Abraham Lincoln Spoke about sharpening your Axe. Stephen Covey in his book the 7 Habits of highly effective people talks about sharpening the saw. I like swords and samurais so I will talk about sharpening your Sword.
I first heard about it from Covey then I was reminded about it by Bret McKay from the Art of manliness in his video about weekly planning. These things that keep the sword sharp are a daily thing for me and even though I sort of forgot about the concept. I do these things, because if I don’t I feel like crap and my day generally doesn’t go well.
What is sharpening the Sword?
According to Covey it is “preserving/ enhancing your greatest asset, you” It is having things that you do to recharge yourself in the 4 main areas of life. Physical, Social/Emotional, Mental, Spiritual. Sharpening, keeps you fresh. It increases your capacity to handle the challenges you face. Feeling good is a product of what you do. So do things that make you feel good? Use some sense though, just because something makes you feel good now, it doesn’t mean it will in the long run. Eating cake makes you feel good, but not in the long run.
How do I sharpen the sword?
Let’s break it down into the categories.
Your body is the ship through which you navigate the world and life. So you want to take care of it. You do this by:
· Eating well
Having good nutritious food regularly, occasionally treating yourself with something delicious even if it isn’t the healthiest.
· Training (Hard)
Training is essential to keep the body functioning well and improving the function. Our lives don’t demand much physicality these days, but our bodies need it. That is why we need to train. Training hard, not only improves the physical, it challenges the mental and helps it improve as well. It inoculates you against stress. So then you are less affected by day to day job/ school stress. Pushing yourself in training will teach you to push yourself in other areas.
Training hard is a necessity in my eyes, but it must be balanced by recovery. Are you getting adequate sleep, nutrients and stretching. When we push hard in training we are up regulating our systems. We are pushing to the redline. Recovery is there to bring us back down and regenerate after these bouts so that we can do it again. Harder and better than before.
Social and emotional
As Jim Rohm famously said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” SO don’t hang out with assholes. Surround yourself with people who make you better and be the person who helps other people better. Life is too short to be an Asshole. So make good decisions.
Spend time in nature, nothing is a better perspective giver that the great outdoors. Meditate, pray or be of service. Do the thing that will most help you expand your spiritual self?
Remember you are made up of many facets and you must stay sharp in all of them. You are more than your training, studying, social life and spirituality individually. You are the sum of the parts so maximize the parts.
Do things to keep your blade sharp.
Physical: eat right, train hard recover
Social: Hang out with cool people, don’t be an asshole
Mental: Read, listen, write, and teach
Spiritual: Get outside, meditate, pray, serve.
Do the things, be awesome. Help others be awesome.
Keep moving forward!
By Llewellyn Morkel