Quicklet on Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Tiffanie Wen

What's in the book?

Quicklets: Your reading sidekick!

    • About the Book
    • About the Author
    • Synopsis
    • Key Terms and Definitions
    • Chapter-By-Chapter Commentary & Summary
    • Additional Resources



Since its release in 1989, Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, been translated into over 33 languages, and is widely considered one of the most popular self-help books of all time.

The book is organized into four main parts: part one “paradigms and principles”; part two “private victory”; part three “public victory”; and part four “Renewal” and is structured around 7 axioms of effective living.

Though Covey is ostensibly writing “lessons in personal change,” the principles that guide the 7 Habits are readily applied to organizations from families to government agencies to the mega-companies that comprise the Fortune 500.



Tiffanie Wen is a freelance writer from the San Francisco Bay Area who's written for Newsweek, Flux Hawaii, Ode Magazine and more. When she's not working, she enjoys exploring new places around the world and spending time with her dogs, Rocky and Benny.


When you look at this picture, what do you see? Depending on how you’ve been primed up until this point in your life, you may see a picture of a beautiful young woman. Or, you may instead see an ugly old lady. Or there’s a third possibility—you may be able to switch back and forth between the two.


The important point here though is that the culmination of our experiences and approach to life creates the lense with which we see the world, or our own personal paradigm. The realization that paradigms exist and affect the way in which each of us understands the world is a critical precursor to Habit 1.

Habit 1 revolves around another realization, that we are intelligent creatures with the ability to make autonomous decisions. We may not be able to control our environment, but we can control the way we react it. We are able to think and behave in a way of our choosing; we have freedom of will.

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