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

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…”

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

Physical (Exercise, Nutrition, Stress Management)

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

Social / Emotional (Service, Empathy, Synergy, Intrinsic Security)

The 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.

“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 (Value Clarification & Commitment, Study & Meditation)

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

Mental (Reading, Visualizing, Planning, Writing)

The Mental Dimension is what can be considered the benefit of formal education – reading, studying, learning, experiencing new concepts, getting into the minds of great people – in the same way you need to physically exercise to stay in shape, your mind needs continuing exercise to stay sharp. 

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.