Life Advice Still Resonates from Covey

I’ve been reflecting back to 2001, a time when I felt like I had a fairly good handle on life. I was college-educated, had a successful career, and a marriage partner who enjoyed volunteering in our church work, and helping me remodel our 90-year old farm house. (I also had a 1968 MGB-GT and a 1970 P-1800 Volvo in the barn!) Life was good.

Then, our first daughter was born. On that very day (while still in the hospital), I clearly remember coming to the realization that I knew absolutely nothing. I was frightened beyond belief. How could I possibly raise a child? What was I supposed to do when she cried?

That humbling moment drove me to learn all I could about parenting. Though several books helped, I soon discovered that other parents had great experiential knowledge and advice. And though the challenges change, whether in parenting or life in general, we can benefit by going back to the basics and listening to proven wisdom.

prioritiesI caught this article on the Forbes website a while back. It presented pertinent reminders for both work and home life. These are seven quotes from Stephen Covey that “have the power to completely change the direction of one’s life.” These are some of the basics that can help us through anything. I hope they will be helpful to you.


Covey’s Advice:

  1. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
  2. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
  3. Live out of your imagination, not your history.
  4. Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
  5. Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.
  6. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
  7. You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”

References: Advice from Covey — Source:

Brian Raison

Brian Raison is an Associate Professor and Extension Field Specialist, Community and Organizational Leadership.