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DHARIK PATEL

Critical Commentary on 7
Habits of Highly Effective
People
Assignment (Entrepreneurship)
Prepared By Dharik Patel (S0456101)

S0456101

Critical Commentary of 7 Habits of Highly


Effective People
After thoroughly reading of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People based on
powerful lessons in personal change by Stephen R. Covey, I learned that I
need to cultivate certain habits in my life to get an effective and efficient
quality life. Habits are powerful and crucial factor of our life. Dr. Stephen
Covey was a dominant management guru. One of the reasons why the book
was so well received and has continued to gain the acceptance of people all
over the world is because of the material contained within. The concepts,
thoughts, and the principles themselves, which Covey presents

are

comprehensible and build upon each other flawlessly. As habits are


consistent, often unconscious patterns and they express our character on
daily bases. Integrity, honesty, mortification, courage, endurance moral
values are the characteristics of the foundation of our success in life. If we
want to achieve something then there are main three aspects we supposed
to have.
1) Knowledge about that thing (what to do).
2) Appropriate skill to get that thing (how to do).
3) Passion (desire) to achieve the goal.

If these three things combined together then we can achieve the goal
successfully. So habits are defined as the Intersection of knowledge, skill and
desire.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Aristotle
I totally agree with the definition of habits. If we do not have any
knowledge about the particular thing or field then we cant go further
towards the goal of that field. Even having knowledge of that thing, we cant
achieve to the destination unless we figure out about the procedure and
dedication towards it.
The described 7 Habits in this book are a remarkable set of beneficial
and aspirational standards for anyone who seeks to live a purposeful and
qualitative life, and are applicable in business world - and life beyond
business and work - become more adapted to humanist concepts.
Effective habits are not inbuilt in humans nature. But we have to
develop those habits in our routine life to enjoy successful and stress less
life. Maturity comes in humans nature by getting older in age and by real-life
experiences. There is a sequence of maturity starts from totally dependence
to independence to interdependence.

In this book author has focused on effectiveness of life. Effectiveness


lies on two things, Production of our desired results and production
capabilities that produce the desired results.

When I was in 12th science grade, it was final board exam time and I
was not enough confident about my exam preparation because I did
not prepare well. And I failed that exam. So I desired that I would be
passed with distinction in the exam without making strong effort. But
that is not enough to get your goal. You should be capable to push
yourself in it completely and then you can enjoy the fruit of desire.

There are 7 habits described for effective life, help us to develop our
personality in a progressive manner. First three habits teach us about the
private victory where we learn to move from maturity level dependence to
independence by taking responsibility for our own life.

Habits 4 to 6 teach us how to

get public victory by moving from independence to interdependence by


applying efforts with the help of other people. And the last Habit 7 involves the
restoration and equity of our mind, body and spirit.

Habit 1: To Be Proactive
Mature people always know the reason behind everything happened
with them. They never blame external elements for the reason. This is the
bitter truth of our life. We have to accept that we are the responsible for

what happened in our life and try to resolve or deal with it rather than
blaming other things.

If I need huge amount of money to pay my tuition fees even though I


spent a lot of money in parties and hangouts then I will definitely owed
money from other people. So I cant blame to my work or other
necessary expenses for my depth. So I have to accept that I wasted
my valuable money for just hangouts even though I need them very
badly.

Reactive people always find reasons to escape from the situation they
have created. They always feel that they are powerless, affected by their
physical environment and pretend like they are helpless. Happiness,
unhappiness is a proactive choice. To apply any new innovative formula
someone has to be initiative. Taking the initiative does not mean to be
pushy,

obnoxious

or

aggressive

but

it

means

that

determine

our

responsibility to make it applicable.


We should no spend our precious time focusing on such events that we dont
have control on them rather than focusing on those events that we can
control. For example if we are waiting for very important call. Some people
(reactive) stress out waiting for the call which is a bad habit because we
cant control when the phone call comes. On the other hand, others simply
spend their time focusing on the things they can control and try to do some
productive work the phone call will eventually come.

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind


We should have goals and values in our life to achieve something.
Without any goal we cant visualize our path of destination. This habit is
based on personal leadership which leads towards the personal development
and successive life. If you set the goal and mission to get that thing you can
easily make your own way towards it. We should create personal mission
statement to clarify these goals and values because this will help us during
the journey to deal with the challenges and help us to retain our values and
ethics.

