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First Things First Summary

First Things First Summary

Stephen R. Covey is best known for The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that has sold more than 25 million copies in 40 languages worldwide.

Simple Short Summary: The book teaches us to focus on the valuable things so that we can prioritize our time in doing important activities first rather than doing urgent activities as more often than not, we focus on bad things in life which gives rise to stress and deteriorate your decision making and focusing ability.

First Things First Summary

(Reading Time: 5 minutes)

In this book, First Things First, you’ll learn:

Lesson: A – The quality of life depends upon your needs and significant ethics

Lesson: B – Setting goals with taking extra steps will definitely reap reward in the end

Lesson: C – Collaborative approach fulfill basic human needs and reduce competition

Lesson: A – The quality of life depends upon your needs and significant ethics

Are you interested in focusing on things that bring joy, happiness? First things first will help you to do exactly that.

It guides you to seek balance in various aspects of your life to attain inner peace. Additionally, it educates you about why people often fail to accomplish their goals and what you do to save yourself.

So, the first step is to find out the crucial things you want to emphasize in your life. There’re four basic human needs that you can take care of. These are “need to live”, “need to learn”, “need to love”, and “need to leave a legacy.”

Let’s comprehend each one by one.

Starting with ‘need to live’ is the basic need of good health, food, and shelter. The next relates to mental need which is the “need to learn” which indicates mental nourishment. The third links with social need which is the “need to love” which demonstrates people you can trust and look after. The last one relates to spiritual need which is the “need to leave a legacy” that expresses purposefulness in your life.

Remember, happiness banks upon these four basic needs of humans, and if any of them aren’t meet, we’ll experience anxiety, fear, and stress.

For example, consider two men one is lonely while another is perfectly healthy and happy. The basic difference between the two personalities is that – in the first person, the needs aren’t fulfilled while in the second one, the needs are fulfilled which leads him to live a fulfilling life.

Thus, fulfilling needs establish your living standard. So, to carefully balance and fulfill these needs, you need to pay attention to your ethics.

Your ethics behave like your compass and guide you to reach your destination. All you’ve to do is to rely on them. Even though your principles mayn’t deliver an immediate result, but you must cling to them all the time.

Consider, for example, you’re a lazybones, but you wish to turn into a runner. Here, your principles will urge you to stick with your workout plan and maintain good health because these ethics will walk you through the way to reach your goal.

Even though these changes mayn’t provide a quick result, but you should stick with your principles and take guidance from them as you walk along your path to fulfill your needs.

Read: Manage Your Day To Day.

Lesson: B – Setting goals with taking extra steps will definitely reap reward in the end

Did you ever set New year’s goals that later cause you frustration as you didn’t accomplish them? Indeed, every year, most people set yearly goals, but shortly they return to their old rituals and habits.

Generally, people fail to reach their objectives. Sometimes, they, however, reach their objectives, yet are disappointed by the result.

For example, in the 1980s, the Soviet government puts restrictions on the selling of alcohol to reduce its consumption. This restriction decreases alcohol consumption, but it turns out that the consumption of narcotics increased.

It means when people didn’t find alcohol in the market, they started taking narcotics instead. Thus, you need to understand the distinction between the goal that just carries out, and the one that pulls off with a positive impact.

So, if you want to complete your goal in a positive manner, you need to take extra steps. The additional step is to find the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of your goal.

Here, ‘what’ refers to the correct thing to do, ‘why’ indicates an appropriate reason for doing it, and ‘how’ denotes a suitable manner for performing it. Let’s implement these extra steps of the goal.

For example, you want to reduce extra fat from your body and maintain a balanced physique. In this case, your ‘what’ is to maintain a decent shape. Then, the next step is to find the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the goal.

Your ‘why’ is building a good physique will make you feel better, and your ‘how’ is changing eating habits. Moreover, you also need to ensure that your goal should be in your influence. Otherwise, you perhaps achieve it.

For instance, you can control your body, rituals, and your habits, but can’t control other people’s behavior towards you. Finally, you’ve to remain dedicated to your goal.

Read: 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management Summary.

Lesson: C – Collaborative approach fulfill basic human needs and reduce competition

In life, we worry about who will get the good grades and the best jobs, thus we compete with friends, colleagues, and the people around us. Unfortunately, this focus brings competition and independence.

Seeing other people as a contestant will cause you to work alone. So, when you try to get everything all alone, you’ll rush to get results.

Likewise, the majority of people rush to live and love. Living in rush means choosing junk food when getting late for meetings rather than allowing yourself to take some time to eat healthy food.

And, rushing for love expresses changing relationship frequently when the conflict arises instead of giving some time to solve it. Sadly, these behaviors will bring trouble and deteriorate your life.

Eating unhealthy food will ruin your health, and a lack of patience for solving difficulties will spoil your marital life. Therefore, you shouldn’t lead by competition and independence but choose collaboration and interdependence, as these approaches are more powerful.

In our society, everyone counts on others to become happy and healthy. Thus, you should acknowledge this fact and prefer to stay interdependence.

The motive for becoming interdependence is the basic human needs to live, love, learn and leave a legacy that requires connections with other people.

Moreover, taking a collaborative approach will also develop a win-win situation and allow you to get benefits in the long term.

Favorite Quote from the book:

Favorite Quote From The Book First Things First Summary

First Things First Review

In this book, First Things First, Covey delivers helpful insight to focus your life on the things that truly matter to you.

The book takes a new approach to look at “a balanced life”. For this, you should balance your mental, physical, social, and spiritual components of life because, in our society, many people spend their day doing urgent tasks and forget to do the crucial activities.

Thus, Covey shows that you should determine priorities, replace urgent with important tasks and establish a balance in your life. With forward-thinking, you can set powerful goals, make better decisions, and craft a better vision for the future.

This book is especially for people who feel a lack of balance, find difficulty in making decisions, want to use time wisely, and improve life quality.

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