I have completed reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey recently. You might know him from his first 7 Habits book of highly effective people. The first time I heard about this book was from Podcast I heard. I am not into reading such this type of book previously, but this book makes profound changes to my perception and made me think, how could possibly this amazing book exist and I don’t even know about it before.
I am not sure which book you should read them first between those 7 Habits book, but the one that I read belonged to my friend. You could start reading them from the original one or, the one that I had, whatever you want.
This is not going to be my review about this book, about its content or everything in it. You could find it anywhere and I think many people have written about it if you are curious about its content. So, I am just going to share my experience reading this book and how this book totally changed me, and how powerful the idea inside it.
I can say that I am not such a book worm that may have a target reading lots of books in a specific period. Completing one book and gives me huge energy to do a kind of deep thinking and reflection about ourselves. Or you can say, to know our self better.
As you are growing up, you cannot decline that you are going to have your own family, being a father or mother someday. Or right now if you already have one. Family is the smallest entity in your life circle which has the strongest bond, physical or emotional. So, if you nurture it the right way, it will grow and ripe at it best.
This is my first book ever that I have read with deep knowledge and idea and delivered in a very simple way, easy to understand-analogy, perfect examples of many families which testify inside it, and a lot more. And surprisingly, it was written in 1997. Damn! How could this such an old-fashioned book become so relevant and applicable in more than 20 years!
Why you should read this book once in your life?
In the beginning of the book, it says that the principles explained in this book was universal principles which already exist and maybe some of us already applicated without realizing it. But it well-articulated in form of writing and easy to understand. I wondered how long the research has been made by the author to create this to be this good.
The shared idea that make me into this book in the first place was the beginning two chapter. It was: You are Going to be Off Track and Be Proactive. Stephen says that many families run their family without any decent and clear vision of their destination, so they have nowhere to go and have no idea what their family going to be.
He gives us the analogy of a plane. Father as a pilot, should know the destination of the plane. Its impossible for a plane to take off without knowing where they go. Understanding the goal of the family is the basic root so you know which way you are going to go, how you reach, which map and compass you are using, and a lot more.
The projection of this analogy, we could say the goal of the family could be spiritually, economically, or even provide a positive impact on the society or neighborhood on the lower scale.
By selecting your main destination, you could choose your own map and it could be different from each other depends on their own goal. The author explained this theory in detailed explanatory and showing us the right way to do and how to do the first step of it.
The unique things that I found in this book that Stephen explained in detail every meaning of the word. Let’s say, as I remembered, the word Proactive which placed as the first chapter is nothing special to me etymologically. To me, it’s just a similar word to active, and an antonym to passive.
But surprisingly, according to Stephen. Proactive is an antonym to reactive. This means, we had to act based on our own self-awareness, conscience, imagination, and independent will or inside-out, and not depend on the response of what we got from outside-in. The main problem of losing temper, marital fight or flight, misbehaving child, answered in a simple word in the first chapter by him.
My favorite chapter in this book was the first two chapters I mentioned above, and the last one: From Survival to Stability, to Success, to Significance. The last chapter explained the big picture of the whole idea of the book. Explaining the stages of the family, in which of the stages needs different solutions.
For example, the surviving family economically does not need significance yet to contribute and leave a legacy, and vice versa. When it comes to the next stage of success, if the family does not have any vision to contribute and leave a legacy, it would be nonsense. The whole detail of the idea is emphasized immensely in this book by the author.
Stephen not only giving us the correct mindset of how to run a family in a perfect way but also providing the skillset on how to do it step by step with applicable guidance.
Who is this book for?
This book made for a whole member of the family, and especially the head of the family, if you are a father or a husband. I couldn’t guarantee that you could solve your family problems by simply reading this book, but it refreshes your whole idea of the family and gives you a further perspective about how should family works according to the author.
If you are a husband to be, or wife to be, it is also a perfect book for you. You could learn how to build your family and avoiding common mistakes that many families done and nurture your family going to be in a perfect way.
Well, it is just a theory you can say. And it might not easy as it said to applicate those theories in real life. Maybe you have married in 5 or 10 years or more, and it just would not work for you, it is fine. But nothing wrong if you have time to read and stuck in your lots of problems and have no way out, maybe you could find the answer inside it. It would be a good time to start reading.