KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — As a student, there are a lot of things you probably need to figure out. Aside from staying on top of your grades in school, there are a ton of other things you’re juggling as well — your social life, school and extra-curricular activities, as well as figuring out what you want to do with your life.
One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is deciding what to study, and how that will translate to what you want to do with your life. Sounds like a lot to handle? Well, fear not. We have gotten help from Stephen Covey, an expert in life management and a leadership guru. He has published the best-selling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in 1989, which has helped more than US$200 million (RM800.5 million) businesses ads.
Till today, his book is still one of the most respected and relevant tools to help people and businesses excel. Simply put, these lessons sum up seven key habits that once applied consistently and correctly, will empower you to live and lead the life you want.
1. Be proactive
Start small by first being conscious of your thoughts, values and actions. Every day, see how controlling your responses to situations will affect your circle of influence. Don’t rush, but, be more mindful on how you process your thoughts and feelings in every situation you face.
2. Begin with the end in mind
Focus your energy on your desired outcome. Then, make a plan and as much as you can, stick to it. Yes, there may be times you may need to be flexible and make changes, but never lose sight of what you want to happen. Remember, it’s always about changing your ways to get to your goals, not changing your goals itself.
3. First things first
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, so why do some people seem to get more things done than others? Priorities. Be absolutely critical of how you spend your time and make sure you organise your activities to the goals you want to achieve. Concentrate only on tasks that will bring you closer to achieving them.
4. Think win-win
The world is full of great opportunities, more than enough for everybody. Always aim to have a win-win approach to your strategy, whereby both or more parties get the best desired results. That way, the task is motivating and are definite success for all.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Having great interpersonal and communication skills go a long way. Just think of all successful people — Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Fernandes — they are master communicators. Their strong ability to effectively articulate their vision, engage their consumers, as well as convince their stakeholders and partners, all require some good communication skills. Remember that building good relationships mean being a good listener and being able to read the ‘body language’ as well.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the paradox of 1+1=3, but how’s that possible? Simple, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. Great talents with different strengths coming together with a shared vision can achieve remarkable results, compared to even the most efficient person alone.
7. Sharpen the saw
This involves forming a habit to reflect and evaluate yourself. This should cover four aspects of your life: physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional. Be equally honest and critical about yourself and take daily steps to make the changes needed to achieve what you want.