Successful People Have More Than 7 Habits

Successful People Have More Than 7 Habits

We all know of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.   On the bestseller list for decades now, it’s de rigueur for all business types.  And for people just wanting to better themselves and their lives.

goal without plan is just wish

Although it has revolutionized the business world, the habits themselves aren’t that revolutionary.  I.e., you read them with recognition, no?  I don’t know why but every time I see them, I think of that sweet book, All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum.

Both books pretty much boil down to respecting yourself and others.

It’s in the details where we humans get mixed up.

But one thing I know for true is that psychological and spiritual truths have the same meaning.  I.e., if something is psychologically true, then it’s spiritually true as well, with the converse also being accurate.  You just can’t separate one from another.

The seven habits Covey talked about are straightforward enough:

  1.    Be proactive.  Which just translates of course to your choices in creating your life.

The spiritual equivalent: You create your own reality.

  1.    Begin with the end in mind.  Know what you want and where you want to go.  Create a personal vision statement.

The spiritual equivalent: Visualize and feel your perfect life, in all its details.  

As Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

  1.    Put first things first.  Makes sense, no?  You’re building on the choices and vision for the future you’ve designed.

The spiritual equivalent: Focus on your dreams.

  1.    Think win-win.  Simply, that you don’t have to lose for me to win.

The spiritual equivalent: What you do to others, you do to yourself.

  1.    Seek first to understand, then be understood.  Which not so many folks do!  Most of the time, we’re so focused on getting our own points or opinions across, that we don’t stop to truly “hear” what someone else is trying to convey.  So much so that we have to be taught active listening.

The spiritual equivalent: Love thy neighbor as thyself.  Nothing shows caring more than truly listening to someone.

  1.    Synergy.  Which is just working together.  A knowing that the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

The spiritual equivalent: When 2 or more are gathered in my name . . .

  1.    Sharpening the saw.  Which translates to taking care of you, in all the various ways you do so.

The spiritual equivalent: If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love another.  

Of course I love that Covey went on to pen the sequel: The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness  

  1.    From effectiveness to greatness.  Which shows how to truly thrive in today’s world, one must reach beyond effectiveness toward fulfillment, contribution, and greatness.

Sounds a lot like Victor Frankl’s findings on man’s search for meaning.  Or Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  Both dealing with the psychological need we have to thrive, to follow and reach our dreams, to know that we have a reason for being here, and that we leave the world a better place.

The spiritual equivalent: God has a plan for your life.

When I add all of this together, it makes for a life worth spent—one in which we, you and I, are the driving forces.  Mythologist Joseph Campbell summed this up best:

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”

What do you do out of habit in order to succeed?


This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. I really like number two. Teaching has taught me to complete a backward design for projects. I always wrote my lesson plans with the desired end goal in mind. Start where you want to be and build from there, figuring out the steps you need to take to achieve your desired end result. Happy Holidays Susan. Great blog post!

    1. I just bet you were the best teacher, Sheila! And doesn’t that just work so well.
      Happy Holidays to you too, Sheila! Hoping yours are joyous and bright!

  2. Love how you married all these teachings/learnings from such great sources together to show how there is no division between the physical and the spiritual. Everything is connected. I enjoyed the quote from Joseph Campbell about “meaning”, as it reminds me of the work I have done with Landmark, which presents (shocking most people when they first hear it), that “life is empty and meaningless”. Of course we go on to understand exactly what Campbell is saying. We humans ascribe the meaning to everything in our lives and we ourselves are the meaning. It is all part of creating the life we want to live…from nothing. I also enjoyed how you included biblical spiritual wisdom and more modern-day spiritual wisdom in your comparisons. You have me want to go back to re-read Fulgham’s book, which still sits on my bookshelf from many years ago. Thanks for the lovely post, Susan Mary!

    1. I bet I’d love Landmark, Beverley! That also reminds me of A Course in Miracles, which begins the workshop with exactly that–nothing has meaning except that which we give it. Don’t you just love when seeing the common wisdom in the spiritual and psychological? It just tweaks me!

  3. #3 is big for me…trying to prioritize because everything is important in it’s own respect, but figuring out what’s going to get me to the next level and what can go on the backburner, that’s where I struggle.

    1. Prioritizing is the big bear, no, Alison? Especially when it seems like everything is of equal importance!

  4. Wonderful comparisons between spiritual and psychological. I think the success comes in the details of the habits which is different for each of us. As we become more in tune with our spiritual selves, I believe we can more easily able to follow through with the habits.

    1. So true, Lisa. It’s the old banishing the darkness by turning on the light. Great insight, Lisa!

  5. I am so glad Beverley Golden mentioned and explained a distinction from Landmark Education about ‘life is empty and meaningless’. As a graduate of this transformational work, this distinction has guided much of my life these past 20 years. Marrying the physical and spiritual in relationship to a business model is ‘brilliant’.
    I knew from early childhood that my life was to be created by me, not a reaction to life’s circumstances. I might have been ahead of my time, but that is what happens when you are now 76. Enjoy the holidays.

    1. You were so far ahead of the game as a child, Roslyn! It took me half a lifetime to learn that 🙂 But isn’t it oh-so freeing when you do!
      Very Happy Holidays to you!

  6. I have learned to write down my business goals at the beginning of the month. Writing them down makes me accountable and it also tells me what actions I must take daily in order to meet my goals.

    1. That’s a great tool, Stephanie! Seeing goals and action steps in black and white does keep you accountable!

  7. I haven’t read that book but I like how you paralleled the two fields of thought. I read the kindergarten one though!

  8. These are great suggestions. I love the quote about goals without plans!

  9. Crazy that it’s “that simple” and we still don’t get it right sometimes, right? Thanks for the great reminder and rehash!

    1. Funny how simple and easy aren’t the same, Kristen!

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