Tag Archives: commitment

Mentors Say Sharpen The Saw!

I have a daily calendar on my desk with short messages taken from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book by Stephen R. Covey. I’m sure you’ve heard of the book, but perhaps you’re not that familiar with the contents.

The seventh habit in the book is to Sharpen The Saw, or developing a balanced program for self renewal. This program of self renewal is designed to focus on the 4 areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental & spiritual. In order for you to perform at your best, you must take time to renew and recharge in each of these areas. I’m going to outline some of my practices to regularly sharpen my saw, starting with physical.

There are a number of things you can do to revitalize your physical self, including taking in the right nutrition, exercising regularly and getting adequate rest. I admit, this can be a bit of a roller coaster for me. At times I get gungho and work out every day for a month or more, or I get up early and go for a run every day and then all of a sudden I fall off the wagon and it takes forever to get any sort of routine going again.

One of the simplest solutions to this that I’ve found was to make a small enough commitment that I couldn’t fail. Let me give you an example. Almost 3 years ago now, I was at an all day workshop and heard a number of my mentors speak. One of them, Lee Brower (the gratitude rock guy in The Secret) explained a system he had used to keep commitments to himself (and he learned it from one of his mentors). At the time, he wanted to read more, but was having trouble finding the time. His mentor explained how he made time to read from the bible every single day. Lee asked him how that was possible, and what happened if he missed a day. He said he never missed a day, because his commitment was only to read one sentence (or maybe it was even just one word) and there was always time to do that.

I started the next morning by committing to doing one push-up everyday, and kept that commitment for about 2 years. I don’t think I ever did just one, and it wasn’t long before I was doing 50 or more, and sometimes with my kids sitting on my back! Here’s my challenge to you. What’s one “sharpen the saw” practice you can implement today? Make a commitment to yourself to make it non-negotiable and the secret is to make it something you know you can commit to. Exceeding it every day will just help to boost your belief in yourself, but missing just once can be very detrimental to your self confidence. Start with one commitment, and add a new one every 60 or 90 days. At the end of the year, you’ll be a whole new better version of yourself.

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Ignore the rules. There are no rules.

“Ignore the rules. There are no rules. There are no regulations. You get out and you do what you need to do because you believe in what you’re doing.” John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten)
Great message. The only thing I would add, is ensure it’s in service to others. If you believe in criminal activities this quote doesn’t apply. If on the other hand you believe you are here to serve a purpose that leaves the planet better for you being here, then I think it’s your responsibility to do whatever it takes. At the MMI I attended this past week, they have  you repeat “I make the rules, I’m the judge and I’m the jury”. 

If you really feel strongly about something you’re doing and find that the ”rules” are preventing you from moving forward, then maybe you need to ask that “how can I” question again and find a way to get it done. I think if your commitment is strong enough, you’ll find a way. Take me building my first house for example. At that time you needed to have a 10% down payment to secure a mortgage. I was only looking for about $100,000, but I didn’t have $10,000. I found out my Grandma would be able to put up that money for me, and I was able to get my financing. I made sure I paid my Grandma back plus a good return on her money for helping me out. The bank may not have liked that she had essentially given me a loan allowing me to finance 100% of the project, but I did pay my mortgage on time every month, and they were happy to receive my cheques so I think everybody won in this scenario.

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Accomplish the Impossible.

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” C. Malesherbes

I have had a number of instances in my life where I have set a goal, with no real idea when or how I was going to accomplish it, and then to find myself a year or two later with it completed. One good example goes back to my college days. In our drafting program we took a field trip to view a new show home that was being raffled off for charity. It was a beautiful home with a unique layout that really appealed to me. I never forgot that plan, and quietly declared that I would live in a house like that someday. Fast forward a few years, after having shared a townhouse with my brother I decided it was time to have my own place. I began looking for a lot to build on, sketching out the blueprints and planning the construction. In a few months time, I had bought a lot (and I didn’t even have a down payment) and started construction. The excavation started in late August, and by early December I was living in my own house. I worked every single day from the day I started until I moved in (and for months after) while working a full time job. I only took one day off to attend a friend’s wedding.

The main point I want to make, is that I set my mind to having my own home. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I had never built a house before, although I had worked on many with my Dad. I didn’t have the money to do it, but I found a way to get the down payment and went to the bank for a construction loan. I never let the thought enter my mind that it wasn’t going to happen. Even on the days when I was rolling quarters for gas money to get to the job site because I hadn’t received the first draw on the mortgage. (that was a process I didn’t fully understand when I started either) Had I know about the hurdles I’d have to overcome, I may have never started. Thankfully, my mind was focused on living in my own home, based on that plan I had seen in college, and I turned it into a reality.

If you have trouble imprinting your visions into your mind’s eye, here’s a product I have used for a couple of years that has been a great visualization tool for me. This is a vision board on steroids, and is incredibly easy to create. Make your own Mind Movie today so you can start manifesting your desires.

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