Stephen Covey Quotes and Rules For Success

Who is Stephen Covey?

Stephen R. Covey was a great personal development coach and motivational speaker, best known for his world-famous book “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” and inspiring people from all over the globe, with the power of universal principles. 

Today, you’ll learn the universal principles that govern every human being and can take you to your goals faster than you ever imagined.

Stephen Covey Quotes

But before we unveil the treasure, here are the best Stephen Covey quotes to inspire you to greatness:

1. Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. – Stephen Covey Quotes

2. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

3. Live out of your imagination, not your history.

4. Start with the end in mind. 

5. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.  – Stephen Covey Quotes

6. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

7. Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

8. You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage — pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”

Stephen Covey Quotes product

9.  I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

10. Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. So love her.  – Stephen Covey Quotes

11. When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.

12. The more people rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.

13. Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. – Stephen Covey Quotes

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Stephen Covey’s Top 10 Rules For Success

1. Use The Lighthouse Principles to Maintain Integrity

Lighthouse principle refers to the laws of nature that govern life.

For example:

One of the natural laws states that the four parts of a human being need to work in synergy for us to have a fulfilling life and inspire others. These four parts are – body, mind, heart and spirit.

Some other laws that govern life –  

  • Give love to receive love.
  • Stay away from toxic people, substances, and technology to stay mentally fit.
  • Idleness warps the mind. Invest your energy in a worthy goal.
  • Sleep, exercise, and diet – take care of the basics to feel physically healthy.

These laws govern every single person in the world regardless of what their personal values are. Your job is to never go against these laws – the lighthouse principles.

2. Use The 90/10 Principle to Always Be Under Control

People often get frustrated when things aren’t working well for them. But according to Stephen Covey, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.

So your circumstances are the way they are because of your own choices. Only when you take full responsibility for your life will you understand how to grow as a person.

Sounds harsh?

This is not hard to implement. It feels good to know that YOU are in control and if you make different choices, your life will turn around. This also shows in one of the best Stephen Covey quotes:

“I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions”. Click to Tweet

3. Use the Law of the Harvest to Create What You Desire

The Law of Harvest says that you reap what you sow.

Here’s the deal:

With this principle, Stephen Covey wants you to know that building a strong work ethic and being a giver in relationships are the seeds you should plant today to enjoy life tomorrow.

Just as the farmers who don’t know whether the harvest will be good in the coming season, you should also weigh the impact of each action, save for worst-case scenarios and plan ahead to reach your important goals.

4. Build Your Values With Truenorth Principle

A compass has a true north which is external, objective, and doesn’t depend on the internal state of the compass. Similarly, there are laws of life that don’t change with your personal values.

What’s the bottom line?

Stephen Covey says that you must build your personal values with deep respect for the “True North” principles.

For example:

If you are highly ambitious, you must respect the natural laws of hard work, working with a team and studying the greats.

5. Put First Things First

Covey says that people spend half of their time on urgent, but not important tasks. To live a successful and fulfilling life, you must know your purpose and highest priorities.

When you understand your vision, purpose, and highest priorities, you will be able to let go of the things that don’t matter to you.

6.  Practice Empathic Listening

Relationships are essential for survival and fulfillment.

But most of us wait for our turn to speak while talking to others. But if you really want to be understood, you have to understand the other person first. Deeply feel their emotions so that you can effectively influence them.

This is illustrated in one of the greatest Stephen Covey quotes:

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

7. Sharpen the Saw to Reach New Levels of Growth

Stephen Covey says that “you should preserve and enhance the greatest asset you have — you”.  

A great example:

Many employees feel that they produce more for less for their organizations. This makes them feel exhausted, mechanical, and insensitive.

Here’s the deal:

The right way is to renew and nourish yourself on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels by activities such as eating healthy, exercising, making meaningful social connections, reading, writing, being out in the nature, meditating, art, prayer and so on.

8. Inspiration Over Jackass Theory

Choose to work with people who appreciate you for making unique contributions and reward you for your creative potential.

The Jackass theory says that if you produce, you get the carrots and you don’t, you get beaten by a stick. But human contribution doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment.

Obvious, right?

Don’t work for people who treat you like a machine or a means of getting work done.

9. Find Your Voice

According to Stephen Covey, you were bestowed with certain gifts, talents, and intelligence that you need to uncover with decisive action. You need to discover your gifts and use them to live a passionate and fulfilling life.

How it’s done:

Covey says that you need to ask yourself the following four questions to find your voice.

  • What are you good at? (Your Mind)
  • What do you love to do? (Your Heart)
  • What need you can serve? (Your Body)
  • What brings meaning in your life? Become aware of the things that call you to a greater purpose. What does your intuition say you should do?  (Your Spirit)

10. Circle of Influence

What does it mean?

Circle of influence refers to the things you can control: making progress at work, nurturing your relationships, taking care of your physical body etc.

And the circle of concern consists of the things you can hardly control: terrorism, the weather, what others think about you, animal cruelty, etc.

The bottom line:

Covey says that you should invest all your energy in the circle of influence, because that’s where you can make progress and get the fulfillment that every person seeks in life.

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