Sharpen the saw

It’s preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It’s renewing the four dimensions of your nature: physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional. … “Sharpen the saw” basically means expressing all four motivations. It means exercising all four dimensions of our nature, regularly and consistently in wise and balanced ways.

~ Stephen Covey

Synergize

What is synergy? Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that the relationship which the parts have to each other is a part in and of itself. It is not only a part, but the most catalytic, the most empowering, the most unifying, and the most exciting part.

~ Stephen Covey

Seek first to understand, then to be understood

You’ve spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training or education have you had that enables you to listen so that you really, deeply understand another human being from that individual’s own frame of reference?

~ Stephen Covey

Think win/win

Most people tend to think in terms of dichotomies: strong or weak, hardball or softball, win or lose. But that kind of thinking is fundamentally flawed. It’s based on power and position rather than on principle. Win/Win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.

~ Stephen Covey

Put first things first

The degree to which we have developed our independent will in our everyday lives is measured by our personal integrity. Integrity is, fundamentally, the value we place on ourselves. It’s our ability to take and keep commitments to ourselves, to “walk our talk.” It’s honor with self, a fundamental part of the Character Ethic, the essence of proactive growth.

~ Stephen Covey

Begin with the end in mind

Each part of your life can be examined in the context of the whole, of what really matters most to you. By keeping that end clearly in mind you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have defined as supremely important, and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have to your life as a whole.

~ Stephen Covey

Be proactive

While the word “proactivity” is now fairly common in management literature, it is a word you won’t find in most dictionaries. It means more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our beavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.

~ Stephen Covey

You needn’t have happened

It’s the very last thing, isn’t it, that we feel grateful for: having happened. You know, you needn’t have happened. You needn’t have happened. But you did happen.

~ Douglas Harding

Reading is a superpower

The genuine love for reading itself, when cultivated, is a superpower. We live in the age of Alexandria, when every book and every piece of knowledge ever written down is a fingertip away. The means of learning are abundant—it’s the desire to learn that’s scarce. Cultivate that desire by reading what you want, not what you’re “supposed to.”

~ Naval Ravikant

Real satisfaction

Real work and real satisfaction come from the opposite of what the web provides. They come from going deep into something—the book you’re writing, the album, the movie—and staying there for a long, long time.

~ Steven Pressfield