Book Review: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Jes , 4 Comments

I like this book as it is quite an enjoyable read. I do not have good impressions of such books because I think most of them are dull, crappy and full of bullshit. But this is an enjoyable read. I did not become a different person after which but I still remember the salient points after reading it some time back.

Habit = Knowledge (What to do and why) + Skill (How to) + Desire (Want to). So, I think I got to share it.
Book Cover

Habit 1: Be Proactive (Focus on what we can change)
I am lucky because pro-activity is my character, and doing sales allow me to harness this particular trait of mine. This is the root of all success and I believe in being proactive to gain chances, meet people, learn more and staying one step ahead. 

Proactivity wants us to focus on what we can change, and how we respond and make decisions. We need to understand that leaving everything to fate (随缘) just sound passive and only waiting for something to happen. We can spring into action (go for talks, save up more, read books), empower oneself and take charge of our own decisions. We can do things differently based on every decision, for example, we can stop playing games and start reading. These are our own efforts and doing it regularly will turn it into habits. Recognize the fact that success only comes by your own efforts and habits.

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind (Set end goals)
Envision your own funeral. Will there be lots of friends, family members, people you care about or have most of them drifted away? What kind of eulogy will they deliver?  If we want people to remember us, we have to spend time with them and be significant in their lives. Think of the person you want people to remember you by and work towards it.

Habit 3: Put first things first (Effective time management)
One word: Prioritize. But it's not easy with 101 things to be done. For your partners, make what is important to him as important to you for a deeper connection.

Take a look at Quadrant 1 below - Urgent and important - Deadlines, most pressing things.
Quadrant 2 - Not urgent but important - Relationship building or self empowerment
Quadrant 3 - Urgent but not important - Phone calls, meetings
Quadrant 4 - Not urgent nor important - Facebook, tv, games, movies, blogging, reading on blogs (haha)

Which quadrant have you been spending the most time? Not that we cannot idle around, just that the percentage should be skewed towards the top half to be effective.
Time management matrix as described in Merrill...
How to prioritize? (Picture by

Habit 4: Think Win-win (Alignment of interest)
This is the hardest part as saying is easier than doing. Learning it does not make it easier to find a win-win solution. The main aim is that you should not to settle for anything less than a win-win situation. The book is talking about interaction with other people but I find it easier to correlate with habits. For example, the easiest lose-lose instance I can think of is smoking where you lose both your health and money. The best win-win would be exercise of course.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand then to be understood (Listen!)
I am trying to do this everyday and I think this is the best advice for everyone. Many people like to talk about themselves, about their own problems, without wanting to know about other's problems. When they ask questions, they are just preparing their own material to talk more about themselves. Trust me, I meet these kinds of people everyday (cab drivers, colleagues, parents...).

I am trying to be more patient by listening to gain from their experience but sometimes, I just wish that they would hear me out. Even when I am speaking, the ideas just seem to go right over their heads and it is really frustrating. So, blogging is actually a good outlet where no one can interrupt my thoughts.

Habit 6: Synergise (Teamwork)
This is the habit that I feel is bullshit, haha. It wants us to harness everyone's strength and differences, and in this way we can come out with brilliant ideas when working as a team. Something like 1+ 1 > 2.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw (Practice)
It just means to keep practising the good habits like eating right, learning, writing, praying, teaching, exercising and reading to gain enlightenment.

So there you go.. what are some of your good or bad habits?


If you have benefited from this post, support our first business venture at or like us on Facebook!


  1. "I love cooking as I think it is like Chemistry, giving different results with a bit of tweaks".

    Even same ingredients and cooking utensils, the result of the cooking will be different. That's why i think cooking is like chemistry experiments too.

  2. And i like to add investing in the market is like cooking too. Ha! Ha!

  3. Sorry, i mean "everything' is the same but the cooking result will be different if cook by different person.

  4. Hi Temperament,

    Yes you are right! Cooking is hard to replicate, same as investing... same formula but results can be vastly different. Perhaps you have similar interest as me, you like cooking too?

    Thanks for reading!