today I want to let you know how I am currently implementing Habit 7.
If you wonder what I am talking about: I am on a journey of continuous self-improvement. I am using Stephen Covey’s great book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” as a framework and guide. You might want to check it out, it provides you with a framework for continuous self-improvement based on reasonable principles. If you have any questions about the book, feel free to ask in the comment section.
So back to Habit 7, “Sharpen The Saw”. Habit 7 tells us to spend some time everyday on ourselves, on our production capability to provide us with a healthy and fit body and mind to implement the other habits. You can see the four parts of Habit 7 in the photo on the right side (which I put on my room’s wall):
Let’s start west – MENTAL: Of course, I am READING my guide and further literature whenever I feel a need for some external wisdom and guidance. I am PLANNING my day whenever I want to achieve a lot of different things (usually the first thing I do on Saturday mornings – writing an ordered list of todos/activities with some scheduled hours to make sure I get everything done during the day). I am WRITING right now (I think a blog is a great way of self-reflection). And I am VISUALIZING a lot of things on my room’s wall to remember me everyday and this way establish them in my mind/as a part of me. I will show you some of the photos on my room’s wall now.
To remind me of the right state of mind (Energy is a question of attitude & mind: Sometimes I feel very tired or slow but most of the time, it is because I don’t lift up my mental energy level.), I use the photo on the right side (which is a feather in the air – in my opinion a good metaphor for an easy state of MIND):
Some kind of PHYSICAL activity which also lifts up my mood and improves my inner balance by requiring me to be in the right state of mind (otherwise it feels like a lot of work) is singing.
This applies also to going for a walk and enjoying nature which is also good for my body – which I tend to use to little during the day as I am an office worker. So I took this photo of a boy enjoying the sun in the woods to remind me of going for a walk everyday:
And for the real sport stuff, I made a little collage of my favorite activities – going for a jog, cycling, swimming and work-out. The man’s shoulder also reminds me of the right position of my shoulder which still tends to be bowed.
Very useful for my SOCIAL motivation is to remind me of smiling everyday. Smiling makes me feel more positive about things (also a kind of attitude thing) and lets me spread a positive energy that can reach persons around me. This way I feel both more readiness for social interaction (sometimes even too much you might say – most of the time I am travelling by train for more than one hour, I enjoy a conversation with a stranger) and am more attractive for social interaction (is there a more attractive thing than a simple smile?).
Two more photos are left to show. Do you know the following challenge? You know a lot of very nice persons that you always want to stay in touch with but rarely manage to give them a call, write them some lines or invite them for lunch/dinner. Why do you fail to stay in touch with them? One of my explanations is that I think too little of them. I think of a person quite a lot shortly after talking to the person but after some time, with all the daily issues on my mind, I only think of the person if something remembers me of the person. If I don’t have the time in this moment to give the person a call (let it be whatever kind of communication), I think about planning to contact the person but well, you know this can still be difficult and I forget to remember the person again after some time.
So what I did to remember my friends every day was to craft a kind of social planetary system. I printed some circles for the background and the profile photos of the persons I want to stay in touch with and put them onto the background in a kind of best friends/most important persons from the center to the edges (I blurred this photo to save my friends’ identities). I look at this photo/collage almost every evening and whenever I feel like I haven’t heard of a person for quite a while, I can contact the person.
Some words on the SPIRITUAL part: I am currently working on the preparation of my personal mission statement which will clarify my values and inner motivation. Of course I will put my personal mission statement (which is something like my personal constitution) on my room’s wall to read it quite often.
We get to the last photo which is of the wall I look at every morning (you have already seen these photos but I think for visualization, it is very important to put the photos in a place where you see them quite often).
What would you visualize on your room’s wall? Do you also use this kind of visualization technique?
Thank you very much for your reading.
Have a great time,
P.S.: If you wonder why I am already implementing Habit 7 before even finishing (for the first time) with Habit 2 – in my opinion spending some time on a first implementation of Habit 7 can improve my production capability in a great way which allows me to implement the other habits in an even better way.