The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens (English)
Have you ever wondered how other teens look happy while you look miserable? Do you want to know why some teens find it difficult to cope with their problems?
Well, the problem is within. The whole problem lies inside you, in your perception. If you can change your perception, you can change yourself, doing so, you will change your situation.
This book is the solution for all your teenage problems. You will learn how some teens have sailed through the most challenging phases of life successfully and what were the secrets of their success.
In this book, you will learn about the problems of teenage life and their solutions. You will discover that change comes from within. If you want to make your life peaceful, you need to make your mind and body healthy and peaceful as well. In this book, you will also learn about some everyday habits of highly effective teens. Seven habits have been clearly explained in this book which can help you to change your perception and by implication yourself.
In this journey, you will learn the true meaning of success. Success does not mean money and fame. Success means to have a balance between personal and professional life.
Change the way you look at the world and the world will change for you. Make your inner self beautiful, and the world will automatically look beautiful.
So are you ready for the change? Let’s begin!
Get in the habit
Teenage is a complicated phase of life. Often teenagers do not understand what is right and what is wrong for them. They have to go through a lot of emotional up and downs in this phase. Being a teenager, you have to go through a lot of issues like friends, family, broken relationships, school and many others. You cannot turn off your life, but you can definitely change your life for the better.
The author Sean Covey suggested that seven habits are found among all successful and happy teen. Habits work on autopilot, and most of the time, you do not even realize that you have a habit of doing something all the time. Good habits can make you, while bad habits can break you. But the best part is that you can change your habit for a better life. Sean gave an example from his real-life experience to show how complicated teenage life could be.
He fell in love for the first time when he was in school. He was in love with a girl named Nicole. Sean was shy and did not dare to talk to girls directly. He told his friend, Clar, to help him propose to his crush. He asked Clar to tell Nicole that he loved her. Clar talked to Nicole about Seans’ feelings. After completing the task, He went back to Sean to say Nicole’s reply. Clar told Sean that Nicole had rejected him because Sean is fat. Clar laughed at Sean, and Sean was heart-broken. He felt ashamed and wanted to hide in some place for all his life.
Teenage is a difficult phase of life where even a small innocent remark can cause significant damage. Sean recovered from the situation unharmed. But this is not the case always, because some teens find it difficult to cope up with the situation and end up harming themselves.
There is an example to show how habits can be changed. Let’s do an exercise. Fold your arms. Now fold your arms in the opposite way. You will feel a little weird because you have a habit of folding in them like the first way. If you wrap your arms in the opposite direction for thirty days, you will not feel so strange. It will become your habit by then. It means that you can change your bad habits and you can also acquire good habits.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
There are two types of people: the first type of people are reactive, and the second type of people are proactive. Reactive people blame others for anything terrible happening or that happened to them. They do not take responsibility for their condition. Reactive people always feel victimized. Meanwhile, proactive people take charge of their lives. They take responsibility for their situation. They are not a passenger, but they are rather the driver of their own journey. Sean Covey says that the first step toward victory is to become proactive.
Let’s understand the difference between the reactive people and the proactive people with the help of an example.
Assume you have a very close friend whom you hang out with frequently, and that friend talks very sweetly to you. One day you found out that your friend is saying bad things about you in your absence, and, you overheard the conversation. How will you feel? You will feel betrayed and hurt. Now there are two choices: ither you can be reactive, or you can be proactive.
If you choose to be reactive, you will stop talking to that friend, and you may even attack he or her. Or you may go through depression. Or you may start speaking badly about that friend and find ways to take revenge. In this way, you have given the remote control to your friend. Now she can change your mood whenever she wants.
If you choose to be proactive, you will forgive your friend. You will tell her how you feel about that incident and how you do not want it to happen again. You will ignore what has happened and give your friend a second chance. Now you become best friends forever.
This is how proactive people take charge of their lives. They do not let anyone else control their emotions. They decide how they want to react. No one else can make you respond otherwise.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
We are always busy trying to achieve one or the other. We work hard to achieve the goals we set without even analysing their values to us. We getting busy doing unimportant things not related to our set-goals results in we losing our focus and forget our real ambitions.
The second habit of highly effective teens is that they begin with the end in mind. It means to have a clear picture of what you want to be in your life. This habit is essential because of two reasons: The first one is that the teenage years is a critical crossroad. Your choice of the path you chose will affect your life in future. The second reason is that, if you do not decide who you want to be, someone else will decide it for you.
The habit beginning with the end in mind had helped Jim to live his dreams.
When Jim was in ninth grade, he started dreaming about what he wants to be when he became an adult. Whenever he felt down and depressed, Jim used to go to a silent place and begin to visualize where he would go and where he would live when he becomes an adult. By doing this, Jim planned his whole life. He planned about his education, his future family, house and even his kids. Jim took control of his life and rooted himself firmly. Now, no one can make decisions outside his goals for him.
