The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

First published in 1989 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Cover rapidly became a bestseller. Plenty of things to learn from this book in order to become more effective in all aspects of your life.

The 7 habits are as follow:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win/Win
  5. Seek First to Understand . . . Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

The first three are key to obtaining the “Private Victory” while the next three are key to obtaining the “Public Victory” all while transitioning from Dependence to Independence and then to Interdependence.

identify and apply the principle or natural law that governs the results you seek.

p. 7

we live in an interdependent reality, and our most important accomplishments require interdependency skills well beyond our present abilities.

p. 8

the supreme power of choice.

p. 9

I am the creative force of my life.

p. 9

In all of life, there are sequential stages of growth and development. A child learns to turn over, to sit up, to crawl, and then to walk and run. Each step is important and each one takes time. No step can be skipped.

p. 36

“A thousand-mile journey begins with the first step” and can only be taken one step at a time.

p. 37

The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves precedes making and keeping promises to others.

p. 43

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

~ Aristotle

p. 46

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny,” the maxim goes.

p. 46

This fable is the story of a poor farmer who one day discovers in the nest of his pet goose a glittering golden egg. At first, he thinks it must be some kind of trick. But as he starts to throw the egg aside, he has second thoughts and takes it in to be appraised instead.

The egg is pure gold! The farmer can’t believe his good fortune. He becomes even more incredulous the following day when the experience is repeated. Day after day, he awakens to rush to the nest and find another golden egg. He becomes fabulously wealthy; it all seems too good to be true.

But with his increasing wealth comes greed and impatience. Unable to wait day after day for the golden eggs, the farmer decides he will kill the goose and get them all at once. But when he opens the goose, he finds it empty. There are no golden eggs – and now there is no way to get any more. The farmer has destroyed the goose that produced them.

. . .

But as the story shows, true effectiveness is a function of two things: what is produces (the golden eggs) and the producing asset or capacity to produce (the goose).

If you adopt a pattern of life that focuses on golden eggs and neglects the goose, you will soon be without the asset that produces golden eggs. On the other hand, if you only take care of the goose with no aim toward the golden eggs, you soon won’t have the wherewithal to feed yourself or the goose.

Effectiveness lies in the balance – what I call the P/PC Balance. P stands for production of desired results, the golden eggs. PC stands for production capability, the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs.

p. 53-54

The P/PC Balance is the very essence of effectiveness.

p. 59

“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value. Haven know how to put a proper price on its goods”

p. 62 Thomas Paine

We are not our feelings. We are not our moods. We are not even our thoughts. The very fact that we can think about these things separates us from them and from the animal world. Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine even the way we “see” ourselves

p. 66-67

He could decide within himself how all of this was going to affect him.

p. 69 speaking about Victor Frankl and how the Nazis took everything they could from him but they could never take “the last of human freedoms”, namely the ability to think, to be self-aware and use this mind’s eye to imagine himself in totally different circumstances. This gave him more power and freedom than his Nazi captors.

Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.

p. 70

self-awareness […] imagination […] conscience […]

And we have independent will – the ability to act based on our self-awareness, free of all other influences.

p. 70

Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feeling to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.

p. 71

Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.

Because we are, by nature, proactive, if our lives are a function of conditioning and conditions, it is because we have, by conscious decision or by default, chosen to empower those things to control us.

p. 71

The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. […] Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.

p. 72

“No one can hurt you without your consent.”

p. 72 Eleanor Roosevelt

“They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them”

p. 72 Gandhi

It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.

p. 73

there are three central values in life – the experiential, or that which happens to us; the creative, or that which we bring into existence; and the attitudinal, or our response in difficult circumstances such as terminal illness.

p. 74

what matters most is how we respond to what we experience in life.

