Excerpt from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide

by Sean Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
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    Oct 1998, 266 pages

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Get in the Habit
They make you or break you

Welcome! My name is Sean and I wrote this book, I don't know how you got it. Maybe your mom gave it to you to shape you up. Or maybe you bought it with your own money because the title caught your eye. Regardless of how it landed in your hands, I'm really glad it did. Now you just need to read it.

A lot of teens read books, but I wasn't one of them. (I did read several Cliffs Notes book summaries, however.) So if you're like me, you may be ready to shelve this book. But before you do that, hear me out. If you promise to read this book, I'll promise to make it an adventure. In fact, to keep it fun, I've stuffed it full of cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world...along with a few other surprises. So will you give it a try?

Okay? Okay!

Now, back to the book. This book is based on another book that my dad, Stephen R. Covey, wrote several years ago entitled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Surprisingly, that book has become one of the bestselling books of all time. He owes a lot of the credit for its success to me and my brothers and sisters, however. You see, we were his guinea pigs. He tried out all of his psycho experiments on us, and that's why my brothers and sisters have major emotional problems (just kidding, siblings). Luckily, I escaped uninjured.

So why did I write this book? I wrote it because life for teens is no longer a playground. It's a jungle out there. And if I've done my job right, this book can be like a compass to help you navigate through it. In addition, unlike my dad's book, which was written for old people (and can get really boring at times), this book was written especially for teens and is always interesting.

Although I'm a retired teenager, I remember what it was like to be one. I could have sworn I was riding an emotional roller coaster most of the time. Looking back, I'm actually amazed that I survived. Barely. I'll never forget the time in seventh grade when I first fell in love with a girl named Nicole. I told my friend Clar to tell her that I liked her (I was too scared to speak directly to girls so I used interpreters). Clar completed his mission and returned and reported.

"Hey, Sean, I told Nicole that you liked her."

"What'd she say!?" I giggled.

"She said, 'Ooohhh, Sean. He's fat!'"

Clar laughed. I was devastated. I felt like crawling into a hole and never coming out again. I vowed to hate girls for life. Luckily my hormones prevailed and I began liking girls again.

I suspect that some of the struggles that teens have shared with me are also familiar to you:

"There's too much to do and not enough time. I've got school, homework, job, friends, parties, and family on top of everything else. I'm totally stressed out. Help!"

"How can I feel good about myself when I don't match up? Everywhere I look I am reminded that someone else is smarter or prettier, or more popular I can't help but think, 'If I only had her hair, her clothes, her personality, her boyfriend, then I'd be happy.'"

"I feel as if my life is out of control."

"My family is a disaster. If I could only get my parents off my back I might be able to live my life. It seems they're constantly nagging, and I can't ever seem to satisfy them."

"I know I'm not living the way I should. I'm into everything -- drugs, drinking, sex, you name it. But when I'm with my friends, I give in and just do what everyone else is doing."

"I've started another diet. I think it's my fifth one this year I really do want to change, but I just don't have the discipline to stick with it. Each time I start a new diet I have hope. But it's usually only a short time before I blow it. And then I feel awful."

Copyright © 1998 by Franklin Covey Co.

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