38 Stephen Covey Quotes to Inspire You to Be a Better Person

Stephen Covey was a renowned American author, educator, businessman, and public speaker who has authored many books including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In most of his books and speeches, Covey promotes the character ethic, aligning a person’s values with the universal and eternal principles.

He argues that values govern a person’s behavior, but principles determine the consequences. Covey’s work is full of insightful words that serve as an inspiration to people who want to be more effective in different aspects of their lives. In this article, I have listed 38 amazing Stephen Covey quotes that will inspire you to be a better person.

​38 Amazing Stephen Covey Quotes to Inspire You to Be a Better Person

​Stephen Covey Quotes to Inspire You to Make Better Choices

#1. “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.’”

#2. “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

#3. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

#4. “We are free to choose our actions… but we are not free to choose the consequences of these actions.”

#5. “We are not animals. We are not a product of what has happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.”

#6. “It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.”

#7. “Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice.”

#8. “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, 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.’”

#9. “The first choice we make each and every day is, ‘Will we act upon life, or will we merely be acted upon?’”

​Stephen Covey Quotes to Motivate You to Be More Disciplined and Deliberate

#10. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

#11. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

#12. “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

#13. “In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.”

#14. “Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.”

​ Stephen Covey Quotes to Help You Change Your Mindset

#15. “To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”

#16. “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.”

#17. “Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.”

#18. “The way we see the problem is the problem.”

#19. “Live out your imagination, not your history.”

​Stephen Covey Quotes to Inspire You to Pursue Greatness

#20. “Start with the end in mind.”

#21. “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

#22. “Primary greatness is on the inside. It’s about character.”

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

#24. “To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.”

#25. “The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.”

#26. “We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”

​Stephen Covey Quotes to Inspire You to Be Kind to Others

#27. “To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.”

#28. “At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself.”

#29. “How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many, because everyone is ultimately a one.”

#30. “It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it. People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive the mistakes of the heart, the ill intention, the bad motives, the prideful justifying cover-up of the first mistake.”

#31. “Little kindness and courtesies are so important.”

#32. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”

#33. “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”

#34. “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.”

#35. “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

#36. “Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own efforts. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.”

#37. “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

#38. “Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic.”

​Final Thoughts

Most of Covey’s books and speeches are among the best sellers for the simple reason that they disregard trends and popular psychology, and instead put emphasis on timeless principles of fairness, honesty, morality, and human dignity. That’s why his work continues to empower and inspire many readers around the world.

So, if you are looking for ways to be more effective and successful in everything you do, you should draw your inspiration from these Stephen Covey quotes. They teach you the universal principles that govern human beings and will help you to achieve your goals faster.

Image source: latimes.com