Difficult circumstances often create paradigm shifts, whole new frames of reference by which people see the world and themselves and others in it, and what life is asking of them. Their larger perspective reflects the attitudinal values that lift and inspire us all.

p. 75

Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase.

p. 83

Because of position, wealth, role, or relationships, there are some circumstances in which a person’s Circles of Influence is larger than his or her Circle of Concern.

p. 85

When we change one part of the chemical formula, we change the nature of the results.

p. 86

It’s the nature of reactive people to absolve themselves of responsibility.

p. 88

Anytime we think the problem is “out there,” that thought is the problem.

p. 89

Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice.

p. 90

Chasing after the poisonous snake that bites us will only drive the poison through our entire system. It is far better to take measures immediately to get the poison out.

Our response to any mistake affects the quality of the next moment. It is important to immediately admit and correct our mistakes so that they have no power over that next moment and we are empowered again.

p. 91

Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

p. 93

When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it – immediately.

p. 93

We are responsible for our own effectiveness, for our own happiness, and ultimately, I would say, for most of our circumstances.

p. 93

“The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.”

p. 93 Samuel Johnson

The carpenter’s rule is “measure twice, cut once.”

p. 99

“Managements is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

p. 101 in the words of both Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis

Efficient management without effective leadership is, as one individual has phrased it, “like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.” […] But leadership is hard because we’re often caught in a management paradigm.

p. 102

The essence of “logotherapy,” the philosophy he later developed and taught, is that many so-called mental and emotional illnesses are really symptoms of an underlying sense of meaninglessness or emptiness.

p. 108

As we work within the very center of our Circle of Influence, we expand it. This is highest leverage PC work, significantly impacting the effectiveness of every aspect of our lives.

Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our secutiry, guidance, wisdom, and power.

p. 109

The ideal, of course, is to create one clear center from which you consistently derive a high degree of security, guidance, wisdom, and power, empowering your proactivity and giving congruency and harmony to every part of your life.

p. 122 the centers being either spouse, family, money, work, possessions, pleasure, friend, enemy, church, self

correct principles do not change. We can depend on them.

Principles don’t react to anything. They don’t get mad and treat us differently.

p. 122

We are limited, but we can push back the borders of our limitations.

p. 123

Correct maps enable us to clearly see where we want to go and how to get there. We can make our decisions using correct data that will make their implementation possible and meaningful.

The personal power that comes from principle-centered living is the power of a self-aware, knowledgeable, proactive individual, unrestricted by attitude, behaviors, and actions of others or by many of the circumstances and environmental influences that limit other people.

p. 123

We are free to choose our actions, based on our knowledge of correct principles, but we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. Remember, “If you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other.”

p. 123

And the more we know of correct principles, the greater is our personal freedom to act wisely.

By centering our lives on timeless, unchanging principles, we create a fundamental paradigm of effective living. It is the center that puts all other centers in perspective.

p. 123


You see things differently and this you think and act differently from the largely reactive world.

You interpret all of life’s experiences in terms of opportunities of learning and contribution.


Your ability to act reaches far beyond your own resources and encourage highly developed levels of interdependency.

p. 124 From a full page table-like content with “If you are … Principle Centered”

And if that center does not empower you as a proactive person, it becomes fundamental to your effectiveness to make the necessary paradigm shifts to create a center that will.

p. 127

First, you are not being acted upon other people or circumstances. You are proactively choosing what you determine to be the best alternative. You make your decisions consciously and knowledgeably.

p. 127

As a principle-centered person, you see things differently. And because you see things differently, you think differently, you act differently. Because you have high degree of security, guidance, wisdom, and power that flows from a solid, unchanging core, you have the foundation of a highly proactive and highly effective life.

p. 128

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

p. 129

A mission statement is not something you write overnight. It takes deep introspection, careful analysis, thoughtful expression, and often many rewrites to produce it in final form.

p. 129

“He that is good with a hammer tends to think everything is a nail.”

p. 130 Abraham Maslow similar to the “young lady/old lady” example from the beginning of the book

There are a number of techniques using your imagination that can put you in touch with your values.

p. 132

If you visualize the wrong thing, you’ll produce the wrong thing.

p. 134

all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind.

p. 134

Create an internal “comfort zone.” Then, when you get into the situation, it isn’t foreign. It doesn’t scare you.

p. 134

And it can finally translate itself into daily activities so that you are proactive, you are in charge of your life, you are making happen each day the things that will enable you to fulfill your personal mission statement.

p. 137

the dignity of the individual, excellence, and service.