Teenage is a critical crossroad, where you need to choose your path wisely. Here is a story to prove this point. Sean Covey had a good friend named Jack who went to Europe and returned with a party drug. He invited new friends and the author was also invited to try this drug. Sean knew that Jack was on the wrong path, and he did not want to follow him, but he did not have many close friends, and Sean did not want to be a loner in school. Irrespective, he decided to leave Jacks’ company and Sean made new friends. After a few months, Jack became a drug addict and was drowned in a swimming pool. Sean was sad about Jacks’ loss, but he felt grateful that he made the right decision of leaving him on time.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Time management is a big problem with todays’ teenagers. They have many planned activities, with a limited time. So,it is important to put first things first. The first things are the most important things. You need to prioritize these important things over everything else. This habit is all about prioritizing. This is about saying yes to important things and saying no to peer pressure and things that are not important.
This habit is best explained with a Time Quadrant model. There are two main ingredients of this model which are “important” and “urgent”. Important things are those that contribute to your goal, and urgent things are those that demand immediate attention.
There are four-time quadrants. The first quadrant is represented by the procrastinator. It contains urgent and important things. It includes activities like, “if you don’t do your homework on time, you have to stay up all night to finish it.”
The third quadrant is represented by the Yes-man. It includes urgent but not important things. This quadrant includes activities that are important to others but not to you. In doing these things, you are try to please others. For example, the Yes-man never turns down anyone. If his friends wanted him to go cruising with them, he would go with them even if he needs to do something important. The Yes-man does not know how to say no to his friends.
The Slacker represents the fourth quadrant. This quadrant includes unimportant and non-urgent activities. This is the category of excess and wasteful things. For example, the Slacker sleeps until noon. He loves reading comics and watching television. He has no job. He likes watching movies and chatting on the internet for hours. He likes relaxing all day without doing any productive activity, but rather wasting time.
The second quadrant is the most important one. This quadrant is represented by the Prioritizer. It includes activities that are important but not urgent. It includes relationship building, relaxation, planning, exercise, etc. For example, a Prioritizer knows when to say no. If he or she have to prepare for a huge test and his or her friends ask him or her to go to a friday night party, he or she will simply say no with a smile. In this way, he or she gets enough time to prepare for the upcoming challenge in advance.
Everyone spends their time in these four quadrants. The only difference among people is the amount of time they dedicate to each quadrant. To be a successful teenager, you have to shrink your quadrant 1, 3 and 4 and maximize your quadrant 2.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
There can be three types of interactions between people. These are Win-Lose, Lose-Win, and Lose-Lose. All three of them are common but are poor types of interactions. They might look fine in the first glance, but in the end, they are not. If the people involved in an interaction are not mutually benefiting mutually, the person on the losing end will eventually break the relationship.
Only mutually beneficial interactions can have a bright future. Therefore, you need to think Win-Win. Both parties should be on the winning side to make the relationship work. For this, you need to be both considerate and courageous. You need to maintain an abundance Mentality which means that there is enough for everyone, and you do not need to defeat anyone for your victory.
Here we have two stories to learn how Win-Win type of interaction works.
Here is the first story; One night, Marie had a fight with her mom. Her mom wanted to take the car for grocery shopping, and Marie wanted to take the car to watch a game with her friends. Her mom told Marie to call her friends so they could pick her up. But Marie resisted the idea, saying that she feels embarrassed when her friends always had to pick her up. Her mom argued that grocery shopping is more important than the game, but Marie didn’t listen to her. Finally, Marie won, and her mom lost. Marie may have won, but it will not always be the case. Next time, when her mom gets a chance to keep the score, Marie will lose. So this Win-Lose interaction is not going to work for a long time.
Here is the second story; Dawn and Pam were classmates and friends in high school. They played for the girls basketball team. Dawn was a good player, and she started making four to five nice shots in every game and she gained popularity because of that. Pam was jealous of her friend and decided not to pass the ball to Dawn even if she was open for the shot. Pam kept the ball away from Dawn in every game. Dawn felt irritated with pam’s attitude and talked to her father about it.
Her father suggested to her to pass the ball to Pam every time she gets the ball. Dawn did not like her fathers’ suggestion at first but,in the next game, she did exactly what her father said to her. Dawn passed the ball to Pam even when she could make a shot herself. Pam was surprised by that. Dawn continued to pass the ball to Pam every time she got the ball. After a while, Pam also started doing the same. Dawn and Pam became friends again and together they won many games and became a famous small town duo.
This is how Win-Win strategy always works and benefit the participants in the long run. If Dawn also started to keep the ball from Pam, they could never be friends again. Their hatred for each other would have increased, and they would have lost many games.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
People often tend to give free advice. Giving advice is not a bad thing, but you should deeply understand the problem of a person before giving them an advice. If you want that person to listen to your advice, then you should listen to them first. Listen to their problems, understand what they really need, create trust and then advice. If you don’t listen to people, they will not trust your diagnosis, and they will not take your advice. Therefore, it’s best to understand before seeking to get understood.
