How to be effective

Be proactive.

Life happens, things go wrong, dreams gets shattered and we have to deal with the unexpected. Our response to such events can be either proactive or reactive. Being proactive means that we take responsibility for our lives. We realise that our actions make a difference regardless of the circumstances. We focus on what we can control rather than what we can’t control.

Reactive people act the victim as though as though life controlled them, they feel miserable, they blame the circumstances and don’t take action, they say stuck in the problem. They focus on the things over which they have no control. Of course, this is the easiest option.

 Begin with, the end in mind

Imagine you had come to the end of your life and you were handed the book “This is your life” what would you like it to contain? Have you even considered this? Are you just drifting through life taking the easiest options?

Imagine writing this book now and then ensure your actions every day are in alignment with the end goals. A good question to ask when life has come to an end is ” did you live, did you love, did you matter?

Put first things first.

The last habit was focused on what matters to you and if your if daily habits are aligned with your life’s mission. There can be lots of things we can do every day, choices we can make with our precious time. We can get more money and stuff but not time which is the most valuable thing we possess. When it comes to making choices, doing the right thing is the most difficult thing to do.

Do you prioritise what is important and do the important things first, ensuring that the time for the important things is not squeezed out by activities that fill time. Or is your time taken up with the trivial, enjoyable things that take no effort? No pain, no gain. If we are not prepared to take the right and difficult options every day, we will suffer a much greater pain in the long-term pain.

Think win-win

Most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing–that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. This winning and losing is an integral part of sport but that is entertainment, applying this mentality to our life is not a good idea.

We can believe that there is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece, there is less for me;

Win-win sees life as cooperative between people. it is a frame of mind that  seeks mutual benefit in all interactions. Win-win means agreements mean that we can create a bigger pie, everyone wins

Seek first to understand and then be understood

The way we interpret life comes from our perceptive that is created by our own experiences.  Everyone’s perception is different, we can presume that the way we see things is the way that everyone else should things. This often leads to conflict when one person tries to impose their perspective on the other person.

Much of our listening is at the lower levels where we are not connecting, empathetic listening is the highest form of listening, where the other person feels as though we are walking in their shoes. This creates rapport and reciprocal response from the other person.


Synergy means that the whole greater than the sum of its parts. For example, one person may not be able to reach to pick apples from the tree but standing on the shoulders of the other person it now becomes possible.

Synergy works at every level anywhere people work together to provide outcomes and solutions that would not be possible without cooperation.

Sharpen the saw.

Think of someone trying to cut down a tree with a blunt saw because it takes the time to sharpen the saw. That person will spend way more time to cut the tree and will be more stressed than if he had taken the time to sharpen the saw.

We must have a sharp mind to be effective in life. Successful people invest time in their development, they know that this time is time well spent. They realise that having resources will not produce success without being resourceful as a person They devote time to maintain their physical, cognitive, spiritual and social health.

Those are the 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey. You can purchase the book from Amazon with the following link: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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