Free your heart from hatred — forgive. Free your mind from worries — most never happen. Live simply and appreciate what you have. Give more. Expect less. – Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey entered life eternal on July 16, 2012. I’ve been so busy that I just read about it today, two weeks later. I still remember reading his best-selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People shortly after it was published in 1989. As a young marketing professional I devoured his words eagerly with desire to be more effective, to advance in my field, and to be successful (as I then defined success).
Today I revisited that book and discovered that even in my eagerness and desire to learn, I really hadn’t understood Covey at all. At age 51, I read his words through a different lens, one tempered by experience and seasoned with a more mature (hopefully) spirituality. Instead of the “must-have” guide to career success I read in my early thirties, I now understand Covey was writing more about how to live life well. He believed that the way one conducted one’s business reflected the way one approached a life of principle, character, and generosity.
In addition to the quote above, here are a few other favorite insights:
How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.
There’s no better way to inform and expand your mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature.
People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside them.
Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.
Covey understood that vocational success is about much more than work and achievement; it is an outgrowth of how one chooses to approach life and serve others. I am grateful to Dr. Stephen Covey for his words, wisdom, and example, and I am thankful to return to his writing with fresh eyes and a deeper sense of purpose and meaning.
Photo by thephotographymuse used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!