Summary of Everyday Greatness

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Everyday Greatness book summary
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  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Since 1922, Reader’s Digest has offered its readers uplifting stories and wise insights, spiced with gentle humor. In this anthology, David K. Hatch has collected some of the best of these stories and quotations, with added commentary from inspirational writer Stephen R. Covey. Their book provides numerous examples of ordinary people living principled lives. Without fanfare, quietly and nobly, these unrecognized heroes make the world a better place. They demonstrate what conviction, charity and goodness really mean. Although many of the anecdotes are saccharine and superficial, getAbstract believes that even the most exhausted workers and jaded managers will discover words of inspiration in this book.

About the Authors

Stephen R. Covey is the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a classic that has sold more than 15 million copies. David K. Hatch is a business consultant who advises organizations about leadership.



You Can Be Great

Greatness is not only the domain of the powerful, rich or famous. It also belongs to ordinary people who live with dignity, courage and integrity. Great people successfully negotiate three kinds of choices, which everyone confronts every day:

  1. “The Choice to Act” – Life is filled with random events that you cannot control. However, you can control how you respond to them. Instead of backing down when someone disagrees with you, or abandoning your goals if they require a lot of work to achieve, find direction from your inner compass.
  2. “The Choice of Purpose” – Just deciding to act is not enough. After all, most people make poor choices at some point. Don’t run around frantically. Act according to your values and your long-term goals.
  3. “The Choice for Principles” – Just as the world works according to the laws of physics, heroic people act in accordance with universal principles such as “vision, innovation, humility, quality, empathy, magnanimity, perseverance and balance.”

These stories describe how a few otherwise ordinary people added greatness to their lives:

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