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Habit 7 – Sharpen the saw

.Habit – 7 Sharpen the saw

Sharpening the saw is about renewal. To illustrate we take a little bit of text from the book.

Excerpt from the book:

Suppose you see someone sawing down a tree:
You: “What are you doing?”
Other Person: “I am sawing down a tree”
You: “You look exhausted !” “How long have you been at it?”
Other Person: “Over 5 hours”
You: “Well why don’t you take a little break and sharpen the saw?” “It would go a lot faster”
Other Person: “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw” ”I am busy sawing”

This piece of writing shows that you need to sharpen the saw to effectively cut down the tree. In the same way you need to take care of yourself to be an effective person. The activities we need to do to take care of ourselves are easily trown  into the “I don’t have time” pit. For instance “I don’t have time to work out”. It is kind of weird to say but, you don’t have time not to. You are an instrument. You are the saw.

4 areas of human nature

A persons nature has 4 dimensions which need to be sharpened:

  1. Physical
  2. Spiritual
  3. Mental
  4. Social (Emotional)

The physical dimension

The physical dimension involves caring effectively for your physical body:

  • Eating the right kind of foods
  • Getting sufficient rest and relaxation
  • Exercising on a regular basis. (for example walk 30 minutes a day)

The spiritual dimension

The spiritual dimension provides personal leadership to your life, It is where you refresh your core, your center, remind yourself of your commitments, your values. And this is for everyone a bit different. Mostly it is a combination of one of more of the following:
– Prayer
– Meditation
– Reading the scriptures
– Communication with nature
– Immersion is great literature
– Immersion in music

“I have so much to do today, I’ll need to spend another hour on my knees”

– Martin Luther King –

The Mental dimension

The mental dimension is about continuing to learn even when we are not in school anymore. We often see people stopping with actively learning and writing when they are done with school. While we are done with school, this should not be the case.

This dimension is highly connected to Habit 2 and 3 because you need to organize and plan your time to do effective reading and learning
– Reading
– Learning
– Writing
– Teaching.

The Social (Emotional) dimension

(highly related to habit 2).
While the previous dimensions are highly related to habits 1,2 and 3,  the social dimension is highly related to habit 3,4,5. This dimension is primarily developed and manifested in our relationships with others. Renewal of this dimension does not take time in the same sense the other dimensions do, but we do it in our every-day interactions with other people

  • We seek to understand;
  • We listen;
  • We have an abundance mentality

Application exercise
– Commit to an activity in all 4 dimensions every week and evaluate


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