7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens


The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide


Sean Covey

Notes taken by: FHS’s Brenda Floyd



Who am I?

I am your constant companion.  I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.  I will push you forward or drag you down to failure.  I am completely at your command.  Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed-you must merely be firm with me.  Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.  I am the servant of all great individuals, and alas, of all failures as well.  Those who are great, I have made great.  Those who are failures, I have made failures.   

I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human.  You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.  Be easy with me and I will destroy you. 

Who am I?

I am habit.

The Set-up

Get in the Habit

They Make You or Break You

Paradigms and Principles

What You See Is What You Get


We first make our habits,

Then our habits make us.

English Poet


7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens


n Habit 1 Be Proactive

n Take Responsibility for your life.

n Habit 2   Begin with the End in Mind

n Define your mission and goals in life.

n Habit 3   Put First Things First

n Prioritize, and do the most important things first.

n Habit 4   Think Win-Win

n Have an everyone-can-win attitude

n Habit 5   Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

n Listen to people sincerely.

n Habit 6   Synergize

n Work together to achieve more.

n Habit 7   Sharpen the Saw

n Renew yourself regularly


The 7 Habits of Highly Defective Teens

nHabit 1     React


nHabit 2     Begin With No End in Mind


nHabit 3     Put First Things Last


nHabit 4     Think Win-Lose


nHabit 5     Seek First to Talk, Then Pretend to Listen


nHabit 6     Don’t Cooperate


nHabit 7     Wear Yourself Out



What Are Habits?

Habits are things we do repeatedly.


Sow a thought,
and you reap an act;
Sow an act,
and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit,
and you reap a character;
Sow a character,
and you reap a destiny.
                                                Samuel Smiles


The 7 Effective Habits can help you:

nGet control of your life

nImprove your relationships with your friends

nMake smarter decisions

nGet along with your parents

nOvercome addiction

nDefine your values and what matters most to you

nGet more done in less time

nIncrease your self-confidence

nBe happy

nFind balance between school, work, friends, and everything else


Paradigms and Principles

What You See Is What You Get

What’s a paradigm? (pair-a-dimes)

The way you see something, your point of view, frame of reference, or belief.



Our Paradigms

nParadigms of self

nParadigms of others

nParadigms of life












nPrinciples- The real thing





































Part II
The Private Victory





The Personal Bank Account


Starting with the Man in the Mirror


Before you’ll ever win in the public arenas of life, you must first win private battles within yourself.



Poor PBA

n You cave in to peer pressure easily

n You wrestle with feelings of depression and inferiority

n You’re overly concerned with what other people think of you.

n You act arrogant to hide your insecurities.

n You self-destruct by getting heavily into drugs, pornography, vandalism or gangs.

n You get jealous easily, especially when someone close to you succeeds.


PBA Withdrawals

nBreak personal promises

nKeep to yourself

nBeat yourself up

nBe dishonest

nWear yourself out

nNeglect your talents

Healthy PBA

n You stand up for yourself and resist peer pressure.

n You’re not overly concerned about being popular.

n You see life as a generally positive experience.

n You trust yourself.

n Your are goal driven.

n You are happy for the successes of others.

PBA Deposits

n Keep promises to yourself

n Do small acts of kindness

n Be gentle with yourself

n Be honest

n Renew yourself

n Tap into your talents



Habit 1:

Be Proactive



People are just about as happy as they make up their mind to be.
Abraham Lincoln,
th US President


2 types of people in this world

Those who take responsibility for their lives and make it happen.

Those who BLAME and get happened to.


I am responsible for my life.

I am the captain of my life.

I can choose my attitude.

I am responsible for my own happiness or unhappiness.

I am in the driver’s seat of my destiny, not just a passenger.



Reactive people make choices based on impulse.


Proactive people make choices based on values.  They think before they act.  They recognize that they can’t control everything that happens to them, but they can control what they do about it.



Reactive Language

I’ll try

That’s just the way I am

There’s nothing I can do

I have to

I can’t

You ruined my day



Proactive Language

I’ll do it

I can do better than that

Let’s look at all our options

I choose to

There’s gotta be a way.

I’m not going to let your bad mood rub off on me.


