Many people want to become successful and have a meaningful life. Lots of us have no idea how we can leave an impact and not just drift on through life with a goal in mind, and live the same day over and over. Wake up, get dressed, go to work or school, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. Well I am here to help you break this cycle. Though the book I am going to be referring to is labeled for teens, adults can benefit from it as well. It is titled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey. The author’s father also wrote a book called the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I would also like to mention to parents who may be reading this and they want their kids to become more successful or have meaning in their life, get them this book.
I used to think that things like the law of attraction and manifestation was just a lot of mumbo jumbo, but when applied to your life you start to see things you have always wanted, come and knock on your door. Good things will start to come to YOU. Take my family for example, we thought we would be living in Alaska for the rest of our lives, going to our high school and going through the same days like a loop, until a book plopped down into our hands from our Great Grandma Lawna, ‘The secret!” With that we were set and we are now making new memories and meeting new people all the time, and it’s all coming to us! You will see the results as soon as you start applying them. SO without further ado here’s my take away from the national bestseller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens”.
HABIT 1- Be Proactive Take responsibility for your life.
I used to be one of those kids like many others who always blamed the bad in my life on other things. I always felt like I was never doing anything wrong, it was everyone else. WRONG! Everything that has ever happened in your life was because you let it, and now it’s time to take responsibility of your life. Here’s an example from my own life. So while living in Alaska I was going to West Valley High School and I was failing AK studies (Alaska Studies), I know, an Alaskan failing AK studies, crazy. Well when I went home and my parents confronted me about my F in that class, I told them that the kids at my table where distracting me and that’s why I was failing. The kids at my table my have been talking but I LET them distract me, it was my fault that I was failing and no one else’s. Here’s another example; Sam has an important business meeting tomorrow, and has to present a paper. His girlfriend says she wants to stay up and watch a movie with him and he says fine but only one movie. They watch the movie and Sam forgets about his paper and is fired the next day. He blames his girlfriend that he lost his job, but it was Sam’s fault he lost his job. Sometimes you have to take responsibility and say no to the fun things to reach your goals and become more successful. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be more fun times, just that you need to prioritize. Here’s a tip to help you become more responsible and make less excuses that we learned from our video in Summa Success. Wear a hairband on your wrist and every time you blame someone or something else, give yourself a snap. This will help you stop blaming outside influences and taking responsibility.
HABIT 2- Begin With The End In Mind Define your mission and goals in life.
Goals are one of the main keys to success. Without goals we are aimlessly floating along. As Caleb said in his book, “Keys To Success for Kids”, what is a soccer player’s purpose without a goal. Without a goal, soccer would be boring and we wouldn’t know who to route for. Just like with life, it’s more exciting with a goal. So begin with the end in mind. When you make your goal or goals, get specific, what’s the date, location, what’s the weather going to be like! This is where visualisation and the law of attraction come into play. At night dream of your goal, what can you smell, feel, who’s there, what are you wearing. By planning on what you are going to say and what exactly is going to happen the universe is going to hear you. I know that sounds silly but it’s true. By putting out positive vibes and my visualizing everything in crisp detail the universe will send back positive happenings. Here is a perfect example of what visualization can bring you here. One more thing you need if you want to accomplish your goals is to tell someone about your goals. By having someone keep you accountable you are more likely to reach your goals.
HABIT 3- Put First Things First Prioritize, and do the most important things first.
Like our first habit, you need to work towards things that will lead you to your goal. This will mean that at times you will have to choose hard work of long time, and lots of times you will feel deterred and not want to do it, but what you have to remember is the satisfaction you will feel from accomplishing your goals. A good example of this is something that happened recently to me. I have a fitbit and I wanted to get 10k steps everyday. So on day one of this new goal I wasn’t prioritizing and adn was laying in my bed watching videos when Erica came in and asked how many steps I had and I only had 5.2k. I was mad. I didn’t want to walk around I wanted to watch videos. I was mad but I knew that I should have put more important things before my relaxation time. I got my steps in, but not without some grumbles. The takeaway from this is you should put the most important things first so that when you reach your goal you can have as much time as you want for the things you find fun.
HABIT 4- Think Win-Win Have an everyone-can-win attitude
In the book the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” there is a totem pole. This totem pole is a visual image of win-lose. The people on this totem pole are so focused on being better that they lose sight of what is really important which is succeeding. By working together we would be able to accomplish so much more. So remember think win-win and everyone can succeed.
HABIT 5- Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood Listen to people sincerely.
The deepest desire of the human heart is to be understood. We all try and help our friends with problems, but were not truly listening to their situations. Say a friend is having trouble in their relationship, you tell them to forget about their significant other because you have been in the same place they’ve been. But where you really listening. Just because you went through that same situation doesn’t mean you have all the answers, your friend may have wanted to patch things up, but you were unable to truly listen and in turn were unable to help them. Here’s a poem from the book that shows just how badly people just want to be listened to:
When I ask you to listen to me
and you start giving me advice,
you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why
I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something
to solve my problem,
you have failed me,
strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen.
Don’t talk or do – just hear me.
Here are some baby steps you can take to become a better listener. Some time ask a close friend or someone you know who needs a little extra boost, and ask how they are doing. Genuinely listen.
HABIT 6- Synergize Work together to achieve more
By using habit six you will be able to accomplish so much, and I’ll tell you how. Everyone knows that working together makes everything easier, but what some don’t realize is that by getting help and evolving yourself and stepping out of your ego you are able to do things you thought were impossible. Here’s an example, Amy and Julie have a paper, they are in two different groups. Amy thinks everyone in here group is incompetent and chooses to take on all the rolls for the paper herself. Julie sees that everyone has strong points that will help benefit in the paper. They both have the same amount of work, but the next day Julie and her group get an A+ and Amy gets a C+. Julie is praised for her ability to work with her group and that her piece was very good. Amy was reminded that her paper was a group project and now not only did she get a lower grade then she could have but her whole team suffered for because she was unable to step out of her ego and appreciate everyone diverse differences. One thing you should take away from this part is that it’s never just about you, and if you view life like it revolves around you, you will suffer.
Last but not least (and in my opinion, the most important)…
HABIT 7- Sharpen the Saw Renew yourself regularly.
This is a very important habit because we are evolving beings constantly learning and experiencing. We use those experiences to shape ourselves. So continue to renew your self, it could be daily, it could be yearly, but remember to take care of yourself. Your heart, your soul, you mind. All these habits will help you through life only if you APPLY them. Caleb Maddix said in a video, “Information+Application=Transformation.” So be sure to take even a little bit of this and help yourself change YOUR life.