Read an Excerpt
Chapter One: Get in the Habit, They Make You or Break You
What Exactly Are Habits?
Read pages 5-6 of the Teens book. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens are:
Habit 1: Be Proactive --
Take responsibility for your life.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind --
Define your mission and goals in life.
Habit 3: Put First Things First --
Prioritize, and do the most important things first.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win --
Have an everyone-can-win attitude.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood --
Listen to people sincerely.
Habit 6: Synergize --
Work together to achieve more.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw --
Renew yourself regularly.
We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.
-- John Dryden Habits are things you do repeatedly. But most of the time you are hardly aware you do them. They're on autopilot. Depending on what they are, your habits will either make you or break you. You become what you repeatedly do. Luckily, you are stronger than your habits.
Let's look at some of the good habits you have in your life right now. (Good habits include things such as exercising regularly, being a loyal friend, or being on time.)
Think About Your Habits
Four of my really great habits are:
The reason I keep these habits in my life is:
The good results I get from having each good habit are: (For example: I have a habit of smiling at people I meet, and now people are friendlier to me.)
Habits aren't always positive. In fact, they can be good, bad, or just neutral. Some habits I have that areneutral (they're neither good nor bad -- they're just habits) are: (For example: I put on one sock and then a shoe, then the other sock and the other shoe.)
Now let's list some habits you're not so proud of. Complete the statements that follow:
Right now, my worst habits are:
The reason I have these bad habits is:
I've had these bad habits for (days, weeks, years?):
The bad results I get from having these bad habits are: (For example: I am late to school, which means I miss class discussion and get demerits toward my citizenship grade.)
From my list of bad habits above, the one habit I would like to change the most is:
Change the Bad to Good
On the table below, fill in the habits that you named above. Keep this table handy during the upcoming week and use it as a tool to help you remember to change your bad habits to good ones.
Bad Habit I Want to Change/ Good Habit I Want to Replace it With
With My Family:
With My Friends:
A cool thing about the 7 Habits is how they build on each other. It's a progression -- just like learning arithmetic before calculus, learning the alphabet before learning to spell, or building a solid foundation before building a 150-story building. Trees grow this way, too; they put down solid roots before the trunk, branches, or leaves begin to grow.
Paradigms and Principles: What You See Is What You Get
So What's a Paradigm?
A paradigm is the way you see something -- your point of view, frame of reference, or belief. As you may have noticed, sometimes your paradigms can be accurate, way off the mark, wrong, or incomplete.
Did you know that from medieval times until the late 1800s doctors believed that a sick person had diseased blood? Doctors would "bleed" a person of the blood until they believed that they had drained the "diseased blood." This is, in fact, what killed George Washington, not the sore throat and fever he was suffering from.
We now know about germs and that they can be in different parts of the body and in different forms. So now we treat illnesses with a different form of healing -- we no longer "bleed" a patient. That was an inaccurate and an incomplete way of looking at healing.
Paradigms are like glasses. When you have incomplete paradigms about yourself or life in general, it's like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription. Those lenses affect how you see everything else. -- Sean Covey
Top 10 All-Time Stupid Quotes:
10. "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."
Kenneth Olsen, President and Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, in 1977
9. "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French Military Strategist and Future World War I Commander, in 1911
8. "[Man will never reach the moon] regardless of all future scientific advances."
Dr. Lee De Forest, Inventor of the Audion Tube and Father of Radio, on February 25, 1967
7. "[Television] won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
Darryl F. Zanuck, Head of 20th Century Fox, in 1946
6. "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Decca Records Rejecting the Beatles, in 1962
5. "For the majority of people, the use of tobacco has a beneficial effect."
Dr. Ian G. MacDonald, Los Angeles Surgeon, as Quoted in Newsweek, November 18, 1969
4. "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
Western Union Internal Memo, in 1876
3. "The earth is the center of the universe."
Ptolemy, The Great Egyptian Astronomer, in The Second Century
2. "Nothing of importance happened today."
Written by King George III of England on July 4, 1776
1. "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, in 1899
What are some other paradigms from history that have proved to be inaccurate or incomplete? (For example: The world is flat.)
