I was a bit of a go-getter in my younger days.
Fresh out of Uni, I wanted to get a good job and make some money.
(Mainly so I could spend the money on beer, holidays, records and LOTS of food, which I don’t think is the secret of getting rich, is it?)
For a short while I worked for an American-based company who published a lot of personal improvement stuff – books and courses to help improve the lot of the everyday person.
To educate me in the ways of USA-style success methods, they plied me with old classics like Think and Grow Rich, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
You might have heard of those?
There was another famous one, called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey.
Today I’m going to share these 7 habits with you.
But with a Good Life twist.
Because I’m going to assume that you’re not reading my Good Life Letters to get rich, become a CEO or start your own company.
(If you are, then you must be disappointed with my work so far!)
So instead, here’s how his advice applies to people who simply want to be happier and healthier.
These were the 7 habits he recommended:
- Be Proactive. Rather than reacting to external events, recognise that your choices are the result of your decisions, not your life conditions.
My take – I don’t actually agree with this in full, because when it comes to health, we are all totally trapped in a carcinogenic, stressful, polluted world with poor food going cheap everywhere.
However, whatever the case, it is crucial to take responsibility for your own health because, ultimately, nobody else will do it for you – and hopefully the Good Life Letter is a useful tool to help you do that!
- Begin with the End in Mind. Visualise what you want to achieve in the long run and then plan your actions and tasks accordingly.
My take – think about what makes you truly happy… whatever hobby, pastime or pleasures you have in life…. and then make sure you can be physically fit enough to enjoy it, whether that’s reducing your pain, controlling your weight or getting more sleep.
- Put First Things First. A lot of things in life seem urgent, and you end up putting those ahead of what’s important. Instead you need to focus on what’s crucial above all else.
My take – make sure you prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing before you commit too much to other people’s demands (whether that’s work or family).
- Think Win/Win. Instead of thinking in terms of competition (win/lose), the idea is to have everyone benefit from a decision or action (win/win).
My take – you can better help your loved ones when you are in a good state of mind and health – and if you’re actually ALIVE – so look after yourself better and everyone wins.
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood: Before proposing your ideas or seeking solutions, it’s important to genuinely understand the other person’s perspective.
My take – I think this is worth considering when you get into arguments about pharmaceuticals, complementary medicine and alternative therapies. Understand that not everyone has the same point of view, and that we can all learn a little from each other. There is too much division these days!
- Synergise. By working together, people can produce better results than if they were working individually.
My take – this is why it’s crucial to share tips and ideas about health and wellbeing! Find out what works for other people and use their wisdom and experience to find your own path to a healthier life.
- Sharpen the Saw. We should all be in a process of continuous improvement in all areas – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
My take – absolutely! Good health is not just about focusing on one factor in isolation but considering your whole life.
Anyway, maybe those tips will help.
Or if you prefer a different set of seven habits, then this might be more your thing.
‘Nature Mental Health‘ Reveals 7 Habits to Help Ease Depression
Earlier this month, a study published in Nature Mental Health revealed 7 healthy habits that could help ease depression.
It was based on 29,000 people, 13,000 of whom had depression.
Researchers concluded that we need to do the following:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Follow a health exercise
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid sitting down for long periods of time
- Cultivate frequent social connection
- Eat a healthy diet
Now, I’m totally in agreement with these.
But aren’t we all?
For me, these seem so obvious that they don’t bear repeating.
I assume the same goes for you.
After all, we KNOW these things are good for a longer, happier, healthier life.
It’s being able to turn them into habits we keep up every day – THAT’S the challenge.
It’s not the what – it’s the HOW – that most people struggle with.
In that sense, the 7 habits of effective people (with my Good Life twist) might end up being more helpful for you.