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Seven habits of highly successful people

Seven habits of highly successful people

The seven habits and short summary of each one of the 7 habits

What you will find in this article:

  • Our expert mindmap version of the seven habits
  • Your free download of the interactive seven habits mindmap
  • A list of the seven habits
  • A shot summary of each habit
  • Implementation guidelines
  • More Google search resources
Seven habits of highly successful people

Seven habits of highly successful people Mindmap

This article is with thanks to Stephen Covey and his book on seven 7 habits of highly successful or effective people.

The 7 habits and a short summary of each

Habit 1: Be proactive in doing and planning

Make it a habit to know your purpose, objectives and plans, makes it easier to take the right actions. How to overcome the traditional fears that keep us from taking action is answered in the application section below.

  • Choose your actions after careful consideration.

    The important habit is to be pro-active in the first place. Choosing the right action with knowledge and confidence helps you do what you have chosen to do.

    Time is the most valuable commodity in our lives. We were given life and thus time for free.

    The hours we have in a life time are limited and thus our most valuable commodity. Fill those hours with what give you the results you want.

  • Getting and keep things done are a most valuable habit.

    The habit to make lists and sort them into priorities is part of the habits of most successful effective people.

    Organize your lists in logical bundles to make execution easier and more effective.

    Such lists helps you plan, delegate and saying no.

    The book and courses on getting and keeping things done will help tremendously.

  • Consider alternatives in Thesis and anti-thesis

    The habit to think in structured ways includes the process of thesis and anti-thesis to stimulate discovering alternatives. Alternatives are required for planning, communicating and more.

  • You are only responsible for yourself and to others.

    The habit to take and own responsibility only for yourself helps you being responsible to others.

    You are responsible to others. Realize it is a choice.

    Choose, add and manage actions from what is important to you and not urgent

    Being pro-active means avoiding what is urgent to others and not important to you at all. Know the difference and be pro-active in saying NO!

  • Recognize and know what you can influence and not influence

    The habit of pro-activeness means you identify where you have no influence and then let it go. You focus on the useful task almost immediately when you get busy with your next clear urgent important action.

  • Take responsibility for results.

Always take total ownership for results. Where you delegate or work in a team, you assist others, ensure right resources and verify with people who knows more about the subject.

Failing forward happens when you learn from the failure.

Handling failure as a positive part of the learning curve let you take the right action.

The key difference between effective and successful people and the not yet successful is how they handle failures. A positive learning approach let you overcome the fear of failure, which leads to lack of action or procrastination.

Convert the trigger to positive action from blame or pathologies.

Failures make people run away from opportunities and growth. The negative energy from failures is turned positive by taking ownership and creates alternative solutions. Such an approach let you keep going and growing.

Recognise the negative action thieves by looking for pathology words like, they, always, again, not me, etc.

Habit 2: Begin with the clarified and verified wished for end in mind

Gain insights in what the ideal outcomes of any action or project will be.

  • Communicate the desired outcomes clearly. Now all involved people know what to work towards.
  • Explore your options using exploration, groups and admired experts
  • Every action starts in your mind. Choose proactively what you put in your mind.
  • Plan and execute the plan. Do not hesitate to change the plan with new information.
  • Communicate clear objectives, environment, and outcomes with clear measurable end goals.
  • Verify goals the S.M.A.R.T.M. way. Specific, Measurable, Rewards, Timing, Monitor
  • Think of planning a trip, house, game, etc.
  • A clear goal and actions let you say NO to stuff simply keeping you busy.

Habit 3: Put first things first – How you invest your time.

Understand and communicate what is important and urgent to you. Others will then typically buy in and contribute to your stated communicated objectives.

  • Your purpose, alternatives, goals and plans must be clear.
  • Link to the diagram in the Walk and Talk book.

Habit 3 A. Important and urgent:

  • Delegate tasks where you can.
  • Take quick effective action where you cannot say no.
  • Say no where you can.
  • Can someone else do it?

