definition of you.
“We hear a lot about identity theft when someone takes your wallet and pretends to be you and uses your credit cards. But the more serious identity theft is to get swallowed up in other people’s definition of you.”
27. Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.
“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”~ Stephen Covey
28. You can buy a person’s hand, but you can’t buy his heart.
“You can buy a person’s hand, but you can’t buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm, his loyalty is. You can buy his back, but you can’t buy his brain. That’s where his creativity is, his ingenuity, his resourcefulness.”~ Stephen Covey
“The way we see things is the source of the way we think or the way we act.”~ Stephen Covey
30. Someone who is willing to work through any life challenge has a supreme power of choice.
“Show me someone who is humble enough to accept and take responsibility for his or her circumstances and courageous enough to take whatever initiative is necessary to creatively work his or her through or around these challenges, and I’ll show you supreme power of choice.”~ Stephen Covey
“All the well-meaning advice in the world won’t amount to a hill of beans if we’re not even addressing the real problem.”
“When all you want is a person’s body and you don’t really want their mind, heart or spirit, you have reduced a person to a thing.”
“Principles are the territory. Values are maps. When we value correct principles, we have truth — a knowledge of things as they are.”
“As a principle-centered person, you see things differently. And because you see things differently, you think differently, you act differently. Because you have a high degree of security, guidance, wisdom, and power that flows from a solid, unchanging core, you have the foundation of a highly proactive and highly effective life.”
“Principles are like lighthouses. They are natural laws that cannot be broken. As Cecil B. DeMille observed of the principles contained in his monumental movie, The Ten Commandments, “It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.” While”
“When two people in a marriage are more concerned about getting the golden eggs, the benefits, than they are in preserving the relationship that makes them possible, they often become insensitive and inconsiderate, neglecting the little kindnesses and courtesies so important to a deep relationship.
They begin to use control levers to manipulate each other, to focus on their own needs, to justify their own position and look for evidence to show the wrongness of the other person. The love, the richness, the softness and spontaneity begin to deteriorate.”
“Many families are managed on the basis of crises, moods, quick fixes, and instant gratification—not on sound principles. Symptoms surface whenever stress and pressure mount: people become cynical, critical, or silent or they start yelling and overreacting. Children who observe these kinds of behavior grow up thinking the only way to solve problems is flight or fight.”
“Many people seem to think that success in one area can compensate for failure in other areas. But can it really?…True effectiveness requires balance.”
“Our problems and pain are universal and increasing, and the solutions to the problems are and always will be based upon universal, timeless, self-evident principles common to every enduring, prospering society throughout history.”
“Proactive people make love a verb. Love is something you do: the sacrifices you make, the giving of self, like a mother bringing a newborn into the world… Love is a value that is actualized through loving actions. Proactive people subordinate feeling to values. Love, the feeling, can be recaptured.”
“In the space between stimulus (what happens) and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose. Ultimately, this power to choose is what defines us as human beings. We may have limited choices but we can always choose. We can choose our thoughts, emotions, moods, our words, our actions; we can choose our values and live by principles. It is the choice of acting or being acted upon.”
“Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase. Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern.
They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. The negative energy generated by that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do something about, causes their Circle of Influence to shrink.”
“Where we stand depends on where we sit.” Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are—or, as we are conditioned to see it.
When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them.”
“Wisdom is the child of integrity—being integrated around principles. And integrity is the child of humility and courage. In fact, you could say that humility is the mother of all virtues because humility acknowledges that there are natural laws or principles that govern the universe.
They are in charge. Pride teaches us that we are in charge. Humility teaches us to understand and live by principles, because they ultimately govern the consequences of our actions. If humility is the mother, courage is the father of wisdom. Because to truly live by these principles when they are contrary to social mores, norms and values takes enormous courage.”
“But the underlying chronic condition remains, and eventually new acute symptoms will appear. The more people are into quick fix and focus on the acute problems and pain, the more that very approach contributes to the underlying chronic condition. The way we see the problem is the problem.”ttru
“I have seen the consequences of attempting to shortcut this natural process of growth often in the business world, where executives attempt to “buy” a new culture of improved productivity, quality, morale, and customer service with strong speeches, smile training, and external interventions, or through mergers, acquisitions, and friendly or unfriendly takeovers.
But they ignore the low-trust climate produced by such manipulations. When these methods don’t work, they look for other Personality Ethic techniques that will—all the time ignoring and violating the natural principles and processes on which a high-trust culture is based.”
“My wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can i do?”
“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked.
“That’s right,” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“You don’t understand. the feeling of love just isn’t there.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend , love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her. Serve her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”
“While we must learn from good examples and keep always in mind the bigger goal, we must compare ourselves only with ourselves. We can’t focus or base our happiness on another’s progress; we can focus only on our own.”
“The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves precedes making and keeping promises to others. It says it is futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve relationships with others before improving ourselves.”