The 7 Habits Each chapter is dedicated to one of the habits,[2] which are represented by the following imperatives:

[edit] Independence or Self-Mastery

The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (i.e. self mastery):

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive

Synopsis: Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow.

  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Synopsis: Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

  • Habit 3: Put First Things First

Synopsis: Plan, prioritize, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

[edit] Interdependence

The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e. working with others):

  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Synopsis: Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

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

Synopsis: Use empathetic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

  • Habit 6: Synergize

Synopsis: Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

[edit] Self Renewal

The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:

  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Synopsis: Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle.

[edit] Abundance mentality

Covey coined the idea of abundance mentality or abundance mindset, a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and success to share with others. He contrasts it with the scarcity mindset (i.e. destructive and unnecessary competition), which is founded on the idea that, if someone else wins or is successful in a situation, that means you lose; not considering the possibility of all parties winning (in some way or another) in a given situation. Individuals with an abundance mentality are able to celebrate the success of others rather than feel threatened by it.[3]
A number of books appearing in the business press since then[when?] have discussed the idea.[4] Covey contends that the abundance mentality arises from having a high self-worth and security (see Habits 1, 2, and 3), and leads to the sharing of profits, recognition and responsibility.[5] Organizations may also apply an abundance mentality when doing business.[6]

[edit] The Upward Spiral

Covey explains the “Upward Spiral” model in the sharpening the saw section. Through our conscience, along with meaningful and consistent progress, the spiral will result in growth, change, and constant improvement. In essence, one is always attempting to integrate and master the principles outlined in The 7 Habits at progressively higher levels at each iteration. Subsequent development on any habit will render a different experience and you will learn the principles with a deeper understanding. The Upward Spiral model consists of three parts: learn, commit, do. According to Covey, one must be increasingly educating the conscience in order to grow and develop on the upward spiral. The idea of renewal by education will propel one along the path of personal freedom, security, wisdom, and power.[7]

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