Reactive People

Are easily offended

Blame others

Get angry and say things they later regret

Whine and complain

Wait for things to happen to them

Change only when they have to



Proactive people

Are not easily offended

Take responsibility for their choices

Think before they act

Bounce back when something bad happens

Always find a way to make it happen

Focus on things they can do something about, and don’t worry about things they can’t

We can’t control everything that happens to us

We can only control how we respond to what happens to us

We have the power within us to rise above whatever may have been passed down to us



An Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
Portia Nelson

1. I walk down the street.
           There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I fall in.
            I am lost…I am helpless.
            It isn’t my fault.
            It takes forever to find a way out.
2. I walk down the same street.
           There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
            I pretend I don’t see it.
            I fall in again.
            I can’t believe I am in the same place.
            But, it isn’t my fault.
            It still takes a long time to get out.
3. I walk down the same street.
           There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
           I see it is there.
           I still fall in.  It’s a habit.
           My eyes are open.
           I know where I am.
           It is my fault.  I get out immediately.
4. I walk down the same street.
           There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
           I walk around it.
5. I walk down another street.
From There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

Take responsibility for your life and stay away from “potholes”.

Have a “can-do” attitude.


Can-Do People

Take Initiative to make it happen

Think about solutions and options


No-Can-Do People

Wait for something to happen to them

Think about problems and barriers

Are acted upon



“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.  I don’t believe in circumstances.  The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.
George Bernard Shaw-English Playwright




Power Tools

Self Awareness: I can stand apart from myself and observe my thoughts and actions.

Conscience: I can listen to my inner voice to know right from wrong.

Imagination: I can envision new possibilities.

Willpower: I have the power to choose.


Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind

Control Your Own Destiny Or Someone Else Will


nDevelop a clear picture of where you want to go with your life

nDecide what your values are

nSet your goals


nYou are at a critical crossroads in your life.  The paths you choose now can affect you forever

nIf you don’t decide your own future, someone else will decide it for you.




n The Crossroads of life—Which paths to take?

n Do you want to go to college?

n What will your attitude toward life be?

n Should you try out for a team?

n What type of friends do you want?

n Will you join a gang?

n Who will you date?

n Will you have sex before marriage?

n Will you drink, smoke or do drugs?

n What values will you choose?

n What kind of relationship do you want to have with your family?

n What will you stand for?

n How will you contribute to your community?


Without an end of your own in mind, you are often quick to follow anyone who is willing to lead, even into things that won’t get you far.


The Great Discovery
Write a personal mission statement to open your eyes to what is really important to you, and help you make decisions accordingly.



Get Started on Your Mission Statement

nMethod #1 The Quote Collection

nMethod #2 The Brain Dump

nMethod #3 The Retreat

nMethod #4 The Big Lazy


Go for the Goal

5 Keys to Goal Setting

nCount the cost and consider the benefits

nPut it in pen

nJust do it

nUse momentous moments

nRope up

Habit 3
Putting First Things First


Will Power and Won’t Power



The first 3 habits build on each other.

Habit # 1 says, “You are the driver, not the passenger.”

Habit #2 says, “Decide where you want to go and draw a map to get you there.

Habit #3 says, “Don’t let roadblocks knock you off course.”


Use a Daily Planner!

nStep 1: Identify your big rocks

nStep 2: Block out time for your big rocks

nStep 3: Schedule everything else




Overcome Fear and Peer Pressure

nComfort Zone              VS>                         nCourage Zone

Never let fear make your decisions

Winning means rising each time you fall

Be strong in hard moments

Overcome peer pressure


The Common Ingredient of Success

Putting first things first takes discipline.

All successful people have the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.

They don’t necessarily like doing them either.

But their dislike is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.


Part III
The Public Victory


The Relationship Bank Account

The Stuff That Life Is Made Of

Habit 4 – Think Win-Win

Life Is an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Habit 5 – Seek First to Understand,

Then Be Understood

You Have 2 Ears and 1 Mouth…Hel-lo

Habit 6 – Synergize

The “High” Way


How are your relationships with


Your friends?

1         2         3         4         5

Your siblings?

1         2         3         4         5

Your parents or guardians?

1         2         3         4         5

Your girlfriend or boyfriend?

1         2         3         4         5

Your teachers?

1         2         3         4         5



The Relationship Bank Account
The Stuff That Life Is Made Of

nThe amount of trust and confidence you have in each relationship.

nYou have a RBA with everyone you meet.

nOnce opened, an RBA can never be closed.

nIn an RBA, deposits evaporate and withdrawals turn to stone.

nBuild RBA’s one deposit at a time.



RBA Deposits

nKeep promises

   Keeping small commitments and promises is vital to building trust.

nDo small acts of kindness

Small acts of kindness don’t always have to be one on one.

If you ever have something nice to say, don’t let that thought just rot, say it.

nBe loyal

   One of the biggest RBA deposits you can make is to be loyal to other people, not only when they’re in your presence but more especially when they’re not present.

Loyal people keep secrets

Loyal people avoid gossip

Loyal people stick up for others


Listening to someone can be one of the single greatest deposits you can make into another’s RBA.  Why?  Because most people don’t listen and furthermore, listening can heal wounds.