What kind of impact did these inaccurate paradigms from history have on the world?
Paradigms of Self
A paradigm is the way you see something -- your point of view, frame of reference, or belief. So a paradigm of self is how you see yourself. No matter how you see yourself, you're probably right. If you think you are good at school, then you can be good at school. If you think you are no good at math, then you'll be no good at math. Paradigms of self can help or hinder you. Positive self-paradigms can bring out the best in you, while negative self-paradigms can limit you.
Some positive paradigms I have about myself are:
If someone were going to name something after me, it would be:
Some negative paradigms I have about myself are:
Paradigms that my parents or guardians, boss at work, or teachers at school might have about me are:
Their paradigms match mine (true or false):
Could they be right? How will I find out?
Read the Paradigms of Self section on pages 13-16 of the Teens book. Now, evaluate how you see yourself by completing the assessment below.
Answer Yes or No
I am someone who cares about others' feelings.
I am good at school.
I am a kind person.
I am generally a happy person.
I am intelligent.
I am helpful.
I am a good athlete.
I am talented.
I am a go-getter.
I am a good member of my family.
I am a bad person.
I am lazy.
I am rarely happy.
I am not smart.
I am not good at anything.
I am not attractive.
Yes/No I am not popular.
I am not a good friend.
I am not honest.
I am not reliable.
If you identified at least one negative self-paradigm during the assessment, complete the statement below:
One negative paradigm I would like to change is:
If your self-paradigms are all wrong, what do you do?
Spend time with someone who believes in me and recognizes my potential. For me, this person is:
Drop friends who tear me down or believe I am like them. Friends I may need to drop are:
Try to see things from other people's points of view to shift the paradigm. A situation I need to see the other side of is:
Paradigms of Others
In the Paradigms and Principles chapter you learn that you have paradigms not only about yourself but also about other people. And they can be way out of whack. Seeing things from a different point of view can help you understand why other people act the way they do. Sometimes you judge people without having all the facts.
Your paradigms are often incomplete, inaccurate, or completely messed up. Therefore, you shouldn't be quick to judge, label, or form rigid opinions of others, or of yourself, for that matter. From your limited point of view, you seldom see the whole picture, or have all the facts. You should open your mind and heart to new information, ideas, and points of view, and be willing to change your paradigms when it becomes clear that they're wrong.
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Someone I may have judged inaccurately without having all the details is:
I will change that paradigm by: (Describe the actions you can take immediately.)
I can help others understand that their paradigms might be incomplete by: (Describe your actions or plan.)
Paradigms of Life
Besides having paradigms about yourself and others, you have paradigms about the world in general. Whatever is important to you will become your paradigm, your glasses, or your life center. For teens, popular life centers include friends, stuff, boyfriends/girlfriends, school, parents, sports or hobbies, heroes, enemies, self, and work. Each of these life centers has its good points, but they are all incomplete in one way or another. The Paradigms and Principles chapter explains that you can always count on one center -- principles.
If you don't take control of your life, don't complain when others do. -- Beth Mende Conny
To help determine your life center, answer the following survey.
1.You are at home on a Tuesday night doing your trigonometry homework. It's slow-going and boring. You hear your friends drive up to the curb and yell that they're heading out to dinner. What do you do?
a. If you decide to keep doing your homework, even though it's boring, put a checkmark in box F.
b. If you decide to go with your friends and tell yourself that you can always do your homework later, put a checkmark in box A.
2.Your family is planning a five-day summer vacation to Florida. You want to go, but taking five days off work means that you won't earn as much to buy clothes for school. What do you do?
a. If you decide to stay home and continue working, put a checkmark in box B.
b. If you decide to go with your family to Florida, put a checkmark in box F.
3. You are at home getting ready to go out with your friends -- they'll be there any minute. The phone rings and it's your boyfriend/girlfriend. He's/She's wondering if you can come over right now to hang out and watch a video. What do you do?
a. If you decide to go to your boyfriend's/girlfriend's house, put a checkmark in box C.
b. If you decide to tell your boyfriend/girlfriend that you have plans with your friends, put a checkmark in box F.
