About the Author
Sean is also FranklinCovey’s Education Practice Leader and is devoted to transforming education around the globe through bringing leadership principles and skills to as many kids, educators, and schools as possible.
He is a New York Times bestselling author and has written several books, including The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, which has been translated into 20 languages and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. He is a seasoned speaker to kids, teens, and adults and has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows.
Sean graduated with honors from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in English and later earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. As the starting quarterback for BYU, he led his team to two bowl games and was twice selected as the ESPN Most Valuable Player of the Game.
Born in Belfast Ireland, Sean’s favorite activities include going to movies, working out, hanging out with his kids, riding his dirt bike, and writing poor poetry. Sean and his wife Rebecca live with their children in the Rocky Mountains. For more information on Sean, visit SeanCovey.com. Follow Sean on Twitter @Sean_Covey.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
What Exactly Are Habits?
Read pages 5-6 of the Teens book. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens are:
Habit 1: Be Proactive --
Take responsibility for your life.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind --
Define your mission and goals in life.
Habit 3: Put First Things First --
Prioritize, and do the most important things first.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win --
Have an everyone-can-win attitude.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood --
Listen to people sincerely.
Habit 6: Synergize --
Work together to achieve more.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw --
Renew yourself regularly.
We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.
-- John Dryden
Habits are things you do repeatedly. But most of the time you are hardly aware you do them. They're on autopilot. Depending on what they are, your habits will either make you or break you. You become what you repeatedly do. Luckily, you are stronger than your habits.
Let's look at some of the good habits you have in your life right now. (Good habits include things such as exercising regularly, being a loyal friend, or being on time.)
Think About Your Habits
Four of my really great habits are:
The reason I keep these habits in my life is:
The good results I get from having each good habit are: (For example: I have a habit of smiling at people I meet, and now people are friendlier to me.)
Habits aren't always positive. In fact, they can be good, bad, or just neutral. Some habits I have that are neutral (they're neither good nor bad -- they're just habits) are: (For example: I put on one sock and then a shoe, then the other sock and the other shoe.)
Now let's list some habits you're not so proud of. Complete the statements that follow:
Right now, my worst habits are:
The reason I have these bad habits is:
I've had these bad habits for (days, weeks, years?):
The bad results I get from having these bad habits are: (For example: I am late to school, which means I miss class discussion and get demerits toward my citizenship grade.)
From my list of bad habits above, the one habit I would like to change the most is:
Change the Bad to Good
On the table below, fill in the habits that you named above. Keep this table handy during the upcoming week and use it as a tool to help you remember to change your bad habits to good ones.
Bad Habit I Want to Change/ Good Habit I Want to Replace it With
With My Family:
With My Friends:
A cool thing about the 7 Habits is how they build on each other. It's a progression -- just like learning arithmetic before calculus, learning the alphabet before learning to spell, or building a solid foundation before building a 150-story building. Trees grow this way, too; they put down solid roots before the trunk, branches, or leaves begin to grow.
Paradigms and Principles: What You See Is What You Get
So What's a Paradigm?
A paradigm is the way you see something -- your point of view, frame of reference, or belief. As you may have noticed, sometimes your paradigms can be accurate, way off the mark, wrong, or incomplete.
Did you know that from medieval times until the late 1800s doctors believed that a sick person had diseased blood? Doctors would "bleed" a person of the blood until they believed that they had drained the "diseased blood." This is, in fact, what killed George Washington, not the sore throat and fever he was suffering from.
We now know about germs and that they can be in different parts of the body and in different forms. So now we treat illnesses with a different form of healing -- we no longer "bleed" a patient. That was an inaccurate and an incomplete way of looking at healing.
Paradigms are like glasses. When you have incomplete paradigms about yourself or life in general, it's like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription. Those lenses affect how you see everything else.
-- Sean Covey
Top 10 All-Time Stupid Quotes:
10. "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."
Kenneth Olsen, President and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, in 1977
9. "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French Military Strategist and
Future World War I Commander, in 1911
8. "[Man will never reach the moon] regardless of all future scientific advances."
Dr. Lee De Forest, Inventor of the Audion Tube and Father of Radio, on February 25, 1967
7. "[Television] won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
Darryl F. Zanuck, Head of 20th Century Fox, in 1946
6. "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Decca Records Rejecting the Beatles, in 1962
5. "For the majority of people, the use of tobacco has a beneficial effect."
Dr. Ian G. MacDonald, Los Angeles Surgeon, as Quoted in Newsweek, November 18, 1969
4. "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
Western Union Internal Memo, in 1876
3. "The earth is the center of the universe."
Ptolemy, The Great Egyptian Astronomer, in The Second Century
2. "Nothing of importance happened today."
Written by King George III of England on July 4, 1776
1. "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, in 1899
What are some other paradigms from history that have proved to be inaccurate or incomplete? (For example: The world is flat.)
What kind of impact did these inaccurate paradigms from history have on the world?
Paradigms of Self
A paradigm is the way you see something -- your point of view, frame of reference, or belief. So a paradigm of self is how you see yourself. No matter how you see yourself, you're probably right. If you think you are good at school, then you can be good at school. If you think you are no good at math, then you'll be no good at math. Paradigms of self can help or hinder you. Positive self-paradigms can bring out the best in you, while negative self-paradigms can limit you.
Some positive paradigms I have about myself are:
If someone were going to name something after me, it would be:
Some negative paradigms I have about myself are:
Paradigms that my parents or guardians, boss at work, or teachers at school might have about me are:
Their paradigms match mine (true or false):
Could they be right? How will I find out?
Read the Paradigms of Self section on pages 13-16 of the Teens book. Now, evaluate how you see yourself by completing the assessment below.
Answer Yes or No
I am someone who cares about others' feelings.
I am good at school.
I am a kind person.
I am generally a happy person.
I am intelligent.
I am helpful.
I am a good athlete.
I am talented.
I am a go-getter.
I am a good member of my family.
I am a bad person.
I am lazy.
I am rarely happy.
I am not smart.
I am not good at anything.
I am not attractive.
I am not popular.
I am not a good friend.
I am not honest.
I am not reliable.
If you identified at least one negative self-paradigm during the assessment, complete the statement below:
One negative paradigm I would like to change is:
If your self-paradigms are all wrong, what do you do?
Spend time with someone who believes in me and recognizes my potential. For me, this person is:
Drop friends who tear me down or believe I am like them. Friends I may need to drop are:
Try to see things from other people's points of view to shift the paradigm. A situation I need to see the other side of is:
Paradigms of Others
In the Paradigms and Principles chapter you learn that you have paradigms not only about yourself but also about other people. And they can be way out of whack. Seeing things from a different point of view can help you understand why other people act the way they do. Sometimes you judge people without having all the facts.
Your paradigms are often incomplete, inaccurate, or completely messed up. Therefore, you shouldn't be quick to judge, label, or form rigid opinions of others, or of yourself, for that matter. From your limited point of view, you seldom see the whole picture, or have all the facts. You should open your mind and heart to new information, ideas, and points of view, and be willing to change your paradigms when it becomes clear that they're wrong.
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
Someone I may have judged inaccurately without having all the details is:
I will change that paradigm by: (Describe the actions you can take immediately.)
I can help others understand that their paradigms might be incomplete by: (Describe your actions or plan.)
Paradigms of Life
Besides having paradigms about yourself and others, you have paradi...