These things represent the belief system of IBM. Everything else will change, but these three things will not change.

p. 139

Question 1 What one thing could you do (you aren’t doing now) that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?

Question 2 What one thing in your business or professional life would bring similar results?

p. 146

Habit 1 says, “You’re the creator. You are in charge.” It’s based on the four unique human endowments of imagination, conscience, independent will, and particularly, self-awareness. It empowers you to say, “That’s an unhealthy program I’ve been given from my childhood, from my social mirror. I don’t like that ineffective script. I can change.”

p. 146

Habit 2 is the first or mental creation. It’s based on imagination – the ability to envision, to see the potential, to create with our minds what we cannot at present see with out eyes; and conscience – the ability to detect our own uniqueness and the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which we can most happily fulfill it. It’s the deep contact with our basic paradigms and values and the vision of what we can become.

p. 147

Management, remember, is clearly different from leadership. Leadership is primarily a high-powered, right brain activity. It’s more of an art; it’s based on a philosophy. You have to ask the ultimate questions of life when you’re dealing with personal leadership issues.

p. 147

The ability to manage well doesn’t make much difference if you’re not even in the “right jungle.” But if you are in the right jungle, it makes all the difference.

p. 147

Management is discipline, carrying it out.

p. 148

“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do” […] “They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”

That subordination requires a purpose, a mission, a Habit 2 clear sense of direction and value, a burning “yes!” inside that makes it possible to say “no” to other things. It also requires independent will, the power to do something when you don’t want to do it, to be a function of your values rather than a function of the impulse or desire of any given moment. It’s the power to act with integrity to your proactive first creation.

p. 149

Organize and execute around priorities.

p. 149

Satisfaction is a function of expectation as well as realization. And expectation (and satisfaction) lie in our Circle of Influence.

Rather than focusing on things and time, fourth generation expectations focus on preserving and enhancing relationships and on accomplishing results – in short, on maintaining the P/PC Balance.

p. 150

Importance, on the other hand, has to do with results. If something is important, it contributes to your mission, your values, you high priority goals.

We react to urgent matters. Important matters that are not urgent require more initiative, more proactivity. We must act to seize opportunity, to make things happen. If we don’t practice Habit 2, if we don’t have a clear idea of what is important, of the results we desire in our lives, we are easily diverted into responding to the urgent.

p. 151

Quadrant II is the heart of effective personal management.

p. 153

effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems. They think preventively.

p. 154

They were problem solvers, helpers.

p. 155

management follows leadership.

p. 158

True effectiveness requires balance, and your tool needs to help you create and maintain it.

p. 161

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

p. 161

Since Quadrant II is the heart of effective self-management, you need a tool that moves you into Quadrant II.

p. 162

Selecting Goals. The next step is to think of two or three important results you feel you should accomplish in each role during the next seven days. These would be recorded as goals.

p. 163

frustration is a function of our expectations, and our expectations are often a reflection of the social mirror rather than our own values and priorities.

p. 170

J.C. Penny was quoted as saying that the wisest decision he ever made was to “let go” after realizing that he couldn’t do it all by himself any longer. That decision, made long ago, enabled the development and growth of hundreds of stores and thousands of people.

p. 171

the key to effective management is delegation.

p. 172

Stewardship delegation is focused on results instead of methods.

. . .

Stewardship delegation involves clear, up-front mutual understanding and commitment regarding expectations in five ares.

Desired Results. […]

Guidelines. […]

Resources. […]

Accountability. […]

Consequences. […]

p. 173-174

Stewardship means ‘a job with a trust.’ I trust you to do the job, to get it done.

p. 176

Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people.

p. 178

The focus is on effectiveness, not efficiency.

p. 178

Effective delegation is perhaps the best indicator of effective management simply because it is so basic to both personal and organizational growth.

p. 179

Quadrant II paradigm that empowers you to see through the lens of importance rather than urgency.

p. 179

As you work to develop a Quadrant II paradigm, you will increase your ability to organize and execute every week of your life around your deepest priorities, to walk your talk. You will not be dependent on any other person or thing for the effective management of your life.