So it starts from the end. Like in our funeral what others will talk about
me? What do I want them to say? This kind of questions will produce
the mission and goals of our life.

Management is doing things right and leadership is doing right


things. When you are focusing on the particular task just think about the
results getting out from that. There is a carpenters rule, measure twice, cut
once. If you made any changes then it would never be with the same format
so before you make any change just think twice about the results.
Management is productivity in climbing the ladder of success; leadership
regulates whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

I am attaching the one image which describes the moral of this habit.
From this image we can assume the importance of thinking the end
before we start to do anything.

This image tells us that we have to think at least once about the ending
result before we start to do that.

Habit 3: Put First Thing First


We should develop our own task schedule according to the priorities of
each and every task. By managing and planning of our schedule we would be
able to deal with them in a certain way.

There are four 4 quadrants in which our tasks basically fall into:

1) Important and Urgent: which includes last minute change in project or


task, crises could have been prevented at last moment with immediate
decision
2) Important but Not Urgent: which includes productive meetings and
setting the goals
3) Not Important but Urgent: phone calls, email which needs to reply
4) Not Important not Urgent: web surfing, idling
The schedule allocated according to quadrant 2 will greatly enhance
effectiveness and helps to achieve long term success.
Setting the priorities of the tasks is the most important thing. To set
the priorities we have to apply first two habits because sometimes ladder of
success might be leaning towards the wrong wall. If we do not have taken
the responsibility and clearly decided the goal then there will be no meaning
of the priorities that we have set.

Habit 4: Think Win/Win


In the business world, always someone is winning at the expense or
exclusion of success or win of others. There is a mentality set in most of the
people like there always been pros and cons for every reasons like win/loss,
strong or weak, hardball or softball. There are five different philosophies
discussed in the book but which one is the best that we cant say at
particular one reason because it depends on situation and condition.

Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood


It is based on Empathic Communication. I think I am very bad at this
type of situation where people try to understand me I couldnt express the
actual situation. Sometimes I know the reason behind the action but not able
to tell or explain everyone else and they try the wrong one.

So in this habit Stephen gave us the example of a teenage boy who


has difficulty in expressing his problem and meanwhile parent is trying
to guess the solution without knowing actual problem. So an effective
communicator tries to understand and recognize as much information
as possible about the situation before he comes at the final decision or
action for the matter. If anyone tries to explain or express the
situation, we need to hear the whole situation carefully because
sometime it requires full story before any action is revealed as a
speakers perspective.

Habit 6: Synergize
To work effectively within a team with the agreement of others
suggestions called synergize. Because of this reason this book has
considered synergize as the highest activity of life.

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and test of our
civilization Mahatma Gandhi
Habit 6 can also be used to create substitute solutions when there are
apparently conflicting differences in opinions or stands.

In routine life I applied number of times this strategy like synergize.


When other family members views and mine conflicted, then my
father always found the third way kind of solution for that issue and
we all agreed with them and succeed very well. Once we had different
choices of places for the vacation among family members. After deep
conversation we figured out the one place which is approved by
everyone. Everyone was happy with that decision and everyones
needs satisfied at that place. We can break one wood stick with our
hand but if we take dozen of stick together and try to break them
would be impossible for one person.

No one compromised and

everyone was happy. So thats called synergize.

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw


This is based on principles of balanced self-restoration with the help of four
main aspects:
Physical, Social/Emotional, Mental and Spiritual

In this habit Stephen focused on the personal care. In the race of success
and quality life people are being careless about their health. They dont care
about their nutrition and get medical problems as well as mental problems.
Because of this kind of problem they couldnt maintain themselves in the
business and have to gain loss in that. I always prefer to do Yoga that never
takes longer than 20 minutes but that stays me away from mental and
physical depression so I can focus on my studies and other works. Everyone
would take one hour to do something mentally stimulating, like reading a
book or doing a puzzle, then everyone would spend one hour doing
something physically revitalizing, like working in the garden or running or
something.

Conclusion:
In a conclusion I believe that the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is
one of the most powerful books in 21st century but only if you are within book
target market but outside of it then you might not get something from it.
Lack of education and mental retardation might be the reason for your failure
to understand this book. Dr. Stephen has described the conceptual base for
effective and purposeful life. We got the over view about how 7 habits can
improve the quality of our life.