Sharpen the Saw – A Challenge to Implement Change

by Joe on August 16, 2009

Recently a popular tech blogger, Robert Scoble learned about owning the time between stimulus and response.  Owning that space in your life is relationship changing and life transforming.  That’s why its one of the main points and continuous goals I have coming off of the Stephen Covey training.  But as I have espoused here before, listing your goals out on paper is a great way to start on the path to achieving them.  Obviously one of my first goals with this blog I failed to achieve (post once a week) especially in the last month.   So in an effort to Sharpen the Saw Covey style, I’ll let you all in on a few of the goals I set for myself at the covey training.

At the end of the covey training, you set goals in four dimensions as a way to achieve Habit Seven, Sharpen the Saw.

  • Physical
  • Social/Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual

I’ll take you through my Mental and Social/Emotional areas of my goals.


Mentally, Covey pushed us to renew ourselves mentally by encouraging writing, reading, collecting quotes, and developing a hobby.  My goal was to further purge my daily reading to expand/widen the scope of what I read online.   The first thing I did was to remove the standard social media and tech guard out of my feed reader.  I was sick of reading the same piece of news from 4 blogs.  I picked one and am going to stick to it.  I also subscribed to other blogs.  Oh and my wife and I started laughing our bottoms off while reading “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris.  Its outside of my comfort zone and its an absolute riot and well written book.


In this area I wanted to focus on three of the suggestions from the covey training in this area.

  1. Widen your circle of friends.
  2. Let go of the damaging competitive feelings you may have towards others.
  3. Practice Empathic Listening regularly with the people who are important to you.

My execution plan on this goal was to invite folks over for dinner – simple yet revolutionary.  With just two of us, its easy to have leftovers – but investing those leftovers in relationships is a revolution.   Now that we are moving into a new neighborhood, my wife and I have started to plan a block party.  Its important that we spend time developing those friends and actively being interested in them and their stories.  I plan to work hard to make my home a open place where people feel free to be themselves and free to be loved.

Next week I will outline a few things that the Stephen Covey training walked us through so that by my listing them here, you might be propelled to think a new thought.  We all know it is a challenge to implement change as we learn new things.  I use this blog as a real way to mark my progress and hopefully we can implement together as we learn together.

Best Quote from this topic:  “Sharpening the Saw actually saves time.”

How have you saved time by reviewing your goals and implementing change in your life?

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