Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! (Habit 7: : Sharpen the Saw)

Welcome to the final blog post in the series of Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! So far we have discussed the first habit (Be Proactive) , the second habit (Begin With the End in Mind), the third habit (Put First Things First), the fourth habit (Think Win-Win), the fifth habit (Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood), and the sixth habit (Synergize) introduced by Stephen Covey in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we will discuss the final habit, sharpen the saw!

Covey’s seventh and final habit is focused around renewal (taking time to sharpen the saw).  In this habit, Covey encourages us to devote time to renewing the five dimensions in our lives:  social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental.  He states that by doing this, we increase our ability to be effective in each of the other habits—by remembering to “sharpen our saws,” we are providing ourselves with the opportunity of continuous growth. 

Taking action is a crucial step in recovery.  One action we can take that will help us to remain vigilant in our recovery is taking the time to “sharpen our saws.”  There are several things we can focus on in each dimension that will improve our ability to not only remain sober but to be successful as well. 

Today you can incorporate the habits into your everyday life.  Today you can make a choice to become proactive.  Today you can do your best, to begin with, the end in mind, and put first things first.  Today you can work towards win/win solutions as well as the ability to seek first to understand and then be understood.  Today you can reach the ability to experience synergy in your relationships.  TODAY YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL!

(Photo by Ian Stauffer)

Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! (Habit 6: : Synergize)

Welcome to blog post number six in the series of Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! So far we have discussed the first habit (Be Proactive) , the second habit (Begin With the End in Mind), the third habit (Put First Things First), the fourth habit (Think Win-Win), and the fifth habit (Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood) introduced by Stephen Covey in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we will discuss habit six, synergize!

In habit number six, Covey encourages us to create synergy in relationships in order to develop new possibilities.  He says we can do this by understanding the differences in other people’s perspectives by being open and creative.  Covey believes synergism is better than compromise because it allows us to discover solutions to problems with other people when we would be much less likely to do so by ourselves.  Unlike compromise, synergism is based on valuing the differences between people.  If two people have the same opinion, one is essentially unnecessary.  When we are aware of other people’s perspectives, new opportunities present themselves, new answers to old problems arise.  By incorporating synergism into your recovery, you can open doors to new opportunities.  Opportunities that you may have never known existed.

Today you can incorporate synergism into your relationships and your recovery.  Today you can create new answers to old problems.  Today you can be successful!

(Photo by Nick Fewings)

Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! (Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind)

Welcome to blog post number two in the series of Be Successful by Utilizing Highly Effective Habits you Need to Know! So far we have discussed the first habit (Be Proactive) introduced by Stephen Covey in his best selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today we will discuss habit two, begin with the end in mind!

The next habit Covey introduces us to involves beginning with the end in mind.  By beginning with the end in mind, we are able to focus more clearly on the things that actually matter to us.  If we don’t consider what we want to achieve in the long run, we can very easily get lost in our everyday life.  If we remain focused on our end goal, we can more easily stay aware and continue to move in the right direction.

This might be a good time for you to consider some of your goals in life.  In order to help you do that, I would ask you to consider what your values are.  Covey explains that by reminding yourself of your values, you will be better able to remain focused on your goals.  He also explains that no matter what our values are, our central focus (or are centers) are what will drive us fundamentally and determine how we act every day.  He goes on to suggest that our centers should be principle focused.  Our principles, unlike other things that often become our central focus, are unchanging and will give us guidance in making the right decisions in everyday life. 

It is often easy to let some of these things become the central focus of our lives.  But we should remember that these things are ever changing and can often times let us down or lead us astray.  Principles like remaining faithful and hopeful, doing what you love and focusing on the positive, and being grateful, however, never change and serve as guides to lead us to our goals.

Beginning with the end in mind is extremely important in our recovery process as well.  Throughout our journey there will doubtless be times when we want to drink or use, but by focusing on our principles and end goals, we will be better able to overcome those cravings, triggers, and urges. In all things, today you can begin with the end in mind!

(Photo by Matt Botsford)