Tips From 7 Habits: No Excuse For Failure

This is an ongoing series of posts from my reading of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. I read for 10 minutes each morning, and make a quick post about what I learned.

In my reading today I got to where each habit is explained in detail. The first part of the book is an overview of the 7 habits, and today I read the first few pages of the first habit, “Be Proactive”.

Covey begins this section by pointing out the most important principle of the nature of man:

Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.

This fact, when fully understood, takes away any external excuse we may have used for years to explain away our weaknesses and failures. It’s very sobering, and it’s extremely difficult to look deep inside ourselves and really take responsibility for every decision in our lives. Covey explains that while our genes, upbringing, and life experiences obviously contribute to who we are and what we’ve done, in the end, where we are today is simply the sum of every decision we’ve ever made- good or bad.

The upside is that no matter where we are today, we can defeat our demons and weaknesses, and completely change and control our own future.

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7 Comments

  • Audrey

    Reply Reply August 16, 2011

    Hi Nate, this is the first time I leave a comment but just to thank you for this great advice.

    I love this book too and I think you have a good working ethos, maybe it’s thanks to this book?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 16, 2011

      Audrey, you’re welcome. You can’t read the ’7 Habits’ enough times. It’s about real change and growth.

      Thanks for reading.

  • Jay

    Reply Reply August 19, 2011

    Empowering information. Reminds me a lot of a favorite quote of mine: “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
    — Viktor Emil Frankl

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 22, 2011

      Jay-
      Funny you mention that- Covey bases the whole concept of the chapter on Viktor Frankl’s story.

      • Jay

        Reply Reply August 24, 2011

        Interesting. I’ll have to get my hands on a copy.

        • Nate

          Reply Reply August 26, 2011

          The funny thing is that a there are a lot of books out there that provide far greater value for $10 or $12 than most digital products that are $47+.

          • Jay

            August 28, 2011

            I completely agree. Some of my favorites: Dale Carnegie, Jack Canfield, Edward De Bono, Warren Bennis, Peter Drucker, Michael Boylan, Napolean Hill, Milton Erickson

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