Habit 3 B. Important and not urgent:

Carefully choose the maintenance, creative, fun and new opportunity activities

Habit 3 C. Not Important and Urgent

  • Say NO easily, quickly and with no stress or fears.
  • Delegate effectively and quickly. Monitor the results and progress.
  • Where tasks are unavoidable or will come back, do the task immediately and quickly.
  • Bundle what you take on into effective slots as in Getting and keeping things done book.

Habit 3 D. Not important and not urgent. Simply say NO!

What will happen if you say no? We often have a fear of the great word NO!

Habit 4: Think win/win

The win/win approach means we optimize and maximize the benefits from a any interaction, project or joint venture.

  • Once task, project or team opportunities are maximized and optimized, we divide the benefits to serve the involved parties.
  • Always focus to maximize and optimize results for both parties involved
  • The win/win way you get more and you attract more opportunities and people.
  • Business, projects and careers need not be like a sport game where one wins and the other loses. We can BOTH WIN!
  • Grow the space by using many tools, models and process
  • Segmentation simply means breaking down any task into two levels down.
  • Alternatives means to find more than one way to reach the goals or objectives.
  • Use models like ZOPA, WATNA, BATNA, etc.

Habit 5: Seek always to understand the other parties, then to be understood by them.

Ask the clarification questions that let you ensure you really understand the communication from other parties. Grow your questioning skills with web knowledge, group exercises and experts. Understand and use models and processes for structured questioning.

  • Ask questions. Use the skill of asking good questions as in Interviews, journalists, Lawyers, etc.
  • Seeking for alternative ways to reach a goal or solve problems expands your world.
  • Various strategies will deliver the results. An example is Parent effectiveness and Strategic Selling. or project management
  • Thinking skills diagrams contribute much to win/win solutions.
  • Process mapping and Swim lanes are such tools.

Habit 6: Find synergistic overlaps between parties

Looking for synergies grows the potential results. Trust is grown when we all agree and enforce the rules.

  • Use VENN diagrams to find overlaps and a place for value and requirements of all parties
  • Grow the space for productivity as in the book GO GIVER. Say thank you easily and give freely.
  • Build TRUST in the four elements of trust
  • The future belongs to the synergizes and collaborators. Acquire the skills for the future

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Keep growing and keep it going.

Keep on growing skills as required by specific situations. Situational leaning creates the urgency and compelling event to learn, practice and master new tools, models and processes.

  • Keep your life in balance. The balance wheel spokes: Physical, mental, finances, relationships, ethics, aesthetics, etc.
  • Keep the habit forming processes going and hone the habits

Now let us implement the 7 habits of successful people.

  • Successful and effective people’s habits and competencies came out of the studies in Project zero and Vaillant at HBS
  • Acquire the skills, habits and more of successful effective people. They mostly got it at home in families.
  • Use flow diagrams in your daily work and thinking – Swim lanes examples
  • Use VENN diagrams as a habit in thinking and mapping details to grow insights
  • Use the tools we use and please add the tools you use.
  • We are publishing videos to assist you in the implementation processes
  • We share real life stories happening right now to assist you. You can follow the people on their blogs
  • Three simple steps to get almost anything done we call it ABC GO to get you there!

Living the 7 habits in your life, family, career and or businesses

  • Forming habits or master knowledge you repeat the exercise at least five times says Tony Buzan
  • The brain forms neural paths after five repeats
  • Expand what you know and your contribution increases to let you earn more and more.
  • Create check lists for success
  • Start with a purpose, explore, choose your goals, then plan and execute the plan. You are implementing your choices in an effective successful life.
  • New knowledge goes from unconsciously unaware to subconsciously aware three steps get you there – always! Explore, organize, plan and execute = ABC GO
  • Know yourself and your environment

Careers and 7 habits

  • We apply the 7 habits in career growth in our companies.
  • See the 7 habit application section for the Blueprint
  • Maintain the habits by forming interest groups and drive access to people you admire.
  • Simply discuss the habits one at a time in groups
  • Focus on issues and opportunities in your work place right now
  • Use the same tools to get the job of your heart. See the Blueprint under Applications.
  • 7 habits of Stephen Covey in practical Application areas
  • Plans for business and 7 habits
  • Inculcate 7 habits for teenagers in studies to acquire knowledge and legal requirements for the job you want
  • Careers builders know when, where and how to use the available tools in situations.

