Sharpen The Saw

Covey’s 7th Habit of Highly Effective People is Sharpen The Saw. This is the habit of self-renewal. Last year I had to cut a tree down in my back yard but the saw would barely cut through the wood. I didn’t realize the chain had not been sharpened in quite a while. It ended up taking me 2-3 times as long to get the tree cut down. Unfortunately, the blade was not in proper condition to saw effectively.

In order for us to function effectively, we need to Sharpen The Saw. In other words, we need to keep improving and working on ourselves. This needs to be a Quadrant II activity. Covey says the key to sharpening the saw is to regularly and consistently work on all four dimensions of our lives. The four dimensions are physical, social, spiritual, and mental.

The physical dimension involves caring effectively for our physical body. Most of us don’t invest the time to take care of our body because it isn’t urgent. It will become urgent if you have a health issue. Send 30-45 minutes at least 3-4 times a week working out for cardiovascular and muscle tone. Also care for your body by what foods you eat.

The spiritual dimension is your core, your commitment to your value system. This is an investment of time that we really can’t afford to neglect. I try to spend 15-30 minutes daily in prayer and meditation and reading God’s Word. I will also use a day each month to fast and pray.

The mental dimension is taking care of your mental well-being. Surveys indicate that the average home has the TV on 35-40 hours each week. Turn the TV off. Spend time reading and listening to positive, personal, and professional development books and CD’s. I personally don’t watch much little TV. I read books and listen to CD’s at least 15 minutes each day.

The social dimension is the area of our lives that deals with our relationships. The people we associate with need to be positive, principle-centered, value-based individuals. This is an area that’s tougher for me because I’m so task minded. I’m always doing something. One thing I strive to do is be around like-minded and positive people.

As we balance and sharpen all four dimensions of our lives, we improve our effectiveness in all the habits. In doing so, we grow, change, and improve. The self-renewal process must include balanced renewal in all four dimensions of our lives. The Daily Private Victory is the key to the development of the Seven Habits and it is completely within your Center of Influence.

Commit to Sharpen The Saw and have an awesome day.

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