10+ Self Improvement Tips For Creating a Better Life - The STRIVE (2024)

Stephen Covey was an American educator, businessman, and author of the National Bestselling bookThe Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He also authored many other popular books related to personal growth and striving for personal greatness. In short, he’s inspired countless people all over the world with his words of wisdom, and we aim to perpetuate that wisdom by publishing these handful of Stephen Covey quotes.

His almost sage-like advice has been used by so many people to improve their lives, and we hope you’ll be able to use some of his words to help you change yours. With that being said, if you’re ready for some of words that could quit literally change your life, let’s dive into some of these inspiring Stephen Covey quotes.


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1.Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny.” – Stephen R. Covey

2. “But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.” – Stephen R. Covey

3. “To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before.” – Stephen R. Covey

4. “If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” – Stephen R. Covey

5. “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen R. Covey

6. “Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems.” – Stephen R. Covey

7. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey

8. “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” – Stephen R. Covey

9. “Start with the end in mind.” – Stephen R. Covey

10. “The way we see the problem is the problem.” – Stephen R. Covey

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11. “Make time for planning; ware are won in the general’s tent.” – Stephen R. Covey

12. “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen R. Covey

13. “To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.” – Stephen R. Covey

14. “I am not a product of my circ*mstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen R. Covey

15. “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.” – Stephen R. Covey

16. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” – Stephen R. Covey

17. “Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it themselves.” – Stephen R. Covey

18. “Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.” – Stephen R. Covey

19. “At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself.” – Stephen R. Covey

20. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen R. Covey

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21. “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.” – Stephen R. Covey

22. “To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.” – Stephen R. Covey

23. “If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself.” – Stephen R. Covey

24. “Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic” – Stephen R. Covey

25. “Highly effective people tend to be proactive. They decide to find a better job or to have better health, rather than responding to whatever curves life throws at them.” – Stephen R. Covey

26. “Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice.” – Stephen R. Covey

27. “My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, and because I saw differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently.” – Stephen R. Covey

28. “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” – Stephen R. Covey

29. “When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it — immediately.” – Stephen R. Covey

30. “You can’t change the fruit without changing the root.” – Stephen R. Covey

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31. “The only thing that endures over time is the “Law Of The Farm”. You must prepare the ground, plant the seed, cultivate, and water if you expect to reap the harvest.” – Stephen R. Covey

32. “There are three constants in life…change, choice, and principles.” – Stephen R. Covey

33. “What you do has greater impact than what you say.” – Stephen R. Covey

34. “Setbacks are inevitable; misery is a choice.” – Stephen R. Covey

35. “Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen R. Covey

36. “If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy.” – Stephen R. Covey

37. “The power to keep commitments to ourselves is the essence of developing the basic habits of effectiveness.” – Stephen R. Covey

38. “I use the word effectiveness to get away from the word of success, because it tends to connote only getting desired results. But, you have to constantly nurture the assets that produce those desired results.” – Stephen R. Covey

39. “It’s the nature of reactive people to absolve themselves of responsibility.” – Stephen R. Covey

40. “Leaders are not born or made, they are self-made.” – Stephen R. Covey

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41. “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” – Stephen R. Covey

42. “Synergy is better than my way or your way. It’s our way.” – Stephen Covey Quote

Halfway There

You’ve made it to the halfway point, great job! Here are a few fun facts to ponder if you’re looking for a little break….

Fun Fact: Stephen Covey was once named by Time magazine as one of the top 25 most influential people.

Fun Fact: Corporations would pay Stephen Covey’s business over $500 million per year to have him teach and train their staff the reinvention/leadership strategies found in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Fun Fact: Stephen Covey is the father of the following 7 Habits…..

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Alright, let’s get back to these inspiring Stephen Covey quotes shall we?

Related: Best Self-Growth Quotes

43. “If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.” – Stephen R. Covey

44. “Each of us guards a gate of change that can be opened only from the inside.” – Stephen R. Covey

45. “You can retire from a job, but don’t ever retire from making extremely meaningful contributions in life.” – Stephen R. Covey

46. “The roots of the problems we face in the world, in our national life, and in our family and personal lives are spiritual.” – Stephen R. Covey

47. The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.” – Stephen R. Covey

48. “Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” – Stephen R. Covey

49. “Every time you think the problem is ‘out there’, that very thought is the problem.” – Stephen R. Covey

50. “Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution.” – Stephen R. Covey

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51. “Employers and business leaders need people who can think for themselves — who can take initiative and be the solution to problems.” – Stephen R. Covey

52. “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Stephen R. Covey

53. “Your most important work is always ahead of you, never behind you.” – Stephen R. Covey

54. “Treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen R. Covey

55. “Motivation is a fire from within. If someone tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” – Stephen R. Covey

56. “Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic.” – Stephen R. Covey