4. It's 11:00 P.M. and you're studying for your English lit test. You've been studying all evening and you're pretty sure you'll do well on the test tomorrow. You're tired and want to go to bed. But you have an A- average in the class, and if you study a little longer to ensure that you ace the test, you can bring your average up to a solid A. What do you do?
a. If you decide to go to bed to renew yourself, put a checkmark in box F.
b. If you decide to stay up longer to ace the test, put a checkmark in box D.
5. You're attending college recruitment day at your school and are sitting in one of the presentations. You're overwhelmed. You have no idea what you want to be "when you grow up," and you have no idea which college to attend. The presentation you're in is for the college your mother wants you to go to. You don't know what you want to do, but you'd rather just have the decision over with. At the end of the presentation the presenter asks the class to fill out applications. What do you do?
a. If you decide to wait and fill out an application after you've thought about your options a little more, put a checkmark in box F.
b.If you decide to fill out an application, put a checkmark in box E.
Count up the number of checkmarks in each column and record the numbers here:
A: ____ B: ____ C: ____ D: ____ E: ____ F: ____
Box F: If you have a 3 or higher in this column, you have a pretty healthy life center.
Box E: If you have a 1 in this column, read page 22 of the Teens book to examine if your life is too parent-centered.
Box D: If you have a 1 in this column, read page 21 of the Teens book. School is important, but don't overdo it! You also might want to pay special attention when we talk about renewal in Habit 7.
Box C: If you have a 1 in this column, read page 20 of the Teens book to examine if your life is too boyfriend/girlfriend-centered.
Box B: If you have a 1 in this column, read page 19 of the Teens book. There is nothing wrong with accomplishing and enjoying your stuff, but never center your life on things that in the end have no lasting value. Great memories of vacations and family times will last forever.
Box A: If you have a 1 in this column, read page 19 of the Teens book to examine if your life is too friend-centered.
Principles Never Fail
We are all familiar with the effects of gravity. Throw a ball up and it comes down. It's a natural law or principle. Just as there are principles that rule the physical world, there are principles that rule the human world. If you live by them, you will excel. If you break them, you will fail.
Principles include things like honesty, service, love, hard work, respect, gratitude, moderation, fairness, integrity, loyalty, and responsibility. The Paradigms and Principles chapter teaches that just as a compass always points to true north, your heart will recognize true principles. A principle-centered life is simply the most stable, immovable, and unshakable foundation you can build on.
To fully understand why you should live a life based on principles, just imagine living a life based on the opposite -- a life of dishonesty, laziness, ingratitude, selfishness, and hate. Putting principles first is the key to doing better in all you do. For instance, if you live the principles of service, respect, and love, you're likely to have more good, solid friends and more stable relationships.
Some other principles I can think of are:
Of the principles I listed, the most difficult for me to live is:
Think of principles as your life center and your hobbies and interests as spokes on the wheel. In the center of the wheel below, fill in a principle that you live by now or admire in others. On the spokes, list the things that the principle influences (hobbies, school, work, etc.).
Some principles I would like to cultivate are:
I will cultivate them by: (Describe your actions or plan.)
The date that I will begin doing this is:
Decide today to make principles your life center or paradigm. Whenever you face a dilemma or difficult situation, ask yourself, "What is the principle in play here?"
Baby Steps are small, easy exercises you can do now to help you apply the principle or habit to your life. These small, easy steps can help you achieve your larger and long-term goals. At the end of every chapter in the Teens book, and at the end of every section in this workbook, you will find a list of Baby Steps. Be daring and do one or two.
1. The next time you look in the mirror, say something positive about yourself.
2.Show appreciation for someone's point of view today. Say something like, "Hey, that is a cool idea."
3.Think of a limiting paradigm you might have of yourself, such as "I'm not outgoing." Now, do something today that totally contradicts that paradigm.
4.Think of a loved one or close friend who has been acting out of character lately. Consider what might be causing him or her to act that way.