People need to be listened to almost as much as they need food.

nSay you’re sorry

Saying you’re sorry when you yell, overreact, or make a stupid mistake can quickly restore an overdrawn bank account.

nSet clear expectations

   To develop trust we need to avoid sending vague messages or implying something that is not true or not likely to happen.

Whenever you get into a new job, relationship, or setting, you’re better off taking the time to lay all expectations out on the table so that everyone is on the same page.

So many withdrawals are made because one party assumes one thing and another party assumes something else.

RBA Withdrawals

nBreak promises

nKeep to yourself

nGossip and break confidences

nDon’t listen

nBe arrogant

nSet false expectations




nBe Loyal

nGossip and rumors probably have destroyed more reputations and relationships than every other bad habit combined.

nLoyal people keep secrets

nLoyal people avoid gossip

nLoyal people stick up for others




A Personal Challenge

Pick one important relationship in your life that is damaged. Commit yourself to rebuilding that relationship one deposit at a time.


Remember, it may take months to build up what took months to tear down.  But little by little, deposit by deposit, they’ll begin to see that you are genuine and that you really want to be friends.  I never said it would be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it.



(A past relationship with someone who physically hurt you is most likely not worth rebuilding.  That is a relationship you need to get out of seek help talk to a counselor about and get away from.  You do not deserve to be physically, maliciously or purposely hurt or abused.)

Habit 4:  Think Win-Win



Life Is an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet


Win-Win is a belief that everyone can win.  It’s both nice and tough all at once.  I won’t step on you, but I won’t be your doormat either.  You care about other people and you want them to succeed.  But you also care about yourself, and you want to succeed as well.  Win-Win is abundant.  It is the belief that there’s plenty of success to go around.  It’s not either you or me.  It’s both of us. It’s not a matter of who gets the biggest piece of pie.  There’s more than enough food for everyone.  It’s an all- you-can-eat buffet!


nWin-Win is an attitude toward life

nWin-Win is the foundation for getting along well with other people.  It begins with the belief that we are all equal, that no one is inferior or superior to anyone else, and no one needs to be.



What Win-Win Is Not

nWin-Lose- an attitude toward life that says the pie of success is only so big, and if you get a big slice there is less for me.

nLose-Win- “The doormat!”  One teen wrote:

            “I, for one am a big peacemaker.  I would much rather take the blame for just about anything than get into an argument.  I constantly find myself saying I am dumb…”

nLose-Lose-  If I’m going down, then you’re going down with me, sucker.”  Revenge is also lose-lose.  By getting revenge, you may think you’re winning, but you’re really only hurting yourself.


How to Think Win-Win

nWin the private victory first

nIt all begins with you

nAvoid the tumor twins



Habit 5:  Seek First to Understand,
Then Be Understood


You Have Two Ears

and One Mouth…





nThe deepest need of the human heart is to be understood.

nEveryone wants to be respected and valued for who they are—a unique one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-cloned individual.


Please Listen
When I ask you to listen to me
and you start giving me advice,
you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why
I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something
to solve my problem,
you have failed me,
strange as that may seem.
Listen!  All I ask is that you listen.
Don’t talk or do—just hear me


. Five Poor Listening Styles

nSpacing out

nPretend listening

nSelective listening

nWord listening

nSelf-centered listening


Genuine Listening

nListen with your eyes, heart, and ears

nI didn’t say you had an attitude problem.

nI didn’t say you had an attitude problem.

nI didn’t say you had an attitude problem.

nStand in their shoes

nPractice mirroring



nMimicking is:

nRepeating words

nUsing the same words

nCold and indifferent

nMirroring is:

nRepeating meaning

nUsing your own words

nWarm and caring



nMirroring Phrases

n“As I get it, you felt that…..”

n“So, as I see it…..”

n“I can see that you’re feeling…”

n“You feel that….”

n“So, what you’re saying is….”

Habit 6:  Synergize

The “High” Way


Alone we can do so little;

together we can do so much.

                        Helen Keller



Synergy is achieved when two or more people work together to create a better solution than either could alone.

It’s not your way or my way

but a better way, a higher way.

Synergy is the reward for getting better at living the other habits.


Synergy is:

Celebrating differences




Finding new and better ways


Synergy is not:

Tolerating differences


Working independently

Thinking you’re always right


A band is a great example of synergy.  Each band member brings his or her strengths to the table to create something better than each could alone.  No instrument is more important than another, just different.


Approaches to Handling Diversity

Level 1: Shun Diversity

Shunners are afraid of differences

Level 2: Tolerate Diversity

Tolerators believe that everyone has the right to be different

Level 3: Celebrate Diversity

Celebrators value differences

Diversity = Creative Sparks = Opportunity


We Are All a Minority of One

nWe learn differently

nWe see differently

nWe have different styles, traits, and characteristics.



