The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People | Study Guide

Stephen Covey

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People | Part 4, Habit 7 : Sharpen the Saw (Renewal) | Summary


Key Takeaways

  • Habit 7 is about taking care of one's physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional needs. Caring for oneself is at the center of the Circle of Influence and must be done by the individual.
  • The physical dimension is about the physical body and includes regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep. This dimension prompts one to be proactive in the care of one's body, thereby boosting self-esteem and self-confidence, both of which are necessary for Habits 1–3.
  • The spiritual dimension "provides leadership to your life"; it is the core of a person's existence. This need can be met through organized religion, independent practice of religion, or even music, literature, or nature. The point is to connect regularly with core values and motives; such connection brings a sense of inner peace, which is necessary to achieve the public victories of Habits 4–6.
  • The mental dimension encourages continued education outside of school. "Quality literature" expands the mind and hones critical thinking skills. Covey recommends classic novels, National Geographic, and autobiographies.
  • The social/emotional dimension helps with the interpersonal relationships of Habits 4–6. Covey recommends "helping other people in a meaningful way" to develop one's own sense of personal security. Investing in other people's Emotional Bank Accounts is a source of fulfillment for the investor and a self-confidence boost for the investee.
  • "Sharpening the saw" is a Quadrant II activity, important but not urgent, and therefore should be done every day. Covey recommends dividing one's attention among the four dimensions equally.
  • All four dimensions are interconnected. When one improves in one area, improvements are simultaneously seen in another, thus creating an "upward spiral" of growth and change.
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