Soon after the First World War, the underlying viewpoint of performance changed to ethics of personality. Moreover personality, public appearance, attitudes and behaviors, skills and techniques have led to performance. The crossroads of knowledge, ability and desire are a habit. A person’s character is a composite of his habits, which form a powerful factor in our lives. There can be three maturity continuums: dependence is the paradigm of “you”, Independence is the paradigm of “I” and Interdependence is the paradigm of “we”. So now let’s explain some of the habits of successful people.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Highly proactive people ought not justify their actions for situations, events, or conditions. Their action is based on principles and is a result of their own deliberate decision. Proactive people concentrate their energies in the Circle of Influence. Proactive people carry their own weather with them. Whereas reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. Reactive people tend to focus on blaming, accusing attitudes and victimization.
If anyone wants to adopt this habit, he should go for The 30 Days Test. For 30 days, he should work only in Circle of Influence. Make small commitments and keep them. When he makes a mistake, he should admit it, correct it and learn from it — immediately.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
First of all, to remember the end means to begin with a complete sense of the goal. It is quick to get trapped in an event loop, to work as hard as possible to ascend the success ladder. If anyone want to have a successful enterprise, he must clearly define what he is trying to accomplish. A personal mission statement is the most efficient way to start with the end in mind. To write a mission statement one must begin at the very center of his Circle of Influence for which there are four sources to remember:
Habit 3: Put First Things First
This habit is the practical fulfillment of first two habits. Leadership defines what "first things" are, however, with each day, moment by moment, management brings them first. Independent will makes effective self-management possible. It is the capacity to make judgements and decisions as well as to behave accordingly. Time Management can be divided into four generations:
- First generation: The first generation is made up of notes and checklists, an effort to give some semblance of recognition and inclusiveness to the many demands placed on our time and energy.
- Second generation: The second generation of time management consists of calendars and appointment books, reflecting an attempt to look ahead, to schedule events and future activities.
- Third generation: The third generation focuses on the prioritization of clarifying values.
- Fourth generation: the fourth generation is an emerging generation that recognizes that the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
One of the six human interaction paradigms is Win/Win which can be called complete philosophy. The other paradigms are:
- Win, and
- Win/Win or No Deal
Think of Win/Win as the bait of interpersonal leadership as character is the foundation of Win-Win. The three-character traits necessary for Win/Win paradigm include:
- Abundance mentality
Habit 5: Learning to understand
"Seek first to understand" is a phenomenon that is a necessary adoption. Many individuals are either speaking or planning to communicate and with the purpose to learn. Knowing how to be understood is the second half of this habit and equally critical to reaching Win/Win solutions. Seeking to understand requires consideration; seeking to be understanding takes courage. Win/Win requires a high degree of both.
Three terms containing the meaning of first trying to understand and present effectively are:
- Ethos – a person’s personal credibility.
- Pathos - a person’s empathetic side.
- Logos - the reasoning part of the presentation.
Habit 6: Synergize
Synergy is the essence of principle-centered leadership. It induces, joins and lets loose people's greatest powers. The chances of major gains and changes are so significant that this openness is worth the risk. Trust is closely related to different levels of communication which include:
- Defensive: The lowest level of communication coming out of low-trust situations would be defensiveness, protectiveness, and often legalistic language.
- Respectful: Respectful communication works in independent situations, but creative possibilities are not opened up. Compromise is typically the spot, meaning 1+1=1 1⁄2.
- Synergistic: Synergy means that 1+1 may equal 8, 16, or even 1,600. High trust produces solutions better.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
This habit is about taking time to sharpen the saw. It’s renewing the four dimensions of a person’s nature: physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional.
- Physical: Exercise is one of those high-leverage activities that most of us don't do consistently because it isn't urgent, but later we find ourselves dealing with the health problems.
- Spiritual: Renewing the spiritual dimension provides leadership to one’s life. It's highly related to Habit 2. Spiritual renewal takes an investment of time.
- Mental: As soon as we leave school, many of us let our minds atrophy. We don't do any more serious reading. Instead, we spend our time watching TV. There is no good way to ensure your mind educated and expanded frequently than to get used to studying great literature.
- Social/emotional: This dimension centers on Habits 4, 5 and 6 — principles of interpersonal leadership, empathic communication and creative cooperation. Success in Habits 4, 5 and 6 is not primarily a matter of intellect, but of emotion.
In this article, I have explained some of the habits that are adopted by the successful people. I have been studying and researching on the lives of successful people and the work of Stephen R.Covey is worth mentioning here. His renowned book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is my favorite one. If you have some time, please go through it.