7 Habits Of Highly Effective People By Stephen Covey Actionable Takeaways | Accelerator Note #5

Welcome to Accelerator Note number five which is going to be on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

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I’ve put together some actionable takeaways for you to apply in your lives which will hopefully benefit!

This book is all about mastering yourself first. Instead of looking at the external world, if you master yourself first then everything else will come together. Stephen does a great job in identifying these habits; every one of them is so powerful.

The Seven Habits:

  • Be proactive
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first
  • Always think win-win
  • Seek first to understand
  • Synergy
  • Sharpen the saw

I’m going to expand on these 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and what I really got from them with three key takeaways.

Key takeaways:

Aged 100, what is important?

This really focuses in on habit two and three, which are 'begin with the end in mind' and 'put first things first'. Think about when you’re 100 years old looking back on your life; what’s important to you? This is literally what I journal about every single morning – I think about what is important to me. That will tell you what the end looks like.

You don’t have to be crystal clear on this, just start thinking about things, then you might get some idea.  The idea of putting first things first is to stop being reactive to everybody else’s wants and start being in control of what you want.

Urgency versus importance quadrant – if something’s important and urgent it gives you quite a lot of stress. What we want to do is get to the point where we’re working on things that are not urgent but are important. This is why first things first is so evocative, because it gets you to think about whether things are important. We don’t want the stress of doing things that are urgent, we want to be calm, collected and focused.


This goes intro habit number one which is proactive. I really like this because responsibility, if you split it up, you’ve got response ability and response able. Basically, we all have the ability to react to any given situation. Whatever life throws your way, you have the ability to react! How response able are you?

When you respond, your responses should come from your values, not your feelings. So if you’re feeling fed up one day, angry and frustrated, if you have to respond to a situation you might end up losing your temper with somebody and whatever it is isn’t their fault. You need to start being responsible of how you’re responding to the world based off the values that you have in life; courage, support, desire, integrity – rather than getting caught in the moment feeling sorry for yourself.

Stop and review

This pertains to habit number seven – sharpen the saw. All of the habits are important, but I really like the story behind this habit. It was basically that a guy is hacking down a tree with a blunt saw, somebody stops and asks if he’s thought about sharpening his saw. The man chopping the tree responds that he doesn’t have time to sharpen his saw.

This made me think of times in my life where I’ve been going 100 miles per hour everywhere trying to get everything done, but what has really helped is stopping and reviewing. So make that time to check in on your goals and progress. I do that through my monthly goals reports. I have my coaching calls with my own coach where we talk about my progress and what I could be doing differently.

Questions and actions

Do you have a vision for your life?

Do you take your own responsibility in your own life? If you say something, follow through with it. How response able are you?

Take the time today to sharpen the saw! If you do need to stop and create the ultimate vision for your life, it might just be a great day to do that.

I hope you enjoy these actionable takeaways! Let me know in the comments and keep taking massive action! 🙂

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