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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was written on Covey's belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. He introduces the "Inside-Out" paradigm approach.
According to Covey, in order to change any given situation, we must change ourselves first: the inside part of ourselves – our paradigms (or perceptions, frame of references, interpretations, etc.), character, and motives. He further explained that to change ourselves, we must first change our perceptions, leading to significant change. Covey believed that our perception dictates how we see the world; therefore, we create any situation that we find ourselves in. Based on this idea, we create any unhappy state; whether it be a stagnant life, an unhappy marriage, etc. In changing our perceptions, we change ourselves and ultimately change our situation.