For the Love of Books

2019 Reading Challenge, May book: Primary Greatness by Steven R. Covey

I found this to be a great foundational book for learning to live life true to yourself (primary greatness) vs putting on a show of what you think you’re supposed to be, do or have (secondary greatness).

This book is a compilation of essays written by Steven R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I really enjoyed the basis of this book. It’s all about getting down to the principles of what drives us as individuals, and which ones work (positive) and which ones ultimately lead to stress and failure (negative). In our social media driven world, these essays are a refreshing way to get back to important core values and natural principles that govern a creative, joyful way of living. Primary greatness, Covey explains is an individuals inner greatness- doing the right thing when no one is looking, following the dreams of your heart, not someone else’s. Whereas Secondary greatness is portraying yourself to the world in a way that they will accept you; it’s a game of outer appearances and proving your worth through expensive things or performing acts of service for recognition rather than for the cause.

In our current world of social media obsession where we often compare ourselves to small square photos of others who seem to lead brilliant, sparkly, perfect lives, I think this is a great book to snap us back to reality. Those little square Instagram photos don’t tell the whole story of a life, and often the more perfect photos are carefully staged. So maybe comparing our own lives in this secondary way is not so healthy. Now don’t get me wrong- I am an Instagram girl myself! I love visuals and I enjoy a beautiful and inspirational photo as much as the next woman, but I have also learned how to simply enjoy for the beauty of the image, rather than believe that anyone’s day to day life is insta-perfect. Get inspired, but don’t compare and don’t compete with that! Rather, strive for your own Primary Greatness; the essentials that inspire you to action and strive to be the best version of yourself!

“Principles and natural laws are absolute, inarguable, and always relevant. This truth is the foundation of successful living. Primary greatness is, above all, living a life centered on principles.” – Stephen R. Covey

In The first section of this book, Covey offers chapters on how to achieve primary greatness for yourself; the first steps you could say. His secret to life, character, how to align yourself to principles, staying on “True North”, and how to reprogram your thinking.

“A life of total integrity is the only one worth striving for. Granted, it’s a struggle…Still, with a well-educated conscience or an internal compass, you will rarely, if ever, be in a situation where you only have one bad option. You will always have choices.” -Stephen R. Covey

In part two of the book, Covey’s essays cover the 12 levers of success that can guide you to success in all areas of life.

  • Integrity
  • Contribution
  • Priority
  • Sacrifice
  • Service
  • Responsibility
  • Loyalty
  • Reciprocity
  • Diversity
  • Learning
  • Renewal
  • Teaching
  • Wisdom

I definitely recommend this book to anyone feeling as though they are floating around a bit confused by what they really want out of life. And as a business owner I truly appreciated so much of the content about being genuine and connecting with others on a deeper level.

“Remember, we are teaching something all the time, because we are constantly radiating who and what we are.” – Steven R. Covey

Thanks for reading!

You can also follow me on Facebook: or Instagram: @sandra_m_belz or @bohojouel

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