Henry Weinman's Blog

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey | May 10, 2010

Covey wrote this well known book in 1989 and it sold over 15 million copies.  The premise is that effectiveness is achieved by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he believes to be universal and timeless.  I found it to be very relevant for me today. 

The 7 habits are:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the end in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win/Win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw


The author also speaks of the abundance mentality which has become a popular concept now.  It is the idea that we can go through life thinking there is an abundance of resources, enough for us all.  This is in contrast to a scarcity outlook whereby the thinking is that I need to protect what I have as there is not enough for us all.  Many authors suggest that by living with an abundance mentality, you will actually attract more of the abundance (law of attraction).

What was quite poignant for me was Habit 7, Sharpening the Saw.   I liked the analogy of sawing wood and that I will be more effective by taking the time to keep my saw sharp and in the long run, cut more wood and have an easier time doing it.  There are many ways in which we can keep our saw sharp.  For me, it was keeping in top form physically.

So I made a one week commitment to get up early and go on a half our bike ride each day before opening for business.  I found that I began to have more energy in the morning and throughout the day.  My mind was sharper, I was more focussed and I felt that I accomplished more.  I have since renewed this weekly commitment twice.

Ask yourself the question, are you doing your work with a sharp saw?

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