Interestingly, every one of the Seven Habits is in Quadrant II. Every one deals with fundamentally important things that, if done on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in our lives.

p. 179

You can’t be successful with other people if you haven’t paid the price of success with yourself.

p. 185

“you can’t talk your way our of problems you behave yourself into.”

p. 186

Remember that quick fix is a mirage.

p. 190

It takes character to be proactive, to focus on your Circle of Influence, to nurture growing things, and not to “pull up the flowers to see how the roots are coming.”

But there really is not quick fix. Building and repairing relationships are long-term investments.

p. 190

Understanding the Individual

. . .

You simply don’t know what constitutes a deposit to another person until you understand that individual.

p. 190

Clarifying Expectations

. . .

unclear expectations will lead to misunderstanding, disappointment, and withdrawals of trust.

Many expectations are implicit. They haven’t been explicitly stated or announced, but people nevertheless bring them to a particular situation.

. . .

We create many negative situations by simply assuming that our expectations are self-evident and that they are clearly understood and shared by other people.

p. 194-195

Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty.

p. 195

One of the most important way to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present. When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.

p. 196

Integrity in an interdependent reality is simply this: you treat everyone by the same set of principles.

p. 196

Leo Roskin taught, “It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”

p. 198

“It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.”

p. 201 Dag Hammarskjold

By recognizing that P/PC balance is necessary to effectiveness in an interdependent reality, we can value our problems as opportunities to increase PC.

p. 203

effective interdependence can only be achieved by truly independent people.

p. 203

But you can’t change the fruit without changing the root.

p. 206

the moment you step from independence into interdependence in any capacity, you step into a leadership role. You are in a position of influencing other people. And the habit of effective interpersonal leadership is Think Win/Win.

p. 206

With a Win/Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan. Win/Win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena. […] Win/Win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success in not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.

p. 207

But people are not graded against their potential or against the full use of their present capacity. They are graded in relation to other people. […] Competition, not cooperation, lies at the core of the educational process. Cooperation, in fact, is usually associates with cheating.

p. 208 Sad but true. The educational system in most developed countries is leaning too much towards competition and not cooperation. There should be more balance.

Most of life is an interdependent, not an independent, reality. Most results you want depend on cooperation between you and others. And the Win/Lose mentality is dysfunctional to that cooperation.

p. 209

Anything less than Win/Win in an interdependent reality is a poor second best that will have impact in the long-term relationship. […] If you can’t reach a true Win/Win, you’re very often better off to go for No Deal.

p. 214

self-awareness, imagination, conscience, and independent will

p. 216 for interpersonal Win/Win relationships

Effective interpersonal leadership requires the vision, the proactive initiative and the security, guidance, wisdom, and power that comes from principle-centered personal leadership.

p. 216


. . .

Integrity is the cornerstone in the foundation.

p. 217

Maturity. Maturity is the balance between courage and consideration. If a person can express his feelings and convictions with courage balanced with consideration for the feelings and convictions of another person, he is mature, particularly if the issue is very important to both parties.

p. 217

The basic task of leadership is to increase the standard of living and quality of the life for all stakeholders.

p. 217

Abundance Mentality.

. . .

there is plenty out there for everybody.

p. 219

Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life.

p. 219

People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production.

p. 219

Public Victory does not mean victory over other people. It means success in effective interaction that brings mutually beneficial results to everyone involved. Public Victory means working together, communicating together, making things happen together that even the same people couldn’t make happen by working independently. And Public Victory is an outgrowth of the Abundance Mentality paradigm.

p. 220

From the foundation of character, we build and maintain Win/Win relationships.

p. 220

But it does eliminate the negative energy normally focused on differences in personality and position and creates a positive, cooperative energy focused on thoroughly understanding the issues and resolving them in a mutually beneficial way.

p. 221

And the stronger you are – the more genuine your character, the higher your level of proactivity, the more committed you really are to a Win/Win – the more powerful your influence will be with that other person.

p. 222

Because Win/Win is a principle people can validate in their own lives, you will be able to bring most people to a realization that they will win more of what they want by going for what you both want.

p. 222

An agreement means very little in letter without the character and relationship base to sustain it in spirit.

p. 222

Desired results (not methods) identify what is to be done and when.