5.When you have nothing to do, what is it that occupies your thoughts? Remember, whatever is most important to you will become your paradigm or life-center.
What occupies my time and energy?
6.The Golden Rule rules! Begin today to treat others as you would want them to treat you. Don't be impatient, complain about leftovers, or bad-mouth someone, unless you want the same treatment.
7.Sometime soon, find a quiet place where you can be alone. Think about what matters most to you.
8.Listen carefully to the lyrics of the music you listen to most frequently. Evaluate if they are in harmony with the principles you believe in.
9.When you do your chores at home or work tonight, try out the principle of hard work. Go the extra mile and do more than is expected.
10.The next time you're in a tough situation and don't know what to do, ask yourself, "What principle should I apply (e.g., honesty, love, loyalty, hard work, patience)?" Now, follow the principle and don't look back.
Which of the Baby Steps did I try, and what did I learn?
The Personal Bank Account: Starting with the Man in the Mirror
In the Personal Bank Account (PBA) chapter, you learn that all change begins with "the man in the mirror." In fact, some of the hardest battles in life are the ones fought within yourself. Through these battles, you learn to tap into your inner strength and develop character -- then you truly grow.
If you want to change the world, begin with yourself, not with your parents, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your teacher. All change begins with you. It's inside out. Not outside in.
I'm starting with the man in the mirror I'm asking him to change his ways And no message could have been any clearer If you wanna make the world a better place Take a look at yourself, and make a change. -- "Man in the Mirror"
By Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard
Read the writings of the Anglican bishop on page 33 of the Teens book, then complete the statements below:
If I could change something about the world, it would be:
One change I could make in myself that might help bring about that worldwide change is:
I think that an inside-out change could help others around me because:
The real tragedy is the tragedy of the man who never in his life braces himself for his one supreme effort he never stretches to his full capacity, never stands up to his full stature.
-- Arnold Bennett
The Personal Bank Account (PBA)
How you feel about yourself is like a bank account. Just like a checking or savings account at a bank, you can make deposits into or withdrawals from your PBA by the things you think, say, and do. For example, when you stick to a commitment you've made to yourself, you feel in control. It's a deposit. On the other hand, when you break a promise to yourself, you feel disappointed and make a withdrawal.
To keep a positive balance in the account, you need to have more deposits than withdrawals. The more deposits you make into your PBA, the better you feel about yourself. If you make too many withdrawals, your self-esteem and confidence will drop.
How Is Your PBA?
How much trust and confidence do you have in yourself? Do you have a positive or negative PBA? Review these possible symptoms to see if the balance in your PBA is pretty dismal:
-You don't stand up for yourself when you know you're in the right.
-You make degrading comments about yourself.
-You always go along with what the crowd is doing or saying.
-You overindulge in food, TV watching, or Web surfing.
-You use drugs or alcohol.
-You aren't loyal to anyone or anything.
-You allow others to use you.
A positive PBA includes these symptoms:
+You speak up when you know you're right.
+You have the self-confidence to let others know of your opinions and good ideas.
+You are happy for others' success.
+You have a good balance of school, physical activities, working on talents, and personal time.
+You live by principles.
+If someone speaks ill of someone you know and care about, you have the courage to defend that person.
+You work to improve and build your skills and talents.
+You recognize life's natural ups and downs.
To get a clear picture of your Personal Bank Account, keep track of the deposits and withdrawals you make during one week. Carry a PBA checkbook register (as shown at right) with you for seven days. Record your actions in the register and assign a deposit or withdrawal value to each. For example, each deposit you make is worth $1 to $100; however, withdrawals cost from $50 to $200. You get to determine how much to add or subtract. See how many deposits you can make to yourself in a week. Be totally honest with yourself about your withdrawals.
After a week, are you pleased with the results? Or are you surprised at how many withdrawals you made?
Keep Promises to Yourself
Have you ever had friends or roommates who seldom came through? They say they'll call you and they don't. They promise to pick you up for the game and they forget. After a while, you don't trust them. Their commitments mean squat. The same thing occurs when you continually make and break self-promises, such as, "I'm going to get up at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning," or "I'm going to get my homework done right when I get home." After a while, you don't trust yourself.
