Paradigms are inseparable from character. Being is seeing in the human dimension. And what we see is highly interrelated to what we are. We can’t go very far to change our seeing without simultaneously changing our being, and vice versa.

p. 32

I ran out of time to read this entire book, so accept this review with a grain of salt. The first 45 pages made complete and utter sense, and I assume the 350 others did, too. I enjoy it when books explain the obvious to me because it makes me feel smart for knowing all this ahead of time and feel like a slacker for letting someone else write it down in words and publish it in a book. Stephen Covey has the right idea (an idea I had first, or at least at the same time): Focus on character over personality. Life should sort itself out nicely then.


We weren’t always so focused on the wrong things (p. 18)

In stark contrast, almost all the literature in the first 150 years or so focused on what could be called the Character Ethic as the foundation of success—things like integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden Rule. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is representative of that literate.

Do we have the right map? (p. 24)

If you have the right map of Chicago, then diligence becomes important, and when you encounter frustrating obstacles along the way, then attitude can make a real difference. But the first and most important requirement is the accuracy of the map.

Each of us has many, many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values.

Admission of ignorance (p. 37)

You cannot pretend for long, for you will eventually be found out. Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education.

Looking outside yourself isn’t easy (p. 44)

Inside-out is a dramatic paradigm shift for most people, largely because of the powerful impact of conditioning and the current social paradigm of the Personality Ethic.

Dependent vs. independent vs. interdependent (p. 49)

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Table of Contents)

Private Victory

1. Be proactive: principles of personal vision

2. Begin with the end in mind: principles of personal leadership

3. Put first things first: principles of personal management

Public victory

Paradigms of interdependence

4. Think win/win: principles of interpersonal leadership

5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood: principles of empathetic


6. Synergize: principles of creative cooperation


7. Sharpen the awl: principles of balanced self-renewal

Posted by:Kevan Lee

VP of marketing currently living in Boise, Idaho. I work with the lovely folks at Buffer. You can join my email list to get an inside look at marketing and branding and team-building in tech.