Habits That Lead To A Better Life

I was invited to do a guest lecture for an "Organizational Theory" class at the University of Pittsburgh.  In fact, it is a class I had taught for some 12 years, but gave up 2 years ago do to my crazy schedule.  I enjoyed teaching this class over the years and as I was preparing for the lecture I went back to my original notes.  As I looked at the content, my information from Steven Covey's 7 habits caught my eye, and pushed me to refresh my thinking.

I am sure that anyone reading this blog is familiar with Covey's 7 habits, but what you might not know if that years after the publication of his best selling book, he refreshed his thinking and added an 8th Habit.  In fact, it was the anchor for his follow-up book of the same title.

For this blog I thought it would be instructive to review his 8 habits and ask you to think about these as well.  Know that in Covey's thesis, these 8 habits are highly personal and his suggestion is that we think about them in our own daily matters.  They are time tested (his original book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People" was published in 1990) and should be a review for some, perhaps new for others.  They are:

1. Be Proactive - don't wait, act on what you need to do.

2. Begin with the end in mind - Start any journey thinking about what you hope to accomplish.

3. Put first things first - always take care of the things that matter most, first.

4. Think win-win - in all your dealings look for both parties to gain.

5. Seek first to understand - listen closely to what others say and try to understand their point.

6. Synergize - try to mesh with that which is present.

7. Sharpen the saw - continue to do work that will help you grow.

8. Find your voice, and help others find theirs - Speak out and help empower others.

These 8 habits are not as easy as they might seem.  To live your life, and to relate to others in a way that values theirs is at the core of these habits.  They are good things for people, and for organizations to consider.