Let’s understand this with a simple example. Suppose you go to a shop to buy a new pair of shoe, and the sales clerk ask you about your preference, but didn’t wait for your reply. Before you could say a word, he suggests an ugly looking pair of shoe and says that “this is the best choice for you”. What would you do? Would you go to the shop again? No. Because you cannot trust someone’s advice, who does not even listen to you.
There was one time when Sean Covey got injured during a game. His biceps were burning with pain. Sean went to a doctor and described what he feels. But the doctor didn’t listen to him. The doctor said that he understands what Sean is feeling. The doctor prescribed some exercise to Sean, which only caused even more pain. Sean never went to that doctor again.
There is one more story to make the point clearer. Candace is a schoolgirl who was diagnosed with anorexia. It is an eating disorder in which the person does not eat food because of weight concerns. The anorexic patient either eats sparingly or does not eat at all. In her high school, everyone suggested to Candace to eat more food. Her parents were also worried about her weight. She was too thin. Her parents took her to many doctors to make her eat. But nothing worked. Candace could not eat anything. When she was in college, she lived with three girls in a dormitory.
Her roommates never suggested eat anything to her, even when they were concerned about her condition. Those three girls did not treat her like a patient. Instead, they treated her like a person. Candace had fun with them. They tried to understand her. She started to trust her roommates, and they eventually became good friends. After some time, Candace slowly started to follow her roommates’ diet and started eating three times a day. This story suggests that you cannot force your advice. You need to build trust, and then people will follow you. First, you need to understand the person and their problem, and then you can give the advice.
Habit 6: Synergize
You must have heard the phrase that two heads are better than one. It is better to synergize than to fly alone. When people work together for a better result, it is called synergy. Synergy is a Win-Win interaction. Here both participants win. To synergize, people need to understand the differences among them and appreciate their unique talents.
Nature is full of synergy. You must have seen birds on rhinoceros back, eating bugs found on the rhino’s skin. Here the birds are fed, and the rhino is getting cleaned. Thus both the participants are benefiting. Many plants and lichens also live in a symbiotic form of relationship.
One great example of synergy is the flying formation of geese. They fly in a V formation. In this formation, they can fly 71 per cent more efficiently than each flying alone. The geese in the back encourage the front geese by honking. The geese in this formation change their position when they get tired. The front geese move to the back when they are tired. When one goose gets tired and falls out of the formation, other geese take care of the tired goose to get it back to the formation. They all work together to make the formation work. Synergy makes it possible for the geese to fly farther.
Synergy can also be seen in humans. For example, Sean Covey had a friend in high school named Unga. He was a scary-looking boy. He was big for his age, and he was a street fighter. Sean and Unga had many differences. Their way of talking, dressing and eating were significantly different, yet, they were very good friends. The only thing they had in common was football. Despite their differences, Sean and Unga were friends because they celebrated their differences. Both of them had some shortcomings and some strengths. Together, they were complete.
Habit 7: Sharpen your saw
The last habit of highly effective teen is to sharpen your saw. It means to get some relaxation or rest, doing whatever you need to do to relax. You can do meditation, yoga, or exercise. You can try music or dancing or anything to make you feel refreshed. It is essential to take care of both your mind and body. Sharpening your saw will increase your efficiency.
Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose you saw a man in the forest, and the man was felling a tree. He had been doing it for hours, and he was already furious, and you told the man that his blade was looking dull, that he should sharpen his saw and the man called you an idiot and said he was busy felling the tree ,that he has no time to sharpen his saw. Now, guess who the real idiot was? Yes, it was the man who tried to fell the tree with a dull blade. If he only stopped for fifteen minutes to sharpen his saw, then he could have saved two to three hours.
You need to take care of all dimensions. You cannot just focus on one dimension and leave the others. Can you drive a car with only one tyre? No. You need to take care of all the tyres to drive safely. You need to take care of the oil, engine, gas and brakes to enjoy the journey.
So the essence of sharpening your saw is, taking some time to relax and boost yourself. You will not only feel refreshed, but it will also improve your efficiency to work.
In this book, you must have learnt about the seven habits of highly effective teens. These habits works for everyone. Whether you are a teenager or an adult, these habits will be beneficial to you. And, you must have also learnt about the importance of building relationship ethics and personal growth. You must have also learnt how to create a balanced life between work and play.
In this journey, you must have also learnt about the secrets of a successful teenage life In addition you must have learnt the importance of prioritizing, synergy, and relaxing, including how to be proactive. You must have also learnt how to give direction to your life and how to prevent yourself from wasting your time.
Don’t be a slave of your old habits. You are stronger than they are, and you can change them to become a better person. Bring the changes into yourself and the world will change for you.
Start practising and be a highly effective teen!