By: Stephen Covey
Yes, the title is gimmicky. But there's a reason there's 25 million copies of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in circulation—the book is clock-full of profound, actionable wisdom. Approaching from an academic angle, Stephen Covey focused his studies on success literature of the past 200 years, looking for parallels and common practices, and wrote this book about his discoveries.
I gained numerous conceptual understandings from this book—how our paradigms create our “reality,” how to step back and examine more than the problem but my interpretation of it, how to set priorities and understand why to follow them.
Most importantly, Covey illuminates the space we have between stimulus and response—a space where we have the freedom to choose our response—in which lies the freedom to control our own fate. Should we consciously predetermine our reaction to an certain action, we can override our conditioned or automatic response with a response of our own. This, I believe, has life-changing, fate-thwarting power, and just this concept alone makes The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People worth reading. And, of course, acting upon.