It has been decades since the initial release of Stephen Covey’s classic, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit Seven, Sharpen the Saw, is the topic of today’s post and my gift to you.
I work with many of you on a regular basis. I observe how you pour your heart and soul into your work of easing the way of your patients and co-workers. The phrase ‘self-sacrificing’ doesn’t even begin to describe you. You are driven to care for people. The phrase ‘care-giver burnout’ doesn’t seem to enter your mind…even though it should.
While many of you will be working over the next few weeks, many of you will have some time away from the units, the clinics, and the OR. That makes for some perfect time to ‘sharpen the saw’.
In the turn-of-the-century lumber camps, the most influential person was he who sharpened the saw. You could be the best sawyer in the camp, but if the teeth of your cross-cut saw were dull, you soon were slowing down and more exhausted from your efforts. It was impossible to sharpen the saw when it was moving, obviously. You had to stop, back away, go sit down, while the sharpener painstakingly, with a hand file, sharpened each tooth. It was an equation that couldn’t be cheapened or shortened. Fail to pay that price of slowing down, and you failed as a sawyer.
You are not exempt from that slowing down, even though times have changed in so many ways.
You know, instinctually, when you need to slow down or even stop. Fail to pay attention to that and your body and mind will pay attention for you, usually at very inopportune times. My father used to say the phrase “nature bats last”. And he was right.
So since we have a very busy and magnificent 2019 in front of us, please take some sharpening time over the next few days. However you choose to sharpen, do it! You owe it to yourself (and since some of you don’t pay attention to that too well — a topic for another post) you owe it to your close circle of family and friends, and ultimately, to your patients.
I look forward to working with a ‘sharp you’ in a few days!!!