Fifteen years after publishing his hugely successful 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in 2004 Stephen Covey published the sequel, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. I consider Covey’s first book to be a classic in the personal development field. And with sales of over 25 million in 40 different languages I’m not the only one who thinks that either. The 8th Habit hasn’t hit the same dizzy heights. But it does carry an important message.
Few of us get taught how to be personally effective when we are growing up. Perhaps you had good role models in your life which helped you, but not everyone does. Schools and even higher education facilities are designed to pack our brains full of information and guide us to achieve academically. But they do not directly teach us how to be effective. You may well learn how to be effective to successfully get through the educational system. But if you did this was by good fortune, not by an overt design within the system. This then is one of the reasons that Covey’s 7 Habits book was so successful. It presents you with a methodology to help you to get the most out of your life. And it doesn’t matter what you want to do with your life, if you follow Stephen Covey’s seven habits you can take much of the chance out of achieving success.
With his 8th Habit Covey is inviting us to leap from the platform of effectiveness, we achieved by following his seven habits, and to grasp greatness. Of course, greatness will mean to you what it means to you. For Covey you can achieve greatness by finding your voice to inspire others to find theirs. Have the courage to be the authentic you, to speak your truth, and by doing so you can become a role model, an example to others. Right now the world is crying out for new leadership. Be that as the champion of equal rights and opportunities for women, people of colour, and/or non-heterosexual sexual orientation. As a leader in the field of childcare or education, helping humanity to break the cycles of neglect and abuse. Or even as a tech-leader, or business leader bringing new ways for humans to express themselves. Or working to evolve our monetary systems to help bring balance back to our financially unbalanced world. Or as an environmentalist, guiding humanity to reconnect with nature and to reduce our negative impacts on the planet. Or perhaps as an artist or coach looking to heal or inspire others to their greatness. You may even have ideas or directions that I haven’t encompassed here too. What matters is not in which field you feel drawn to influence or lead in. Instead what really counts is that we head towards unity, and the allowance of all people to be able to express who they feel they truly are without negatively affecting themselves, others, or the planet.
NLP is a toolkit that helps people to be personally effective. It includes change techniques so that you can let go of what doesn’t work for you and help others to do the same. And at the pinnacle of NLP is the Trainers Training, especially for those who want to become an influencer in the evolving and challenging environment of the 21st century. This training empowers people to live their passion with the complete kit of an inspirational speaker. Whether that means training others in NLP or simply by becoming a bulletproof presenter. One thing that I have discovered is that the higher that one rises within a business the more you get paid and the less you do. What you are getting paid for is to hold and manipulate (in a positive sense) ideas and concepts and then to relate these to other people. Being able to effectively present is one of the ways to do this. This month marks 15 years since I took this course myself. Since then, I have been able to live my passion and have enjoyed the very real privilege of helping others to do the same. Now perhaps it’s your turn…
“Life is not about accumulation, it is about contribution.” Stephen Cove