To Read: Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Can reading fiction help you advance your skills? Well, personally, I owe my reading habit to the world of fiction so that’s that. However, reading non-fiction, or let’s say even books in general can indeed set you on the path of becoming your dream self – if you know what I mean!
My tryst with the world of non-fiction started pretty late though. It wasn’t until I was in graduation that I ventured into the world of non-fiction. And the first non-fiction book I read and loved was THE timeless nugget of wisdom – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This is not a read-it-through from cover to cover at a go kind of book. It’s a practical guide on personal development that you keep going back to in spirals time and again throughout your life. Or at least, that’s how it is for me. I hear there’s “The 8th Habit” book too and I’ll read that in due time. As of now, for the past decade, Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” have been my handbook on adulting through life.
First published in 1989, the insights offered in this book remain widely influential in both personal and professional circumstances and relationships, empowering readers to enhance their effectiveness and lead more meaningful lives. Stephen Covey presents a holistic approach to personal development, emphasizing the importance of character and integrity as the foundation for long-term success. The writing is simple and inspiring because Covey candidly mentions moments from his life where he himself had to course-correct too and not just once. Most importantly, the book revolves around the concept that success offers a sense of fulfilment only when it involves habits that align with your core values.
Carousel: The Contents of the Book
The book is structured around seven habits, each habit building on top of the previous one and together forming a journey for personal transformation – an individual progression from dependence to independence, to interdependence, where individuals can thrive in collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships and social institutions.
The ultimate takeaway from this book is that “balance” is the key. A balanced approach to personal growth, ensuring sustainable success and well-being, rooted in genuine efforts to sculpt out who we become as a person. In fact, our previous post “Rephrasing 101” is highly inspired by the 7th habit in this gem of a book.
The purpose of this book is not to tailor-fit our behaviour to tweak how it might be perceived, but to actually work on our behaviour so as to align our actions with our values. And that is what makes this book an absolute must-read.
What sets this book apart is Covey’s ability to combine deep philosophical insights with practical strategies. He provides actionable steps and real-life examples to help readers apply the principles in their own lives. The book is filled with thought-provoking anecdotes, exercises, and self-assessments, making it highly interactive and engaging. Stephen Covey masterfully weaves together a rich tapestry of wisdom from various disciplines, including psychology, leadership, and ethics. The book is highly relatable, addressing common challenges faced in personal and professional life since forever. My personal favourite aspect of the book is how it integrates our personal and professional beings, reminding us that we cannot really take drastically different modes through life.
To Read or Not To Read?
Unquestionably, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is an invaluable guide for anyone seeking personal growth and a framework for achieving success with integrity and purpose. This book is definitely a go-to reference for those who are willing to take ownership of their own thoughts and actions, and foster collective progress amongst the human community.