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The 7 Books of Highly Effective People

What if a pivotal book that once inspired you was only a launchpad?


If you’re like many professionals and go-getters, you’ve probably read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This book has served as a beacon for countless aspirants trying to reshape their lives. It plucks eternal principles and serves a feast for those who dare to succeed.

The beautiful feature about 7 Habits is that it combines a top-down with a bottom-up approach—in other words, it clearly tells you why you should do something, while also telling you how to do it. It’s motivational and practical.

The book is packed with gold. Yet, despite this, it’s still possible for readers to struggle applying the principles. I remember how challenging it was for me to execute Habit 3, after going through it multiple times. I’d even run out and bought Covey’s special planner! But I felt so overwhelmed. Was there something missing?

There’s only so much you can put in one book. 7 Habits is an excellent intro to personal management and interpersonal skills. After devouring it, though, you might get the question, as I did, “What next?

I’ve outlined a fantastic list of books, one for each Habit, that explores these powerful principles more in depth. You’ll be blown away, and Covey’s material will take on way more meaning than you may have seen at first.


Habit 1: Be Proactive

Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

Though this book covers many of the principles Covey discusses, its main focus is on how we respond to external circumstances and take control over our internal conditions. Robbins introduces a practical, step-by-step system for getting back in the driver’s seat.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood

Unveiling your purpose might never have been this simple. The Attwood duo make an entertaining, motivating, and actionable book that helps you get to the heart of who you are more easily, and follow what ignites your soul.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Getting Things Done by David Allen

What a lifesaver! Allen explains so clearly and so comprehensively how to streamline everything. It really gives skin and bones to this ghost we call “time management.” Just following a few of his tactics will boost your productivity significantly.

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

The Bond by Lynne McTaggart

McTaggart gives an alternative to the traditional paradigm of “survival of the fittest” and “might makes right.” She explains that in deepening our social connections and awareness, we thrive the most. This clarifies and broadens Habit 4, helping to integrate the essence of it more wholly.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

How God Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

Don’t let the title mislead you. This book, though giving fascinating insight into the neuroscience of spiritual practice, also presents systematic exercises for something the authors call Compassionate Communication. Raising the bar with listening, and speaking authentically and tactfully, are cornerstones of this program.

Habit 6: Synergize

The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

Ever heard the term Master Mind group? Napoleon Hill, who also authored the classic book Think and Grow Rich, coined the word and was one of the first people to flesh out the concept to a large audience. As he points out in this book, the Master Mind is the bedrock of his success philosophy. Of course, he talks about several other principles, yet synergy is the core theme.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

The Art and Science of Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda

There are so many ways to “sharpen the saw.” Any number of books could have been listed here, but I felt the best that I have personally read is Kriyananda’s comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand, masterpiece. Though he comes from a background in Indian spirituality, the exercises and practical advice in this book make it invaluable for any person. Mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all dealt with here!

Even if you haven’t taken the 7 Habits journey, you will undoubtedly find all of these books have powerful lessons to propel you further on your road to success. If you have read Covey’s work, you might return to it and digest it at a much more profound level. You’ll surely be a force of nature in the world!

Which books have you read that helped you the most to succeed? Please share below!