7 Essential Habits for Every Family and Student

Written By: Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny”

Recently I was asked an interesting question. “If you could only choose one contemporary book on the practice of leadership, what would it be?” Without hesitation I responded, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.”

Do you know what life skills are most important for your children? Is there frequent conflict in your family? Is the company you run stuck in the mud of mediocrity? Let me recommend you buy a copy of this book and block off an afternoon to read it from cover to cover. Whether you’re a mom or dad, grandparent or friend – take the challenge. You’ll be glad you did.

“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 writes in his book. Let me highlight three of the seven habits he talks about in his book to get you started.

1. Be Proactive: If you desire to be a proactive person, it’s about taking initiative and taking responsibility. Don’t wait until tonight to decide to read Covey’s book. At the end of this blog, go to the Amazon website and buy a copy. Set an appointment on your iPhone calendar for you to read the book. Don’t squander this opportunity. God wants more for you than you can imagine and the next step on that exciting journey may be taking this simple first step.
2. Put First Things First: If you give your best energy to the most important things, life will improve dramatically. We often have petty interests and pedantic pursuits. The first step toward getting this habit right is to sit down with your family this weekend and make sure your calendars reflect a daily investment in your relationship with Jesus and your family. When those suffer, so do other areas of my life. Seek to put your relationships with people above your performance on projects, and see how it impacts your life.
3. Sharpen the Saw: Covey uses this word picture to illustrate that when we are sharp (rested and renewed), our saw (our work and witness) is more effective. If you’re not taking at least a little time for yourself, it can be difficult to foster strong relationships and achieve big goals. Make sure you find quiet moments for prayer, meditation, reading, and reflection. Schedule time for physical activity, your favorite hobby, and visiting with friends. These activities “sharpen your saw” and are necessary for a full life.

There are four more habits that Covey discusses, and they’re all applicable to one area of life or another. There are special editions of the book for younger students as well as teens. In fact, Rick Bohner, US Assistant Principal, is taking our SGA students through Covey’s book to help sharpen their leadership skills. I encourage you to take the challenge and read 7 Habits – let me know what you think.