Of the many books I have read none moved me as much as the "the seven habits of highly effective teens" by Stephen R. Covey. After my 10th standard I had to change schools because my school did not have 11th and 12th . At first everything went fine and soon I started topping my class but along with my grades my arrogance too grew. I felt that I could manage without working hard. I rarely studied and spent most of my time dilly dallying. On top of that I fell into bad company. As a result my grades started dropping and argued with my mother constantly and I rarely talked to my sister.
One fine day when the results were announced for an internal test I was ashamed of myself , my rank was almost at the bottom. It was then I started correcting myself. But it was not that easy and not a day passed without trying to find out what went wrong with me and trying to correct myself. It was at this time I read this book by Stephen R. Covey. This book was like a lighthouse which appears out of the darkness to guide a lost ship. The advise like think with the end in mind and "be proactive" were very helpful I started with baby steps like cutting down my TV time and submitting my assignments before the deadline. I started paying more attention to the teachers and started working diligently. Every time I reached a small goal I made a bigger one and started working towards it. . Eventually I started performing better and my grades started improving.
When it came to my relationships with my family and friends here too I started scoring better. In the case of my mother I wanted to make amendments and today I listen patiently and even help her out with her office especially. I started taking her criticism positively and tried to improve myself. Here the habits like Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Mutual Understanding were of immense help. When our sections got shuffled in our 12th grade I felt everybody was new and was afraid to interact with them. I knew that I had to interact with them to know more them but I did not know how and here too the book proved useful, the author said that showing them something interesting would help interact with new people. So as to make the conversation interesting I started using a few of Holmes tricks and surprising them. In fact there came a new girl into our class who was very shy and seeing that she did not make any friends I went up to her and said that she had a dog with short hair and she had lifted it up in her arms just before coming to class that day. At first she was surprised and then her surprise turned into a smile when I told her how I did it, I told her that there was lots of cream colored hair on her sweater and that was how I knew that she had a pet cream in colour and I guessed that it was dog. By the length of the hair I could tell the type of coat it had. Though I don't think I can anyway come closer to the genius of Holmes, my humble and simple techniques really did work.
While the book gives the same sound advice that his father gave adults, he gave it that teenage no-nonsense twist and "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."
On the whole I am greatly indebted to the author who acted like a compass to a mariner lost a sea. The baby steps and the simple advice were really helpful.