How to apply the seven habits in your everyday life

  • Stephen Covey 7 habits in Friends
  • Seven habits for building your Web presence
  • Risk management
  • Personal development
  • Thinking skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • The right actions create necessary expansion of what we belief and value.


  • Grow and expand what you belief and value to ensure success and effectiveness.
  • Values and beliefs often keep us from taking action.
  • Our current values and beliefs drive our decisions.

Here are some more resources

People also searched on Google using the following search terms to find answers to very specific terms in the 7 habits book:

“Personal bank account 7 habits”

The Personal bank account in 7 habits of highly effective people is just like a normal bank account, we can make deposits and withdrawals. In Stephen Covey’s book, the 7 habits of highly effective people, one of the habits is to seek to understand the other person first before you help them understand you. Nothing is probably more damaging to a relationship that having a ME-ME attitude. You want to fill your personal bank account the 7 habits way, so that you have enough when the time comes for a withdrawal.

“7 habits of highly frugal people”

If you are tired of living week to week, of having your phone regularly cut off or having to make excuses to skip dinners with your friends if the money has been bad, then read the 7 habits book. Not surprisingly the seven habits directly translate to the financial aspect in our lives.

“Proactive model 7 habits”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Habit 1 : Be Proactive. Your life is not just a out of control roller coaster ride. Whether you believe it or not, your life gets carefully designed by you through the choices you make every day. Apply the proactive model in 7 habits.

“Stephen Covey training”

Stephen Covey, as well as being a renowned writer, speaker, academic and humanist, has also built a huge training and consultancy products and services. You can find a Covey consultant almost anywhere in the world now. Covey training can be expensive, but it is worth the money.

“Stephen Covey seminars”

You have an opportunity to work with an expert like Dr. Stephen R. Covey. These experts are highly trained to help you create life-balance through living the seven habits of highly effective people. The Covey seminar option is a cheaper option than Covey personal coaching.


How to find the career for you is a six step process

1. Identify and work to get exposure to as many different opportunities as possible

We live in a time where opportunities abound, those that are willing to do the work and spend time connecting will find many doors are already open. Spend time learning about the opportunities you have identified.

2. Which industry attracts you?

Just go with your gut feel. What did you like when you were in school? Which subjects did you excel at? Which books to you enjoy reading?

3. Once you have identified your industry of choice, its time to identify a specific career in that industry

Just start writing a story of your perfect career. How does your perfect work day look like? What do you spend most of your time doing? Who are the people you spend the most time with? Then use the words you wrote down and select a few key descriptive phrases and start doing a Google search.

4. Get more detail on what you enjoy doing

Use free online assessment tools to help you get words to describe your perfect career.

5. Once you have identified your perfect career, research what qualifications you might require

The best way to learn is to join a company that does what you want to do. Even if you do not have the correct qualifications, you can always offer to work for free or in a menial job and learn from people in the company.

This will give you a very good idea that the job and career is about and if you really want to do this job.

6. Build and begin to implement your plan

It is important to learn at your own pace while implementing your plan, getting more experience in your chosen career or business and growing your skills and competencies. Make this recipe a natural part of your day-to-day life. If you take your time and put effort into this process, you will forever enjoy the work you do and your work-life-income will increase exponentially!

It helps to start writing about your career. Why not develop your own website or blog and start writing about a specific niche in the career you chose? Read this post to learn how to identify your online niche quickly: “How do I find my niche?

free own website creationIn todays extremely competitive career world you MUST have a strong online presence. The first place companies look when doing research on people they want to hire is the Internet. And you know how that saying goes:

“If you do not exist on the Internet, you do not exist.”

To understand a bit more about why it is important to get your online presence in order, please read “Making Your Own Website” first.

