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Sharpen the Saw

A lumberjack is working hard cutting down trees. As his saw becomes dull, the wise thing to do would be to stop….and then sharpen the saw, and then continue his productive work. But he is too busy sawing down trees to sharpen the saw.

Sharpen the saw. It is habit number seven of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and the lesson is simple, obvious, and so neglected. Lack of sleep, little exercise, fast food, limited planning, unending stress, no relaxation, no rest and no recharge. That is not responsible behavior. It is a recipe for failure.

Covey addresses four areas that we must renew if we want to sustain an effective life. The physical (exercise, nutrition, stress management), the mental (reading, visualization, planning, writing), the social/emotional (service, empathy, synergy, intrinsic security), and the spiritual (value clarification and commitment, study, meditation).

So how sharp is your saw? Which of those four dimensions needs the most attention? Why don’t you use this article as an inspirational moment and commit to one simple change to address that area of neglect…! Remember, it’s not a habit until you practice it!

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