The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey 1989
Read: 2010 or before
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction, Reading Now, Recommended for Young Adults

This is another one of my bedrock books. Stephen Covey has had such an influence on my personal and professional life.

The seven habits:

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

From “Beginning with the End in Mind” which forces you to think about where you are going – both professionally and personally, to “First Things First,” making sure you prioritize correctly, to “Sharpening the Saw,” reminding you that if you do not practice self-improvement, you will wither away. I believe in all of these things, and I have to remind myself of them all the time.

For me, no other author does this as well as Stephen Covey. Read it, or Listen to it, and most of all, do what he advises and try to make habits out of his maxims. I do best when I have habits such as exercise, time away from work, time with family, planning my week/day, and I do worst when I get overwhelmed or sick and drop those habits. It’s a struggle for me, but I use Mr. Covey to help me with that struggle. When I’m at my best, fully employing these habits that I believe in, I feel like I can accomplish anything.


This is a book you read and reread.




  1. Pat Cairns says:

    As always, you are an inspiration to me.

    My word: FORWARD. What else could it be given what is behind me and what is ahead?

    1. Mike Matthews says:

      Well, Pat, I think that’s perfect. And it makes me happy to hear it. 2024 will be a new experience for you, no matter what, and given your goals, I’m bullish on it. Much love to you, and I will see you soon. I’ll make sure of it.

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