You should treat the commitments you make to yourself as seriously as those you make to the most important people in your life. If you're feeling out of control in your life, focus on the single thing you can control -- yourself. Make a promise to yourself and keep it.
Start Small and Build
Keeping big commitments to yourself is easier if you make small ones you know you can keep; then go bigger -- to the more difficult promises.
I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life¹s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve.
-- Anthony Robbins Complete the statements below:
When I promise myself I will do something but don't keep the promise, I feel:
The promise to myself I wish I could keep, but keep failing to do, is:
The reason I can't keep this promise is:
The two or three little promises to myself that, if done, would help me keep the big promise are:
I want to keep the big promise because:
My life would be better because:
The great thing I could give myself as a reward for keeping the big promise is:
Do Small Acts of Kindness
Doing small acts of kindness is an extraordinary way to help you feel better about yourself. Even though the kind acts are for someone else, they add up to major deposits in your PBA.
Doing small acts of kindness gets you focused outward instead of inward. It's hard to be depressed while serving someone else, so as a result of helping others, you end up feeling wonderful yourself.
Read the Do Small Acts of Kindness section on pages 35-37 of the Teens book. Complete the statements and read the story below:
Three people in my life who could benefit from an act of kindness are:
Read the following story:
"Why does it always take so long to get through this tollbooth?" Jayden thought to himself as he sat in a long line of cars waiting for his turn to pay the toll and get back on the road. The cars inched forward -- little by little. Jayden drummed his fingers nervously on the steering wheel and pushed his hand through his hair. "Great," he thought. "Now I'm really going to be late to pick up the guys. We'll never make it to the game before tip-off." Five more minutes passed and Jayden's patience was gone. Suddenly, the line of cars in front of him quickly disappeared -- five cars drove through the tollbooth in little time. Jayden couldn't believe his luck! Suddenly he was at the tollbooth. As he pulled up, the attendant said to him, "No need to pay. A car six cars ahead of you paid the toll for the next ten cars." Jayden smiled and pulled out onto the road.
How do you think Jayden felt during the rest of his drive to the game? How do you think the anonymous toll-paying driver felt?
Someone who did an anonymous act of kindness toward me was:
The act of kindness he or she performed was:
That act of kindness made me feel:
An anonymous act of kindness I could do for the three people I listed on page 26 is:
Be Gentle with Yourself
In the Personal Bank Account (PBA) chapter, you learn that no one is perfect, so you shouldn't be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes. Being gentle means admitting to yourself that you will probably mess up every day and then forgiving yourself when you do. It means not expecting to be perfect by tomorrow morning. It means learning to laugh at the stupid things you do.
Learn from your mistakes -- don't beat yourself up over them. The past is just that -- the past. Recognize what went wrong and why. Make amends if you need to. Then drop it and move on.
In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.
-- Alice Walker
Laugh at Yourself
Being gentle with yourself means learning to laugh at the stupid things you do. Laughing at yourself and not taking life too seriously reflects a hopeful attitude and attracts scores of friends.
Think about your all-time most embarrassing moment. Describe it below (or on another piece of paper) as if you were writing it as a chapter in a dramatic novel. Make yourself the main character, describe the scene, add other characters (if any), and describe what you said and what you did.
Now take that same embarrassing moment and rewrite it as a stand-up comedian would describe it.
What are the differences in your two descriptions? After reading each one, do you feel differently about yourself or the embarrassing moment? Describe what you've noticed:
Learning to laugh at myself and my mistakes would help me have greater self-confidence because:
In the Personal Bank Account (PBA) chapter, you learn that being honest means being honest with yourself and being honest in your actions. Honesty is associated with words such as upstanding, incorruptible, moral, principled, truth-loving, steadfast, true, real, right, good, straight-shooting, and genuine. If you can apply these words to yourself, there's a good chance that you're an honest person.
