In 1990, the late Stephen R. Covey wrote his international Bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. During the past 23 years, over 25 million copies of this book have been sold. Millions of people attribute their personal success to the fact that they mastered the 7 habits taught in this “mega bestseller”. I personally find the 7 habits to be great tools for maintaining focus in both my personal and professional endeavors. For those of you who may have forgotten or are not familiar with the 7 habits, here is a quick recap. 1. Be proactive. 2. Begin with the end in mind. 3. Put first things first. 4. Think win/win. 5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. 6. Synergize. 7. Sharpen the saw. These are great habits that apply to both life and business.
As a peak performance coach, I have the opportunity to visit with many clients who are proactive, focused, happy and driven. These individuals seem to run their lives in a manner congruent with Mr. Covey’s 7 habits. I also have the opportunity to visit with other clients who are frustrated, angry, stuck and resentful. Many of my clients seem perplexed by the current quality of their lives? I am usually able to quickly identify the reason why. They too are living 7 habits, the 7 habits of highly INEFFECTIVE people. Here is an overview of these 7 habits….
- Short term thinkers. Ineffective people rarely look at the bigger picture. They routinely sidestep the “process” of success because they want it NOW. This “habit” haunts their personal and professional lives and they are prone to blame other people or their circumstances when things don’t live up to their expectations. Being proactive is uncomfortable for them.
- They CLING to their comfort zone. As long as ineffective people can remain safe and comfortable they enjoy internal peace. However, when they experience any type of resistance they experience an internal turmoil. Because of their extreme need for security, ineffective people base the majority of their decisions on whether something feels “bad” or “good”. They are ruled by their emotions. They don’t care about “the end” and they see no reason to begin with it in mind.
- They “POO POO” personal growth. A highly ineffective person will be the first one to crack a joke about your “self help guru” or admonish you for paying thousands of dollars to be “brainwashed” at a Tony Robbins seminar. They are adept at using humor and sarcasm to project onto others that which they are afraid to confront in their own lives. Rather than choosing to face and conquer their fears they put “belittling” others as their “first thing first”. They are master “deflectors”.
- They Lack BELIEF. Ineffective people lack a fundamental belief in themselves and their ability. This lack of belief causes them to play the game of life with the objective of “not losing” as opposed to “playing to win”. They believe that in every situation there will always be a winner and a loser. They view failure as the ultimate loss. Win/Win situations simply don’t make sense to an ineffective person. Their entire life is built around a win/lose model.
- EGO Driven. Ineffective people seem to run a continuous “looking good” program. They invest a tremendous amount of time and resources in an attempt to impress people who more than likely could care less. The EGO is a killer of dreams and if left unchecked it will keep you BROKE. If you want to know exactly how much you are investing in what other people think, I encourage you to take this simple test. Weigh your EGO and then weigh your bank account. Which one is heavier? Seek to understand the true role that the EGO is playing in your life. You may find that you are paying a very steep price!
- Ineffective people focus on the WRONG things. Whatever you focus on long enough will usually come to pass. Ineffective people focus on scarcity, lack, rejection and failure. They attract other like minded people who support their misguided focus. What we think about we bring about should be a huge wake up call for all of us. We should strive to create empowering synergy.
- Ineffective people possess “dull blades”. If we are not growing, we are dying. If we are not learning new things, keeping up with technology and constantly developing stronger skill sets, we will be doomed to a life of extreme mediocrity. In order to rise from mediocrity to greatness we must be willing to sharpen the saw!
In order to become a highly effective person one must quit looking for reasons NOT to get the job done. We must be willing to “burn the ships” and leave no other option but to win and win BIG! Remember, if you keep doing what you have been doing, you will continue getting what you have been getting. The question becomes…Are you happy with what you have been getting? If the answer is NO then it might just be time to change your habits.
I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.