Are you Tired of Hammering Away With a Blunt Blade? Try Sharpening The Saw

Written by geordiejimb

Topics: Mindset

One of the biggest changes in my life since I embarked on the path of building my own Internet Marketing Business has been the realization that my own personal growth and development is a key element to my success – both in my business and my personal life.

Continuously working to improve myself makes me a more valuable person all-around; as a husband, a father, a friend, a colleague, and as a teacher.  The more I learn and understand about myself, the better able I am to assist and help those around me, and the better prepared I am for success in life.

One of my favorite books is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr Stephen R. Covey, and in this article I’m going to explain the four dimensions of, possibly, the most important of these 7 Habits – The Principle of Self-Renewal (a.k.a. Sharpening The Saw).

The essence of this Habit revolves around preserving and enhancing your most valuable asset – Yourself.

As Dr Stephen R. Covey states in his book ,

“This is the single most powerful investment we can ever make in life…“

The Four Dimensions of Renewal

Now, let me give you an overview of the four dimensions and explain why it’s important to work on each of them.

Sharpening The Saw

Physical Dimension

Physical Dimension of RenewalThe Physical Dimension includes eating right, getting enough rest and relaxation, and getting sufficent regular exercise to keep both your body and your mind healthy.

A lack of physical exercise and diet is a serious problem in the world, especially in more developed countries where lives are considered more busy, there are more labor saving devices, and a generally lazier attitude to life.

Social / Emotional Dimension

Social Emotional Dimension of RenewalThe Social/Emotional Dimension is our investment and interaction with others around us – including how we listen and communicate, how we build and develop relationships, whether or not we give or take in our interactions with others, and how secure we feel within ourselves.

Of all the dimensions, this is the only one that we can do without explicitly devoting separated time for this activity alone.  Being conscious of our interactions with those around us, constantly working to understand others first, and by being a positive affirmer of those around us allows us develop our social and emotional self.

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is.  Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

~Goethe, quoted in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


Spiritual Dimension

Spiritual Dimension of RenewalThe Spiritual Dimension is the most deeply personal of the four; this is where you draw inspiration and fulfilment in life from.  A single year, month or even a single week of motion without fulfilment can be a draining experience, and something we have all probably experienced in our lives.

Taking time to reflect on life, what we want from it, where we come from, what inspires us, what motivates us, the world around us, gives us a strong feeling of worth, of inspiration and ultimately leaves us feeling refreshed.

How we do these varies from one individual to another, and sometimes it takes exploring several options to find what works, you may need to explore several approaches to find which works for you.

Mental Dimension

Mental Dimension of RenewalThe Mental Dimension is what can be considered the benefit of a formal education – in the same way you need to physically exercise to stay in shape, your mind needs continuing exercise to stay sharp.  This can be acomplished in a variety of ways from reading great literature, writing your own journal, planning your days and weeks ahead of time all function to keep your mind active.

It’s helpful from an overall rounding effect to vary your efforts outside of your particular discipline; garnering for yourself a broader cultural understanding, or a wider scientific or political understanding,  will help you maintain an open mind, allow you to consider things from another point of view,  and allow you to interact with them with a far deeper understanding of their point of view.

Dimensional Balance

While each of the four dimensions is important on it’s own, the greatest benefit will be seen by continually seeking to improve them all in balance.  Each dimension affects the others, and neglecting any one of them is really the same as neglecting them all – you will limit yourself, and prevent yourself living up to your potential unless you actively seek balance between these four.

Have you read The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, by Dr Stephen R. Covey?  I’d love to hear what you thought of the book, and of this post, please leave a comment below.

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