Confession time: I’m an old-school self-improvement junkie. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” had a profound impact on me. One of my favorites from his book is Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Let’s reexamine this habit through the lens of the achievement-oriented woman leader of today’s world. Sharpening our saws isn’t just about achieving; it’s about enhancing our effectiveness by taking better care of ourselves on all levels. It’s about rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, and embracing life.
Amidst the rush to achieve, we must slow down and embrace all aspects of our lives. Recently, I attended a body movement session, a different approach from my usual yoga routines. It taught me the science behind movement and how intentional movement, posture, and stretching contribute to our well-being. It was enlightening.
Sharpening the saw is more than a workout; it’s engaging in activities that bring joy and balance. It’s about hobbies like knitting, photography, sailing, or hiking—anything that engages muscles other than our brain or work life. These activities create equilibrium and joy in our lives.
Feeding our spirit is equally crucial, whether through religious practices or private moments of prayer and meditation. Slowing down and tuning into ourselves helps us release the regular pressures we face.
Changing career paths can also be a form of sharpening the saw. After a successful career in nonprofit fundraising, I ventured into coaching. This new path not only complimented my first career, but also ignited a passion that led to becoming an author and speaker.
Vacations and downtime are essential aspects of sharpening the saw. “Work hard, play hard” should be a motto we live by. Reaping the rewards of our hard work shouldn’t be delayed until retirement. Make time to travel and experience new adventures.
Creating moments of solitude without a never-ending to-do list is another way to sharpen the saw. I’ve learned to embrace stillness, savoring simple moments like sitting by the water, listening to the sounds around me, and just breathing.
In conclusion, here’s a challenge: Choose three ways to sharpen your saw. Share them with someone who can hold you accountable. Whether it’s feeding your spirit, creating quiet time, or planning an adventure, remember, life is now. Reclaim space for yourself, your spirit, your joy, and your health. Go for it!
Trina Ramsey is an executive and career coach, and the founder of the Just Do You Institute for Women’s Empowerment. Her best-selling book, Just Do You: A Declaration of Independence from Guilt, Obligation and Shame, is available on Amazon. To read more from Trina follow her on Medium: https://mycoachtrina.medium.com/