If you are convinced that you must have a strong web presence, and believe me you should, then the only question remaining is where do you start? Please go and jou this community: “Making own Website”.org and just follow the step by step guidelines. It is a growing community, and new content is being added every day, but you can freely ask questions and get expert help.

To get you started have a look at “Making Your Own Website – The Overview

We strongly recommend you start your own website and not use any free website services. Learn more why we recommend you do not use free own website creation tools.

Your website should be very industry niche focused, do not try to be everything to everyone. Choose a niched in your indstry which you are passionate about and focus on that only.

To get started, join the Making Your Own Website community and freely ask questions, publish your website and boost your career.

Making Own WebsiteIf you are serious about building and expanding your career, you MUST manage your online profile. The simple question here is:

“What do people find when they type your name into Google?”

If you do that quickly…

What do you see? Only your Facebook profile, maybe you have a Linked-In profile, with no photo and three or four connections…

The days of hiring people based on their CV’s and Resumes are over.

The first place a company will look if they consider you as a potentially good applicant is the Internet. They look at who you link to on your Linked-In profile, they look at what you have published online, they look at where you spend your time online. So how do you think it will look if the only place they find you is on non-related communities, or they only find your private FB page?

You MUST participate online in the industry you want to grow your career. Blogs, forums, Linked-In groups, online communities… Even if you feel like you do not have anything to add, YOU DO, so stop thinking you do not.

Join a few forums and answer questions, using your REAL NAME. If someone asks something you do not know, go and research the question quickly and publish answers, become a resource in the community.

You must have a website / blog

In today’s career world, you need to have a website. Join this community to learn how to setup your own website quickly – “Making Own Website“.org – it is a very simple process.

Start by creating a website where you focus on industry related topics, do not mix personal with career or business related topics. Rather run two or three separate websites for each area, but start with your industry related website. If you keep the focus very niche, and you follow the guidelines on the making your own website community, you will be able to earn money from your website as well. But earning money from your website should not the driving focus, it should be a secondary focus, the driving focus should be to add great value to your industry and I guarantee you that the money will follow.

chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Are you feeling tired all the time at work?

You may be suffering from a condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome. It is very hard to diagnose the condition, but if you have constantly been feeling tired for the past six months, then you might well suffer from CFS.

Many people that are very focused and driven at work get the problem, too often they think it’s because they are stressed or is just not getting enough sleep. Both these can contribute to the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, but they are not the main problem.

Women are four times more likely to get CFS. If you have been feeling tired for a prolonged period of time, then go and see your doctor. Tell them you think it’s CFS. There is no specific chronic fatigue syndrome treatment yet, the doctor will usually prescribe a mixture of a sleeping aid and lifestyle changes.

You may be one of the lucky ones and only suffer from bad habits causing your constant feeling of being tired. Why not make a few lifestyle changes. Try this chronic fatigue syndrome diet guidelines and see if you do not feel better a few weeks. Junk food, too little fresh food, too little water can cause lots of trouble.

If you do feel you might be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, then read this post, what is chronic fatigue syndrome for more information.

How balanced is your life wheel?

What is a balanced life wheel?

The balanced wheel is a graphic representation referring to the elements of a balanced life. has a good description of the balanced wheel.”

If your life is too busy or all your energy is focused on a single project then it is easy to find yourself “off balance.” You might not pay enough attention to other important areas of your life. That is when it is time to take a different view of your life in order to ensure that things remain in balance.

The link on the right pane called “Implement the balanced wheel?” will explain and show example dimensions where you can monitor and view your own wheel of life for free.

It is a sure thing that you learn quicker with friends or in a group. Peer group learning is a well-known process – make use of it. Click on the link called “group processes” and find out how you can work within a group and learn from each other.

Which career is right for me? This practical story or example may be useful to you.

Andrew wanted to optimize earnings, future and maintain a life balance with family and friends.

Career development plan implemented for an advanced Marketing or sales career. We called it a Relationship management career.

Choose your next career.

You use your current job to prepare for the next one.

The right career is the one that use all your personal assets.

Consider a basket of career involvements or portfolio career.

I asked Andrew what his understanding of his assets are.

