Whatever you might think of Stephen Covey, you’ve got to hand it to him: the guy knew how to take his own advice.
Covey, who wrote the book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic,” died in 2012 at 79 years of age. He’s best remembered for penning what became a giant in the “self-help” field.
Covey’s formula for success sat on best-seller lists for more than five years and sold upwards of 25 million copies…all of which baffled the author.
He figured he was just reminding people to exercise common sense—and it’s hard to argue the point.
Covey’s seven habits read like a simple to-do list. And they are simple…until you actually try to live them.
- Be proactive
- Begin with the end in mind
- Put first things first
- Think “win-win”
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood
- Sharpen the saw—find ways to renew yourself
It’s the second point on his list Covey found especially compelling. “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience,” he said, referring to one’s eulogy, “you will find your definition of success.”
Covey missed hearing his eulogy—you’ll miss yours as well, only by a few days—but he was onto something: How you live will determine how you’re remembered.
Remembered by family…by friends…by those whose lives you’ve touched.
Like everyone, you’re writing your eulogy right now. Your words, actions, priorities, and principles are defining you. They’re tracing the outline of what you consider to be success in this world.
If you have your eye on achieving true success, you could do far worse than to adopt one tucked away in the book of Micah:
“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (New Living Translation)
How has your past week lined up with God’s description of a good and successful life? Is the eulogy you’re writing one that honors God…or yourself…or nothing?
Everyone will be remembered by those he or she loves for something. For what will the people who matter most remember you?
What I need to remember:
- BAPTISM (What? We need another baptism already?) God did some amazing things through Vacation Bible School last week! Our team of volunteers got to lead a whole bunch of kids to faith in Jesus, so we’ve scheduled a special baptism for Sunday, August 14. You don’t have to be a child to be baptized on August 14, so feel free to register today! Allow your church family to celebrate the transformation Jesus has made in your life. Sign up for more info here.
- KNIGHTS CLUB NEEDS YOU! To capitalize on the success of VBS, we’re looking for 8 men and women to step in and provide some leadership for kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade for our Wednesday Knights Club (see what I did there?) This Wednesday night program will kick off on Wednesday, August 31 and runs from 7:00-8:00 pm. For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Shannon Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What I’m reading
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel.
- Just a Minute: In the Heart of a Child, One Moment Can Last Forever by Wess Stanford and Dean Merrill.
John Sanders is the non-stuffy pastor at The Church at Clayton Crossings. His primary mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. Additionally, he longs to write like the child of Aaron Sorkin and Dave Barry, preach like W.A. Criswell, look like Bradley Cooper, and eat like he’s seventeen years old. A more complete (and less snarky) bio can be found here.
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