The First Habit of Highly Successful People

Stephen R. Covey forgot an essential habit of successful people.

Don’t misunderstand me. After scanning my copy of, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I resolved to read it again. It’s brilliant. 

  1. Be Proactive. You are in charge of your responses.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. Rise above busyness to internal directedness.
  3. Put first things first. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
  4. Think win-win.
  5. Seek first to understand, then be understood. Always understand others before offering solutions.
  6. Synergize. Experience creativity by building trust and cooperation.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Renew yourself physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially.

There is, however, one habit that precedes the seven.

the strength to begin again comes from compassion.png

The first habit: Begin again in new ways.

The ability to try one more time – in new ways – propels you forward. If you can’t begin again in new ways, frustration and irrelevance await.  

4 ways to begin again in new ways:

  1. Pursue excellence with self-compassion. The strength to begin again comes from compassion.
    • Stop beating yourself up. Learn instead. How can you pursue excellence while kicking yourself in the gut?
    • The ultimate pursuit of excellence is bringing your best self to the world. How might you bring out your best self?
    • Think what’s next. Arrival is the end. Next time is better than last time. Ask how could we do better next time.
  2. Integrate – don’t escape your past. Your past along with your character and skills are what you bring to this moment.
  3. Practice purposeful abandonment. You can’t begin again in new ways until you let go of ineffective behaviors.
  4. Live with your aspirations, not your history, in mind. Focus on where you’re going. (Balance this with #2.)

What prevents leaders from beginning again in new ways?

How might leaders help others begin again in new ways?