Like most people he could not answer what he enjoys and why he enjoys it.

I used some questions around the following areas to trigger him and the strengths came to the fore very clearly.

What did you do with family and friends, at school, further studies and work environments?

What elements of your personality stands out as strenghts? What elements should be compensated for? Do more of what stands out and less of what you should compensate for with effort.

What are your interests? Did you ever explore wider?

What are your aptitudes? It will be easy to focus on strengths and avoid elements that are less strong.

What do you value and believe? It will be hard to work with people with the opposite values and believes.

Andrew enjoyed communicating, build strong relationships and investigate new fields, companies and products quickly, driven by his curiosity and need to know.

He can work on multiple initiatives at the same time.

He follows through very strongly, which build further on the pillars of trust.

So how does he apply these strengths in what career is right for him?

We realized he could manage a basket of relationships to facilitate large funds flows and participate in the flow of funds!

He is now investigating suitable companies, having identified example companies so that he could start comparing alternatives.

We identified how he could use his current very nice job to expand towards the new basket or portfolio career.

Next we look at packaging and communicating the message to the target beneficiary companies.

He used Johari window to organize and collect all information.

He uses Transaction analysis to ensure growth in communication skills.

He uses  the model that says GROW YOUR LIFE INCOME.

He used the Balance wheel of life to ensure focus in all areas important to him at this time.

Implement the plan!

Attend events where you meet the right people.

Engage and participate with them in more events.

The contracts or job offers will follow easily.

Viola, the job is done.

Andrew now knows more about his strengths, aligned it with WHAT JOB IS RIGHT FOR ME.


Andrew will now keep on doing it.

These tests will help you identify your main areas of personal strength. It is important to understand what work you enjoy doing and keep on developing your career in that direction. Do more of what you like and delegate the things you do not enjoy doing.

Please note that career tests like these are guidelines only. Use the results of these tests to make up your own mind on specific career choices. You gave to trust your instinct and not follow the advice given in any career test blindly. Use the test results to guide your natural instant towards what kind of work you enjoy doing.

Do the career personality test and find the career that suits your personality.
Discover your perfect career through the free personality type quiz.  Read more about the Myers-Briggs type indicator
Another Myers-Briggs type career test.  Match your personality type to your ideal career.
“The Keirsey Temperament Sorter®-II (KTS®-II) is the most widely used personality instrument in the world. It is a powerful 70 question personality instrument that helps individuals discover their personality type.”
Find out what career is best suited for your skills and abilities.
“These are the questions one must think over when looking at career options. It is very important to have a good basic idea of where your strong points lie and what your weaknesses are. This test shows you how to recognize your abilities and how to turn your weaknesses into strong points. This information will increase your opportunities at work and it’ll lead to success in everyday life.”
Determine your passion and match it with a lost of careers and job titles.
Career tests that will help you on your career path.
“Find out which career suits you best.”
10. ICC Web
A personal assessment tool to help you discover your career direction.
“What part of the working world suits you best?”
12. Jobsetc
“Identify your abilities and get a list of matching occupations to explore.”
Find out if you enjoy more working with people, information, things or doing something creative.

What career is right for me? A question we often ask ourselves, whether we are just entering the world of work, considering a midlife career change or have been working for one company for many years. First time career explorers often find themselves overwhelmed by a the magnitude of options available and may, as a result, feel immobilised by a fear of making the wrong decision. Or we might often feel that the answer alludes us in that nothing seems quite right, we like a certain career path for a limited period of time and then we find ourselves bored and uninterested.

Being in either of these scenarios can be super frustrating and may even lead to one feeling a lack of control over the future and experiencing intense disconnection. As uncomfortable as this space may be, it is one where most of us find ourselves in at one stage or another.

The world of work is changing and it is becoming ever more prevalent that we cultivate a creative and dynamic attitude to what it means to forge a career. It comes down to continuous exploration of one’s own interests, aptitudes and talents while linking yourself with compatible work and business opportunities. This might seem like a daunting task, but the process includes some clear steps for you to follow that will add effective career exploration and engagement to your skills set. Finding and following your natural interests should be synonymous with answering the question “What Career is right for me?”

