Five Stephen Covey Quotes to Empower You

Best-selling author Stephen Covey left us many worthwhile quotes. In this article, we take a look at five of them that inspire deeper reflection.
Five Stephen Covey Quotes to Empower You
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Stephen Covey was born in 1932. Years later, he wrote a book that catapulted him to fame. It was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. As a matter of fact, both he and his book have been an inspiration to many people. Today we’re going to take a look at five of his most famous quotes.

Before we start, it’s worth mentioning that Stephen Covey graduated in Business Administration. In fact, he dedicated most of his life to teaching. However, this didn’t stop him from cultivating his writing skills. His goal was to help both individuals and organizations to better manage their time, which, as we know, is an extremely precious and valuable asset.

1. Approaching errors from the proactive approach

“The proactive approach to a mistake is to instantly recognize it, correct it, and learn from it”.

This first quote is contained in Stephen Covey’s book that catapulted him to fame. With these words, he wanted to persuade people to reflect on their mistakes in a proactive rather than reactive way.

The society we all live in today means you’re often afraid of being wrong. Covey mentioned this in one of his articles concerning adolescent students. In fact, he found that these feelings start from an early age. Therefore, you need to try and learn to change this kind of approach. Remember that, where there’s a mistake there’s also the opportunity to change.

Man on Path from Behind

2. Suffering is optional

“Setbacks are inevitable, misery is a choice”.

This quote is included in Covey’s book, The 8th Habit. With this phrase, he wants you to be aware that you can’t control everything that happens around you. For instance, say your car stops working or you’re diagnosed with a disease. These are unpleasant situations that can happen no matter how careful you are.

However, you can choose whether to suffer or not. If you choose to suffer, you’ll get bogged down in your problems and feel sorry for yourself. Nevertheless, you don’t have to adopt this stance. It’s all a matter of choice.

3. The only thing you can control is yourself

“If I really want to improve the situation, I can work on the only thing I have control over: myself”.

Earlier, we mentioned the lack of control you have with respect to what happens around you. However, some things you’re perfectly able to manage yourself include your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Indeed, you can change your attitudes, the way you communicate, and the way you use your time.

Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation you want to improve, instead of complaining, take action. If you don’t like your job, change it. Arrange some interviews for a new position. If you’re fed up with your friends ignoring you, find new ones. Join a group where you can meet new people. You’re in control.

4. Everything is created twice

“Vision is applied imagination. All things are created twice: first, a mental creation; second, a physical creation. The first creation is vision”.

This fourth of Stephen Covey’s famous quotes tells us how everything that ends up becoming reality on the physical plane has been previously created in our minds. For this reason, it’s said that vision boards can be extremely powerful.

As a matter of fact, nowadays, there’s a lot of emphasis on visualization. It’s a technique that aims to create in your mind what you want to end up creating in reality. Visualization is extremely powerful. Furthermore, you can start practicing it right now.

A lightbulb among different pieces of paper.

5. Stronger emotional intelligence

“Developing stronger emotional intelligence is one of the greatest challenges facing parents and leaders at all levels of organizations”.

This last of Stephen Covey’s famous quotes is aimed at organizations.

Emotional intelligence is a learned skill and developing stronger emotional intelligence is vital for all people. However, it’s especially important for those who play a leading or highly responsible role within their organizations. Nevertheless, it isn’t easy to learn. You have to work and train this type of intelligence. In fact, it’s a challenge.

These five quotes from Stephen Covey are included in his books, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit. These books don’t only seek improvements and positive results in the workplace, but also in our personal lives. Without a doubt, his books make for interesting reading.

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