Sharpen the Saw
Steven Covey’s last habit in his acclaimed book, “7
Habits of Highly Effective People” is, he suggests,
perhaps the most important of the seven, in that it makes
all the others possible. He calls this habit, “The
Habit of Self-Renewal” or, as he also puts it, “sharpening
Well, what does this mean? It means preserving and
enhancing the greatest asset you have – yourself.
When we’re busy working and running our companies,
few of us take the time to sharpen the saw, because personal
maintenance seldom leads to immediate, dramatic returns.
Too often we push ourselves to produce the desired results,
but fail to maintain, let alone build up, our producing
Dr. Covey suggests there are four areas of our lives
to which we should pay disciplined attention – the
physical, the social/emotional, the mental and the spiritual.
The physical is the body, building strength through good
nutrition, exercise and rest. The social/emotional involves
working on our key relationships, spending time with
family, friends and also employees. The mental we exercise
through taking time out to think, reading and writing.
And finally our spiritual self we develop through inspiring
literature, meditation or prayer and through spending
time with nature.
He goes on to say we should dedicate a minimum of one
hour a day to our self-renewal. How many of us can afford
the time to do this? How many can really afford not to?
How will you start taking better care of yourself?
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