Learn how to equip yourself with tools to better explore and actualise your own potential, transform yourself from a passive passenger into an active participant whether you are currently in a job, looking to change career or planning to start a business.

To identify what career is right for you, you need to know what your core strengths are.

Do a few career tests and career quizzes online to get a good overview. Remember these tests will only give you an overview, these are not results to seen as absolute.

At the end of the day you will decide for yourself what career is right for me.

The right career tests and quizzes will help you

  • Build wealth during careers.
  • Grow your career
  • Choose a new career
  • Find, enter and grow your career.

Quick action steps to take now:

  • Link you with successful people in your career area wider than your company.
  • Learn more about your company’s clients, industry and company.
  • Grow communication skills while you learn more about your natural strengths.

Understand your strengths in the following areas:

  1. Your aptitudes:

Know and communicate you natural strengths

  1. Your interests
  2. Your communication styles

The outcome is that you will grow your core proficiencies and strengths.

4.1 Introduction

In this Assignment, you will present an online exhibition to potential career seeker clients and their communities. The exhibition is meant for interested people within the community and for potential career seekers and employers.  You will want to sell your service and advertise your collaborators’ services to both parties.   The outcome of this career exhibition is a continuous, online career exhibition where you use the websites of companies (as in your careers library) and your experiences with careers seekers.

4.2 PCAR053: Assignment 02

Your workshop and online exhibition connections become a live dynamic, growing, online exhibition and information center to take home and show to the supporters at home.  People in rural areas can now be introduced to and view factories or companies without traveling.  They visit the factory through the Internet, reading the peer group experiences.  Every real visit grows the virtual visits.  They view the visits through peer group eyes!

You can enhance the online exhibitions using the Google Groups, Delicious library, and communicating Blogs.  Publish slides and workshop recordings or photos on your Blog.  The published workshops will work for you even while you sleep!

The Blog can easily record and show the number of visits to your online exhibition.

PCAR053, Unit 4, Assignment 02

  1. How do you start and what should be on your online exhibition?
  2. Create a new Blog, use your old Blog, or experiment with Google groups.  Either one of these will be the base from which you publish your exhibition.
  3. Introduce your career exhibition and explain what it is all about.  Post the workshop slides that you edited on the Blog.
  4. Post the link to your Delicious careers library account.  Remember to tell your audience what the careers library is and why it is necessary!
  5. Are your experiences (workshops and career guidance sessions) with career seekers already on your Blog?  Make sure you publish it.  This is a great way for future, career seeker clients to follow in someone else’s footsteps.  If you recorded or photographed the session (and you have the permission of your client), post the recording/video or photographs on your Blog, and post the link on your Blog.  We remind you that this is completely optional.
  6. Make space for the business chambers, business, committees, and organizations that you are collaborating with.
  7. Are there any courses, Learnerships, sources of money and any source of information that you came by during this course?  Make sure to publish it on your Blog.
  8. Moreover, finally, email the link to this career exhibition Blog to everyone that you know.  Gain maximum value for yourself and the program by making it public!

4.3 Conclusion

In order to pass PCAR053 you will now need to submit the Internet link for your online careers exhibition Blog.

Again, refer back to PCAR01V Unit 6 and Unit 7.  Select information from your MiCareer Book that you want to communicate and work it into your Blog.  Remember that this is your marketing tool.  Make sure that you communicate your opportunities, preferences, skills, and experiences.


The purpose of this assignment is to bring the career guidance process to anyone who needs it.  It provides you with a further opportunity to implement and market your catalytic services!  Keep this in mind as you complete this last section and see the exercise as a reason to connect with resources to build your future beneficiaries or clientele with career guidance experiences in the safety of the Unisa course.


We trust that you now understand the process, which PCAR follows.  Are you comfortable with the process?  You should now be ready for practical preparation, application, and finally success as a career guidance practitioner as a career or an own practice.  We will greatly appreciate any feedback and criticism.  The course thrives and grows from criticism and feedback.