The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Book Summary

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Book Summary
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Book Summary

Published by Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a book which spread like fire as soon as it was first published. People suddenly realised how carelessly they have been living so far and wasting huge amount of time. They also got to know where they should head in order to make themselves more productive, happier and satisfied.

The book has been a huge success and has sold millions of copies. It’s an easy to read and a great summation of happy and productive life hacks.

Summary Read Time: Less than 5 minutes

Actual Book Length: 372

First Published in: 1988

Below is the detailed yet quick summary of the book:

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Covey says, you are the architect of your life and it is you who will take the full ownership of your victories.

After each emotion or thought, comes our response which is driven by our instinct, memory and habit. But before our response, there’s a gap in which our conscious mind can intervene. We need to take a moment and think consciously and then respond which is motivated towards our ownership and growth.

It basically boils down to trying to take the ownership and make the decisions by thinking consciously before taking decisions instead of simply relying on your instincts & habits.

Habit 2: Start with the End in Mind

It helps a ton when you a clear destination in your mind. This habit basically suggests to keep the desired result or end in mind so that we can take our actions consciously which can drive us towards it and not get us diverted in between.

The vision is very important and that is something about which we need to be aware from the very start.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Prioritisation is super important. We need to get things in order so that we can prioritise the most important things on top of our list to execute. This needs high discipline so that we stay on our focused lane and keep executing the priority things.

And here we need to note that, its not about to

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

In most relationships, people usually care about their win. It’s important that you make the other party win as well along with yourself. This mentality is called win-win which contributes to a great deal towards your personal growth and your aspirations in life. You see if you manage to keep the other party also happy, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships which come in very handy in the long run.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

Before suggesting solutions or ideas, it’s very important to listen to the argument or what the problem is. We should not jump to conclusions without getting the complete context offered and listen with empathy.

This habit is very useful and offers us the complete scope without speaking our minds. We should then process the information listened and come up with our solution/advice or takeaway.

Habit 6: Synergize

This habit says that by understanding the perspective of others and valuing their opinions/initiatives, one gets to build stronger relationships and bring more meaningful outcomes.

Habit 6 is formed by the combination of all the habits listed above. Covey quotes “When one plus one equals three or more than its parts of combination, that is when synergy takes place”.

It allows & opens new initiatives as well as alternatives for us.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Habit 7 is all about renewal of yourselves. To be effective throughout, you’ll need to take care of yourselves and your abilities. That is why we need to spend time on polishing our ourselves in all possible manners like spiritually, mentally, physically and socially.

Below are few things listed as per Covey which can help us polish ourselves for better endurance.


  • Eat well
  • Get sufficient rest
  • Exercise regularly to build strength, stamina and flexibility.


  • Meditate daily
  • Try communicating with nature by observing it closely
  • Immerse yourselves in good literature & music.


  • Read good literature in the form of books or blogs
  • Journal all your thoughts, experiences and insights captured
  • Watch only those tv shows/movies which enrich your life and mind

Socially & Emotionally:

  • Try understanding other people deeply
  • Contribute to projects that help others
  • Be helpful and seek to help others find success

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Published By: Anant

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