Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you’ve even read it. Published in 1989, this book still influences people all around the world, giving them valuable lessons in personal change. Even today, it holds some very powerful ideas which, when put to correct use, can help you accomplish your dreams.
It’s called The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and it was written by Stephen R. Covey. If you’ve already read this book, then you know that I’m talking about a piece of sheer apocalyptic writing. If you haven’t, then I suggest you do. Either way, here follows my own interpretation; a paraphrased synopsis if you will, of what you can do to lead yourself to success.
1- Successful people have a dream
They have a dream and arrange their life so as to make it a reality. Their plan of action is adjusted to the dream and not the other way around. They don’t compromise for anything less than what they want. What is also key, is that they don’t allow other people’s expectations to predetermine their own. They are not apathetic, but proactive in whatever they do. They truly envision their dream from beginning to end and understand the concepts of growth, evolution and progress.
2- Successful people have a plan
They try to view their aspirations with realism and flexibility. They make sure to prioritize and set both short-term and long-term goals and always have a Plan B, C and D. Correct planning can make or break a project, so they try to be as well-organized as possible. They set plausible objectives and evaluate their performance once they are done.
3- Successful people have skills
They understand that confidence and determination alone are not enough– they need expertise as well. This is why they are in constant search of new knowledge and innovative ways to apply what they have learned. When faced with something that is outside their own field of practice, instead of risking success, they make sure to recruit the best partners and employees for the job. They seek to understand what needs to be done and how and then go about achieving it.
4- Successful people work hard
They put in the hours and sometimes even work over time. Not because they have to, but because they realize that it’s the only way to get to where it is they want to go. They enjoy working towards their dreams and so always try their best. When faced with a task that they can’t take on alone, they prefer to synergize, rather than cut themselves short. They appreciate hard-working people and reward them for their diligence.
5- Successful people are determined
Equipped with unwavering willpower, they let few things discourage them. When any kind of problem arises, they view it as a challenge, rather than as a liability. They focus on finding mutually beneficial solutions but realize that it is part of life to rise and fall. This is why they take it in their stride to learn from their mistakes, rather than wallow in them.
6- Successful people are decisive
If you don’t speak for yourself, someone else will speak for you. This is also true for decisions and this is why successful people face situations head on. They often have a utilitarian approach to their decision making process and realize that unhappy employees or partners could be detrimental to their end game. This is why they proactively seek win-win situations for all parties when possible. They stand by their choices with conviction, confidence and dignity.
7- Successful people take responsibility
“With power comes responsibility”. It is not enough to revel in ones successes and take credit for the hard work; one must also take responsibility for failures. For that is what successful people achieve through hard wok, decisiveness and determination: to strive for balance and sustainability, no matter how many pitfalls they encounter along the way.
Whatever your dream is, surely these seven points can help you towards achieving it. Like all things in life of course, they are to be taken with a pinch of salt and a spoonful of sugar. Every person is different and that is where our collective strength lays: in our mutual exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas.
What have you observed about successful people? Is there maybe something that I have forgotten? I would love to hear what you have to say- especially if you’re successful already ;)