Guidelines specify the parameters (principles, policies, etc.) within which results are to be accomplished.

Resources identify the human, financial, technical, or organizational support available to help accomplish the results.

Accountability sets up the standards of performance and the time of evaluation.

Consequences specify – good and bad, natural and logical – what does and will happen as a result of the evaluation.

p. 223

It is much more ennobling to the human spirit to let people judge themselves than to judge them. And in a high trust culture, it’s much more accurate. In many cases people know in their hearts how things are going much better than the records show. Discernment is often far more accurate than either observation or measurement.

p. 224

explore their paradigms and to concentrate on Win/Win.

p. 226

You basically get what you reward. If you want to achieve the goals and reflect the values in your mission statement, then you need to align the reward system with these goals and values.

p. 229

So often the problem is in the system, not in the people. If you put good people in bad systems, you get bad results.

p. 232

As people really learn to think Win/Win, they can set up the systems to create and reinforce it. They can transform unnecessarily competitive situations to cooperative ones and can powerfully impact their effectiveness by building both P and PC.

In business, executives can align their systems to create teams of highly productive people working together to compete against external standards of performance.

p. 232

work in what they call the “principled” approach versus the “positional” approach to bargaining

. . .

They suggest that the essence of principled negotiation is to separate the person from the problem, to focus on interests and not on positions, to invent options for mutual gain, and to insist on objective criteria – some external standard or principle that both parties can buy into.

p. 233 referring to the Getting to Yes book by Harvard Law professors Roger Fisher and William Ury

First, see the problem from the other point of view. Really seek to understand and to give expression to the needs and concerns of the other party as well as or better than they can themselves.

Second, identify the key issues and concerns (not positions) involved.

Third, determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution.

And fourth, identify possible new options to achieve those results.

p. 233

If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, I would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication.

p. 237

Reading and writing […] speaking and listening […] The ability to do them well is absolutely critical to your effectiveness.

Communication is the most important skill in life. We spend most of our waking hours communicating.

p. 237

If you want to interact effectively with me, to influence me you first need to understand me.

p. 238

The real key to your influence with me is your example, you actual conduct. Your example flows naturally out of your character, or the kind of person you truly are – not what others say you are or what you may want me to think you are. It is evident in how I actually experience you.

Your character is constantly radiating, communicating. From it, in the long run, I come to instinctively trust or distrust you and your efforts with me.

p. 238

You have to build the skills of empathic listening on a base of character that inspires openness and trust. And you have to build the Emotional Bank Accounts that create a commerce between hearts.

p. 239

Communications experts estimate, in fact, that only 20 percent of our communication is represented by the words we say. Another 30 percent is represented by our sounds, and 60 percent by our body language.

p. 241

You’re focused on receiving the deep communication of another human soul.

In addition, empathic listening is the key to making deposits in Emotional Bank Accounts, because nothing you do is a deposit unless the other person perceives it as much.

p. 241

Satisfied needs do not motivate. It’s only the unsatisfied need that motivates. Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival – to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.

p. 241

An effective sales person first seeks to understand the needs, the concerns, the situation of the customer. The amateur salesman sells products; the professional sells solutions to needs and problems.

p. 244

By judging first, a person will never fully understand.

p. 245

The first and least effective is to mimic content.

. . .

The second stage of empathic listening is to rephrase the content.

. . .

The third stage brings your brain into operation. You reflect feeling.

. . .

rephrase the content and reflect the feeling.

. . .

Frustration is the feeling; school is the content. You’re using both sides of your brain to understand both sides of his communication.