57. “Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.” – Stephen R. Covey

58. “Proactive people carry their own weather with them.” – Stephen R. Covey

59. “Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen R. Covey

60. Live your life by a compass, not a clock.” – Stephen R. Covey

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61. “Deep within each of us is an inner longing to live a life of greatness and contribution – to really matter, to really make a difference. We can consciously decide to leave behind a life of mediocrity and to life a life of greatness – at home, at work, and in the community.” – Stephen R. Covey

62. “There’s no better way to inform and expand your mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature.” – Stephen R. Covey

63. “Being influenceable is the key to influencing others.” – Stephen R. Covey

64. “Most arguments are not really disagreements but are rather little ego battles and misunderstandings.” – Stephen R. Covey

65. “We live in a shortcut world. Can you imagine a farmer “cramming” in the fall to bring forth the harvest, as students have done, and still do, to pass examinations? Can you imagine a mile runner “pretending” speed and endurance, or a concert pianist “putting on the appearance” of skill and proficiency?” – Stephen R. Covey

66. “Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education.” – Stephen R. Covey

67. “Most meetings are a waste of time, because they are so ill-prepared and there’s so little opportunity for true synergy in producing better results.” – Stephen R. Covey

69. “Our most important financial asset is our own capacity to earn.” – Stephen R. Covey

68. “We are not animals. So, we are not a product of what has happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.” – Stephen R. Covey

70. “To know and no to do is really not to know.” – Stephen R. Covey

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71. “The space between stimulus and response, is the freedom to choose your response.” – Stephen R. Covey

72. “You cannot hold people responsible for results if you supervise their methods.” – Stephen R. Covey

73. “I believe conflicting or diverse viewpoints are a gift.” – Stephen R. Covey

74. “Win/Lose poisons the mind.” – Stephen R. Covey

75. “People deep into their souls know principles that are universal, timeless, and self-evident.” – Stephen R. Covey

76. “You cannot think independently in an interdependent world.” – Stephen R. Covey

77. “Don’t waste time on things that are urgent but not important.” – Stephen R. Covey

78. “Write a personal mission statement and live by it, so that your life is a function of your values, not a function of your environment.” – Stephen R. Covey

79. “It isn’t the poisonous snake that bites you that does the serious harm, it’s chasing that sucker that drives the poison into the heart.” – Stephen R. Covey

80. “Leadership is a choice.” – Stephen R. Covey

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81. “I wouldn’t do work that does not add value, even if you make money. I would do work which significantly adds value to society.” – Stephen R. Covey

82. “Most meetings don’t need to take place.” – Stephen R. Covey

83. “I have no desire at all to retire, I never will. I am convinced that you should waste and wear out your life trying to make a contribution.” – Stephen R. Covey

84. “The greatest contribution I want to make frankly is to strengthen the families. To me that’s more important than any other organization there is.” – Stephen R. Covey

85. “Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going.” – Stephen R. Covey

86. “You’ve got to develop the moral authority that your life is not a function of your moods, it’s a function of your values.” – Stephen R. Covey

87. “Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people.” Stephen R. Covey

88. “Don’t get seduced by money and by material things. It may be good to a degree, but in the long run what matters is the quality of the relationships with people, the quality of your character, and the quality of the contribution you make.” – Stephen R. Covey

89. “There’s four basic needs in all of us; to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy.” – Stephen R. Covey

90. “You’re a product of your own choices.” – Stephen R. Covey

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91. “That which you resist persists.” – Stephen R. Covey

92. “People simple feel better about themselves when they’re good at something.” – Stephen R. Covey

93. “When we defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.” – Stephen R. Covey

94. “Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world.” – Stephen R. Covey

95. “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” – Stephen R. Covey

96. “Make sure that as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building.” – Stephen R. Covey

97. “The win-win mentality is fundamental not just to business but to all of life’s relationships. it’s the ticket to entry into any human being’s heart.” – Stephen R. Covey

98. “People are working harder than ever, but because they lack clarity and vision, they aren’t getting very far. They, in essence, are pushing a rope… with all of their might.” – Stephen Covey

99. “Our greatest joy and our greatest pain come in our relationships with others.” – Stephen R. Covey

100. “The key to success is dedication to life-long learning.” – Stephen R. Covey

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Bonus Stephen Covey Quote

Bonus: Here’s one last and final quote from our collection of Stephen Covey quotes. It’s one of our favorites, which is why we’ve decided to highlight it here. They’re certainly great words to live by. Enjoy!

“Everyone Chooses One Or Two Roads In Life – The Old And The Young, The Rich And The Poor, Men And Women Alike. One Is The Broad, Well-traveled Road To Mediocrity, The Other The Road To Greatness And Meaning.”

– stephen covey –

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the best of the best Stephen Covey quotes that could help you change your life. If you’ve yet to read his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we highly recommend it.

With that being said, if you enjoyed this page, please share it and bookmark it. And we hope you’ll leverage Stephen Covey’s wise words to reinvent yourself, find more success, and create the results you desire most from life.

Till next time,


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10+ Self Improvement Tips For Creating a Better Life - The STRIVE (2024)


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