This is one of the best books I’ve ever read on human behavior. It still shapes a lot of how I interpret why we do what we do. It’s by Hyrum W. Smith, the founder of Franklin Quest, the company that would later put the “Franklin” in “Franklin Covey”.

The first half of the book is mainly about defining a guiding purpose for your life, and how you can use that purpose to guide your actions. He walks you through his experiences in creating his own personal constitution (mission statement), how to set goals that you really believe in, and best practices for daily planning.

The second half presents the Reality Model, a framework that helps you interpret, predict, and shape human behavior. The model applies to individuals and organizations of any size—a family, a team, a company, or a country. You will not only gain insights into your own behavior (insight that creates the ability to change), but also an understanding of why your spouse, friends, and coworkers make the choices they make. That understanding has a powerful effect on your interpersonal relationships.

I’ve heard Hyrum speak a good number of times—always on tape, never in person—and his voice comes through when he writes. He has a fresh, relaxed tone that makes what could easily be an obtuse topic very approachable. The examples he shares are memorable, and will get you to reflect. More importantly, you’ll want to make changes in your life so that your living lines up with your core values.