Good Morning Sunday: 25 Highly Effective and Inspirational Quotes by Stephen Covey

by ZK on July 22, 2012

 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Last week while I was scrolling through my tweeter feeds, one of the tweets caught my attention – It said Stephen Covey had died.

I immediately looked up at my book shelf and saw the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” …I started to gather the “7 Habits” in my mind.

Stephen Covey, the management guru was a master story teller and one of the top motivational and inspirational figure of this century. His books taught us to dig within ourselves and bring out our true inner potential and self confidence.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold over 20 million copies in more than 38 languages world wide, truly powerful lessons in personal change.

Some of his other successful books are The 8th Habit, First Things, First and The 3rd Alternative. Not only were his books motivational, his quotes were also highly inspirational.

Below are 25 Highly Effective and Inspirational quotes by Stephen Covey.

1. “Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or as we are conditioned to see it.”

2. “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

3. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

4. “Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it–immediately.”

5. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

6. “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.”

7. “Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.”

8. “If you’re proactive, you don’t have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own.”

9. “We are free to choose our actions, . . . but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions.”

10. “Live out of your imagination, not your history.”

11. “I think the most significant work we’ll do in our whole life, in our whole world is done within the four walls of our home.”

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

13. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

14. “Many people seem to think that success in one area can compensate for failure in other areas. But can it really?…True effectiveness requires balance.”

15. “You can’t talk your way out of a problem you behaved your way into!”

16. “Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”

17. “…to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.”

18. “Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement, no commitment.”

19. “Management works in the system. Leadership works on the system.”

20. “Between stimulus and response, one has the freedom to choose.”

21. “Begin with the end in mind.”

22. “Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems.”

23. “Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world.”

24. “One of the best ways to educate our hearts is to look at our interaction with other people, because our relationships with others are fundamentally a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.”

25. “Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education.”

Bonus quote and my favorite – “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”

Have you read any of Stephen Covey’s books, which is your favorite Covey quote

Have a Happy Sunday and a Great Week Ahead :)


Article by ZK

ZK is the founder of, he also runs Thesis Discounts where you can get bonuses worth $477 with the Thesis Theme. Connect with ZK on Google +

ZK has written 738 awesome articles for this blog.

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John Ernest @ IT Staffing Agencies in Houston Texas July 22, 2012 at 4:41 am

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

This would make an impression on me forever. To teach other what you know comprises not only telling them the facts but also sharing with them the understanding that you have earned. If you just tell them what you know, and what you know does not necessarily mean that you understood it, then the understanding that they should have earned will be lost forever and only the knowledge will be shared for generations to come, and not the wisdom that would help every generation be a bit more productive if not successful.

foreign auto repair in st george,ut July 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

“Seek 1st to understand, subsequently for being realized. ”

This will win over me personally eternally. To teach various other everything you learn comprises not only informing these information but additionally revealing with these the actual realizing that you’ve got gained. When you simply just let them know everything you learn, as well as everything you learn doesn’t necessarily mean that you realized this, then a knowing that they need to possess gained is going to be dropped eternally in support of the ability is going to be propagated with regard to years in the future, and not the actual intelligence that may help just about every era become a bit more successful in any other case productive.

Alicia July 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Thanks for sharing Stephen Covey’s 25 inspirational quotes! These quotes really make my Sunday!

Rahul Kashyap July 23, 2012 at 12:27 am

WoW Awesome Tip Thanks for sharing 25 inspirational quotes! :)

Nanvy @ CRM Software Solutions July 23, 2012 at 4:03 am

After reading the quotes I must believe the statement that Stephen was really one of the top motivational and inspirational figure of this century.
Truly inspirational!

Michelle Symonds (@dittoUK) July 23, 2012 at 5:12 am

So many of these quotes strike a personal chord with me – some because I never do things that way and wish I did (so definitely need the reminder to be inspired to change!); some because I do them a bit but wish I worked that way more often and some because I never do that and really should.

I particularly like #11 and #24 because they are such strong reminders that our personal lives, relationships and habits affect everything we do at work:

11. “I think the most significant work we’ll do in our whole life, in our whole world is done within the four walls of our home.”

24. “One of the best ways to educate our hearts is to look at our interaction with other people, because our relationships with others are fundamentally a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.”

Thanks for sharing ZK

Aditya July 23, 2012 at 5:19 am

I am impressed with these quotes.Thanks Zk for sharing these quotes.Some of them are really good and if followed can make ones life meaningful.

Drawing Out The Truth July 23, 2012 at 7:05 am

Very inspirational book from Stephen. One of the top mindset and also motivating figure.

Stefan July 23, 2012 at 8:09 am

I love number 5. Since I heard that quote I started paying more attention to this – people are really just about replying, instead of listening.

Great list and nothing but respect for Stephen..

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