7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By | July 27, 2022

[July 27, 2022]  For a long, long time, I’ve looked at what made people effective at what they do for a living.  The CEOs, politicians, religious figures, military Generals and Admirals the greatest among them, and they each have something in common.  They willingly accept responsibility for what they do.

There is a common refrain we hear today that young people lack meaning in their lives.  Most people find meaning in responsibility.

When leaders talk about responsibility, they do it in a moralistic, finger-pointing way, and I’ve been guilty of the same thing.  “You should be responsible.”  Yeah, you should.  Why?  Because your life is chaotic and meaningless and you are a juvenile, people don’t trust or respect you.  Often, youth are aimless and goalless, anxious, and they look at people with a life.

What does a life, those that we would like to copy, what does it consist of?  What are the 7 habits of highly effective people?  They have:

  1. A committed intimate relationship; get a family.
  2. Friends they can be honest with and have a good time with.
  3. A job or career that allows them to progress upward.
  4. They know how to use their time outside of work productively and engagingly.
  5. They control their susceptibility to hedonistic temptations in front of us all.
  6. They pay attention to their mental and physical health; avoiding drugs and alcohol.
  7. They have some concrete goals for their future.

These are all responsible things.  If your life has these, your life will have some meaning.  If you want to know life’s “ultimate” meaning, get those things right first.  They are not nothing.  If you have these, your life won’t be so miserable, bitter, resentful, angry, aimless, anxious, frustrated, disappointed, and ashamed.

Even if you have only five of these dimensions going well, you will have a firm standing when the tragedies of life descend upon you.  And life will turn miserably against you at some point, and you will need something to keep you afloat.

If you want a life that works, work on these 7 things.  Also, figure out how to negotiate, say what you need and ask for it, tell the truth to people, get a routine (no one can live well without a thoughtful, stable routine), and listen to your partner in particular.  This is wisdom.  Ignore it at your peril.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

19 thoughts on “7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  1. catorenasci

    7 habits of highly effective people. I hope that Gen. Satterfield makes this part of his next book. What are those habits? He has already answered. What I’d like to know is what are the top 10 or so. Just a thought.

    1. Erleldech

      You never know until you read them how important they are. These seven are top notch. But I think these listed 7 are more a pre-condition to being an effective, outstanding, ethical person than a determining factor.

  2. Liz at Home

    I always enjoy reading this blog. I try to get to it every day. Thanks to Gen. Satterfield for all he does.

  3. Max Foster

    If you desire to have even a minimal understanding of the 7 habits of highly effective people, or any habits of them, then read this leadership blog. Gen. Satterfield is consistent in his message. The main message he is telling us is that we should willingly adopt the maximum responsibility we can handle. That is the real secret of life. And, then tell the truth no matter what, even if it puts you at a disadvantage. This is what people are looking for in honest associations.

  4. Valkerie

    Just a shout out that I also appreciated yesterday’s article on Eulogy for a Boy Scout. Made me sad reading it. Thanks General Satterfield for getting it to us.

    1. Marx and Groucho

      Yes, it was indeed a sad but also a beautiful article.

  5. Emma Archambeau

    Gen. S. has once again nailed a great article. If you read it and didn’t find out something important for you to do — and do daily — then go back and re-read it. I liked the article because it tells me something important about how to be more of an effective person. “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

    1. lydia truman

      Here is something that may be a surprise to many here. I read his recent book, Our Longest Year in Iraq and found these habits scattered about. Yes, they were there. Just not consolidated like here. Can you imagine that these “habits” keep coming up over and over. I wonder why.

      1. Tom Bushmaster

        Yes, great book. Gives you a blow by blow of the insides of a large Army fighting a war against an allusive enemy.

        1. Janna Faulkner

          Loved Gen. Satterfield’s book!!!!!! ❤❤❤❤❤

  6. Wild Bill

    Wow, never thought of it this way. Thanks Gen. Satterfield.

  7. Edward G.

    Gen. Satterfield, you sure know how to make our day. Another spot-on article and this one about great habits of highly effective people. Hey guys, just past this search into your browser and there you will find a lot of articles that Gen. S. has written on “good habits.” It’s worth a read.

    1. Goalie for Cal State

      Thanks Edward. Great link if you want to see a lot more on this topic. I just started reading them. 👍👍👍👍👍

    1. Dead Pool Guy

      Yep, Jerome, we are not going to find a better place to learn how to be a better leader or, for that matter, a better person. These are, indeed, great habits of fellow highly effective people.

      1. Army Captain

        All the more reason to read this leadership blog by Gen. Satterfield. I’ve not been able to find one as consistently great as this one.


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