Last week while I was busy working and standing up in one of my dearest friend’s wedding, Mr. Stephen Covey passed away.
Though I did not have time to share my feelings at the time, I’d like to do so now. And I also thank those who tweeted and emailed me about the news.
The truth is that without Mr. Covey, and his work, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,* I may never have started MML, discovered my purpose so quickly, or be the person I am today.
I know that may sound a bit extreme. But those who have been reading MML for years know that I have referenced this book and Mr. Covey 48 times over the past three and a half years.
And this isn’t because I’m unique, it’s because he and his book can have a deep, lasting effect on people. His principals are wise and worth mentioning over, and over, and over.
At first, The Seven Habits came into my life in high school* and at the time was a worthwhile read, but one that didn’t seep in too deeply below the surface.
However, years later during an incredibly difficult phase of college, I went through a personality melt-down and found myself without any foundational beliefs or compass to guide me. I questioned all that I believed in and I didn’t know how to begin to craft a life paradigm as an adult.
On a whim during Christmas break I returned home that year and picked up my dusty copy of the teen version* again.
All at once things began to click.
I tore through that copy and that day found a new-found sense of self and direction.
Later, I read the original version of The Seven Habits and was thrilled to see the themes I loved so dearly applied to adult situations as well.
Unlike any other book I’ve read beyond The Bible or A Course in Miracles, this text is so dense it’s worth reading one page or short section at a time. Each habit itself could become a year’s worth of study. And for me, I’ve dwelt within the first three habits for the past seven years.
I deeply believe if I can master these habits to the best of my ability, my life will be transformed. And my experience has proven this to be true.
Though I’m slowly beginning to branch out to work on the last four habits, I still strive daily to be proactive, begin with the end in mind, and put first things first.
When I look back on these last five years out of college running my company day by day, preparing for marriage, and growing as an individual, I cannot help but thank Mr. Covey for all of his guidance. His words and philosophies have helped me navigate difficult challenges in every area of my life. It’s like he’s been with me along the way, pointing me toward the right course of action.
For many years I had a small hope that I would one day meet Mr. Covey. I wasn’t sure what I would say to him, exactly. But I knew that I needed to thank him for his profoundly positive effect on my life.
Now that this dream is no longer a reality, I just want to share here how much he meant to me.
Here’s to you, Mr. Covey. May you find peace and know the everlasting effect you’ve had on myself and many others.
*Along with his son, Sean Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens which I’ve also read several times over the years.