. . .

He’s not thinking and feeling one thing and communicating another. He begins to trust you with his innermost tender feelings and thoughts.

p. 249

The key is to genuinely seek the welfare of the individual, to listen with empathy, to let the person get to the problem and the solution at his own pace and time. Layer upon layer – it’s like peeling an onion until you get to the soft inner core.

p. 252

ethos, pathos and logos.

. . .

Ethos is your personal credibility […] Pathos is the empathic side […] Logos is the logic

p. 255

in your effort to understand, you learned.

p. 257

Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

. . .

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One plus one equals three or more.

p. 262-263

“That which is most personal is most general.” The more authentic you become […] particularly regarding personal experiences and even self-doubts, the more people can relate to your expression and the safe it makes them feel to express themselves.

p. 267

Once people have experienced real synergy, they are never quite the same again. They know the possibility of having other such mind-expanding adventures in the future.

p. 269

“We seek not to imitate the masters, rather we seek what they sought”

p. 269

Synergy is exciting. Creativity is exciting. It’s phenomenal what openness and communication can produce.

p. 269

And the combination of those ingredients – the high Emotional Bank Account, thinking Win/Win, and seeking first to understand – creates the ideal environment for synergy.

p. 273

The problem is that highly dependent people are trying to succeed in an interdependent reality.

p. 274

The essence of synergy is to value the differences.

p. 274

Valuing the differences is the essence of synergy – the mental, the emotional, the psychological differences between people. And the key to valuing those differences is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are.

p. 277

Is it logical that two people can disagree and that both can be right? It’s not logical: it’s psychological. And it’s very real. You see the young lady; I see the old woman. We’re both looking at the same picture, and both of us are right. We see the same black lines, the same white spaces. But we interpret them differently because we’ve been conditioned to interpret them differently.

And unless we value the differences in our perception, unless we value each other and give credence to the possibility that we’re both right, that life is not always a dichotomous either/or, that there are almost always third alternatives, we will never be able to transcend the limits of that conditioning.

p. 277

“Good! You see it differently! Help me see what you see.”

p. 278

the four dimensions of your nature – physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional.

p. 288

Personal P/C must be pressed upon until it becomes second nature, until it becomes a kind of healthy addiction. Because it’s at the center of our Circle of Influence, no one else can do it for us. We must do it for ourselves.

p. 289

Exercise is one of those Quadrant II, high-leverage activities that most of us don’t do consistently because it isn’t urgent. And because we don’t do it, sooner or later we find ourselves in Quadrant I, dealing with the health problems and crises that come as a natural result of our neglect.



. . .


. . .


p. 289-290

I could see his point. It’s the same principle that works with emotional muscles as well, such as patience. When you exercise your patience beyond your past limits, the emotional fiber is broken, nature overcompensates, and next time the fiber is stronger.

p. 291

Proactive people can figure out many, many ways to educate themselves.

p. 295

“The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.”

p. 296

Character cannot be made expect by a steady, long continued process.

p. 297 in the words of Phillips Brooks

If your personal security comes from sources within ourselves, then we have the strength to practice the habits of Public Victory.

p. 298

Apparent learner disability was nothing more or less than teacher inflexibility.

p. 301

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

p. 301 Goethe

balances renewal in all four dimensions of our nature: the physical, the spiritual, the mental, and the social/emotional.

Although renewal in each dimension is important, it only becomes optimally effective as we deal with all four dimensions in a wise and balanced way. To neglect any one area negatively impacts the rest.

p. 301-302

Your economic security does not lie in your job; it lies in your own power to produce – to think, to learn, to create, to adapt. That’s true financial independence. It’s not having wealth; it’s having the power to produce wealth. It’s intrinsic.

p. 304

“The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it: but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.”

p. 305

Instead of transferring those scripts to the next generation, we can change them.

p. 316

My contemplation of life and human nature in that secluded place had taught me that he who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.

p. 317 Anwar Sadat

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.”

p. 318 Emerson

“We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.”

p. 319 T.S. Eliot