Honesty means appearing to others as you really are. It means not being fake or trying to pass yourself off as something you're not. When you're not honest with yourself, you feel unsure and insecure, and you end up making a withdrawal from your PBA (the way you feel about yourself).
You can be honest in the activities you participate in every day. From taking tests to talking to parents and friends, to the things you do at work, you have constant opportunities to be honest or dishonest. Every act of honesty is a deposit into your PBA.
Describe an Honest Person
Read the Be Honest section on pages 38-39 of the Teens book.
The most honest person I know is: (This could be someone in your life, or a famous person you admire.)
He or she showed honesty by doing: (Describe the event or events.)
I can be more honest by: (List what you can do.)
You've gotta take time for yourself to renew and to relax. If you don't, you'll lose your zest for life. You might be familiar with the movie The Secret Garden, based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We all need a place we can escape to, a sanctuary of some sort, where we can renew our spirits. And it doesn't have to be a rose garden, mountaintop, or secluded beach. It can be a bedroom or even a bathroom, just a place to be alone.
Read the examples from other teens on page 40 of the Teens book.
The place I go to escape is:
What I want to remember about that place is: (Describe your escape place below.)
The place I wish was my escape place is:
The reason I wish it was my escape place is:
The characteristics of my escape place that make me go there when I'm stressed out, lonely, or sad are:
I feel better after I spend time in my escape place. True or false? (Why?)
If I can't go to my escape place, I do the following instead:
Tap into Your Talents
Everyone has talents, whether you realize it or not. Talents are not just in sports, music, dance, or other more noticeable activities. The more important talents are within you. These talents could include reading, listening, being a fast learner, public speaking, loving others, having good organizational skills, cooking, caring for children, fixing cars, or being happy. It doesn't matter where your talents may lie. When you do something you love, it's exhilarating, and it can be a great deposit into your PBA.
Do Something Crazy
Have you ever watched those TV shows that search for the world's most talented person? Have you seen other shows that encourage you to send in a home video of yourself doing something outrageous? What if you had to send a video of yourself?
If a TV camera crew came to my home to film me doing a crazy talent, I would start doing:
My closest friend would say that my craziest talent is:
My closest friend's craziest talent is:
One thing I do well is: (Remember, talents can be things like speaking well in public, listening, being a good friend, etc.)
Hunt for your uniqueness. Ask someone you trust to describe what is unique about you. Describe what he or she said below.
The talent or unique trait I would develop if I didn't have limitations such as time, money, or physical ability is: (Brainstorm a plan where "the sky's the limit!")
The things I can use from my "dream plan" above to create a real-life plan are:
The things from my plan that I can start doing now are:
All of us are crazy good in one way or annother.
-- Yiddish Saying
Keep Promises to Yourself
1. Get up when you planned to for three days in a row.
2. Identify one easy task that needs to be done today, like putting in a batch of laundry or reading a book for an English assignment. Decide when you will do it. Now, keep your word and get it done.
Do Random Acts of Service
3. Sometime today, do a kind anonymous deed, like writing a thank-you note, taking out the trash, or making someone's bed.
4. Look around and find something you can do to make a difference, like cleaning up a park in your neighborhood, volunteering in a senior citizens center, or reading to someone who can't.
Tap Into Your Talents
5. List a talent you would like to develop this year. Write down specific steps to get there.
Talent I want to develop this year:
How do I get there:
6. Make a list of the talents you most admire in other people.
Person/Talents I Admire:
Be Gentle with Yourself
7. Think about an area of life you feel inferior in. Now breathe deeply and tell yourself, "It's not the end of the world."
8. Try to go an entire day without negative self talk. Each time you catch yourself putting yourself down, you have to replace it with three positive thoughts about yourself.
9. Decide on a fun activity that will lift your spirits and do it today. For example, turn up the music and dance.
10. Feeling lethargic? Get up right now and go for a fast walk around the block.
11. The next time your parents ask you about what you're doing, share the complete story. Don't leave out information meant to mislead or deceive.
12. For one day, try not to exaggerate or embellish!
Which of the Baby Steps did I try, and what did I learn?
Copyright © 2004 by FranklinCovey Co.