First Things First

by Thom Hiatt

Author Stephen R. Covey died in July 2012 just a few months short of his 80th birthday. The news of his passing inspired me to re-read his 1994 book “First Things First” which followed his famous work “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I recommend both books to people of all walks of life.

I enjoy reading personal development and motivational books by the likes of Tony Robbins and John C. Maxwell. I also enjoy the very positive and motivational Joel Osteen, especially his 2004 book “Your Best Life Now.” Financially, Suze Orman and I are cut from the same cloth.

When I moved to San Diego in the summer of 1998, I’ll never forget… I simply could not put down “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins. Talk about motivation! He is on fire. And this book gets you excited about life, getting rid of baggage, making the most of your time and abilities.

My more recent “couldn’t put it down” experience was with Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” which provides an incredible perspective on how little things can make a big difference.

First Things First

I won’t attempt to offer a professional book review, but I will offer some highlights for your benefit and encouragement:

  • Manage your time more effectively by learning to better balance your life.
    • The pieces of your life (family, work, play, spiritual, etc) all need equal attention, and often simultaneously.
  • Live, Love, Learn, Leave a Legacy — We have a finite time on this planet. Are you making the most of it? Are you enjoying life, being friendly and loving others, learning and experiencing new things, and thinking about how others will learn from your legacy?
  • What are your Principles? What are the rocks of your personal foundation? And are your actions centered on these principles?
  • Importance vs. Urgency — The things you spend your time on… are they “important” and helping you achieve your goals? Are you constant working on “urgent” projects either due to their emergency nature or bad planning?
  • With all of your time management skills, are you trying to do more things faster? Or are you trying to do the right things?

Getting Started in Motivational Business Reading

  • Visit your local library. Remember, the books are free, and can often be checked out for months on end with renewals!
  • Check out Soundview Executive Summaries and get a Free Sample. If you like the sample, check out their massive library of downloadable PDF book summaries. Memberships start at only $99/yr. Summaries are great because they give you the gist of the book. And if you like the gist, you can look for the book at your library or buy the e-book.
  • Browse Motivational Books on Amazon