Saturday, April 11, 2009

Attar and Covey

In the previous post we saw that Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Zulqarnayn, Christ and Muhammad hold out seven principles which humanity accumulated in the age of prophets. The principles can be defined variously, such as the seven valleys through which birds pass in their search for collective ego in The Conference of the Birds.

Let’s consider another example which comes from a secular source. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey offers a model of self-development which is becoming quite popular these days.

I have many reservations regarding Mr. Covey but may I venture to point out that each of those habits still seem to depict special affinity with the messages of the personalities I have listed (and in the same order):
  1. Adam: Be Proactive (Principles of Personal Choice)
  2. Noah: Begin with the End in Mind (Principles of Personal Vision)
  3. Abraham: First Things First (Principles of Integrity & Execution)
  4. Moses: Think Win/Win (Principles of Mutual Benefit)
  5. Zulqarnayn: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood (Principles of Mutual Understanding)
  6. Christ: Synergize (Principles of Creative Cooperation)
  7. Muhammad: Sharpen the Saw (Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal)


  1. Mashallah, this is a genius. I have found Covey as a powerful tool but somehow always found it over simplifying rather I feel there was something missing. Looking it with this angle makes more sense. Sometimes people don't even understand what they are saying because there are so many hidden layers of divine plan :)

    While we were studying philosophy, it was discussed that whatever we think as a new idea, basis of that idea or we can also go to the extent of saying that the very idea with its essence already existed. May be it is the perfection of God. It is my thought that we just try to find links and then bring coherence with so many ideas to discover its already existing essence. May be it is one of the reasons we have come on earth.

    I hope I made sense.

  2. Greetings,

    Thank you very much for this.

    While I am familiar with Covey's 7 Habits, I have not personally resonated with them to the degree that they're my used model. Rather, I often hear them cited in business seminars, meetings, etc. They're quite popular in those settings.

    To me, Covey's writings are targeted at a population seeking the more "normal" model of self-development. His works and seminars are particularly targeted at business professionals whose typical context is hyper-competitive. The scale of the aims and purposes of Covey's 7 Habits are different.

    With this in mind, I sense his model as perhaps the shadow of a shadow of a shadow of the 7-stage process visible in personal, planetary, and universal scales.

    Just some thoughts.


    Kindest wishes,