The book talks about a set of habits which differentiates successful people from the normal. It criticizes [recently popular] personality ethic which it terms as deceptive and manipulative and calls for character ethic which is a fundamental change in human character. This change must begin from inside and spreads out [inside-out] and reverse is not possible.
The book is divided into three parts
- Private Victory
- Be Proactive
focus on where you can do something (focus on circle of influence instead of circle of concern)
- Begin with end in mind
while starting something thinking about what to do after its attained
(The book also talks about how most people are centered around someone/something like spouse-centered, money-centered, job-centered and suggests that being principle-centered in the highest form)
- Put first things first
Successful people don’t do what they like to do but what they have to do.
The author divides all our activities into four quadrants [important and urgent, important but not urgent, urgent but not important and neither urgent nor important]. He points out that most people focus on urgent things, we should instead focus on important things]
- Think Win/Win
Go away with scarcity syndrome [accept abundance mentality]
stop thinking win/lose
- Seek first to understand and then to be understood
try doing empathic listening
Admire people different than you and try to understand how differences can help you both.
- Sharpen the saw
four dimensions of renewal – physical, mental, social/emotional, spiritual
keep learning new skills