Roadblocks to Celebrating Differences


You’re clueless


Beware of rejecting anyone not just like them


We aren’t born with prejudices. 

They’re learned.



nFortunately, the world is full of people who value diversity.

nDifferences create the challenges in life that open the door to discovery.



Synergy is creative cooperation, with an emphasis on the word creative.  The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.


It doesn’t just happen.  It’s a process.  You have to get there.


5 Step Process to Synergy Action Plan

nDefine the problem or opportunity

nTheir way

n(Seek first to understand the ideas of others)

nMy Way

n(Seek to be understood by sharing your ideas)


n(Create new options and ideas)

nHigh Way          

n(Find the best solution)


Teamwork and Synergy

Great teams encompass at least 5 different types of people







Part VI:  Renewal

Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw


It’s “Me Time”

Keep your personal self, sharp so you can better deal with life.  Regularly renew and strengthen the four key dimensions of your life.

Four Key Dimensions of life


nThe Physical Dimension

nExercise, eat healthy, sleep well, relax


nThe Mental Dimension

nRead, educate, write, learn new skills


nThe Emotional Dimension

nBuild relationships (RBA, PBA), give service, laugh


nThe Spiritual Dimension

nMeditate, keep a journal, pray, take in quality media




nStrive for balance in all four areas

nBalance and moderation in all things



Caring for your body

Four key ingredients

Good sleeping habits

Physical relaxation

Good nutrition

Proper exercise


You are what you eat

nRules of thumb:

nListen to your body

nBe moderate and avoid extremes




Use it or lose it

nExercise has an amazing way of giving you a shot of energy, melting stress away, and clearing your mind

It’s all about how you feel

nThe important thing is feeling good physically, not your appearance



I can quit whenever I want

nThe worst thing about picking up an addiction- you are no

  longer in control—your addiction is.





The Refusal Skill

nAsk questions

nName the trouble

nState the consequences

nSuggest an alternative.

nTake off



nNothing in life comes easy.  Everyone has to pay the price.

nGetting a good education may be the most important price you can pay.

nDevelop brainpower through: schooling, extracurricular activities, hobbies, jobs, and other mind-enlarging experiences.




What’s an educated mind?

nAn educated mind can focus, synthesize, write, speak, create, analyze, explore, imagine and so much more.



nSharpen your mind


nFind your niche

nDon’t let school be your only form of education

nDon’t let school get in the way of your education

nThere is more to an education than grades

nBecoming truly educated is more important than grades

nDon’t sacrifice education on the altar of sports



As you attempt to build a brain, you must overcome three barriers:


nSet guidelines

nThe Nerd Syndrome

nTake pride in your mental abilities and the fact that you value education


nThe stress that results from success is more tolerable than the regret that results from not trying your best.

nDon’t sweat the pressure, you can deal with it

nIn the end, the key to honing your mind will be your desire to learn.  You’ve gotta get turned on by learning.  You’ve gotta pay the price.

nIf you haven’t paid the price to educate yourself so far, it’s never too late to start.


If you can simply learn to think well, you will have plenty of career and education options to choose from.




Caring for Your Heart

Focus on building relationships

PBA Deposits

nKeep promises to yourself

nDo small acts of kindness

nBe gentle with yourself

nBe honest

nRenew yourself

nTap into your talents




RBA Deposits

nKeep promises

nDo small acts of kindness

nBe loyal


nSay you’re sorry

nSet clear expectations












nThink you’re ready?




nEmotional Doubts

nIt’s   ok   to   wait!!!


Struggles you are now facing will someday become a great source of strength for you.


nMajor key to keeping your heart healthy and strong:


nLoosens up the mental gears and helps us think creatively

nHelps us cope with the difficulties of life

nConnects us with others and counteracts feelings of alienation, a major factor in depression and suicide

nReleases endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers


Learn to laugh at yourself.


nCaring For Your Soul (a very private area of your life)


nServe others

nWrite in a journal

nGo for a walk

nRead inspiring books



nWrite poetry or music

nThink deeply

nListen to uplifting music

nPlay a musical instrument

nPractice a religion

nTalk to friends you can be yourself with

nReflect on goals or mission statement






Addictions all have 5 common characteristics

nCreate short-term pleasure

nBecome the primary focus of your life

nTemporarily eliminate pain

nGive an artificial sense of self-worth, power, control, security and intimacy

nWorsen the problems and feelings you are trying to escape from




Keep Hope Alive!

Kid, You’ll Move Mountains


So be sure when you step

Step with care and great tact

And remember that life’s

A Great Balancing Act.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)

Kid, You’ll Move Mountains.








And just who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?


























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