Sharpening the Saw

I’m convinced that if a person will spend one hour a day on these basic exercises, he or she will improve the quality, productivity and satisfaction of every other hour of the day, including the depth and restfulness of sleep. No other hour of your day will return as mush as the hour you invest in sharpening the saw – that is exercising these four basic dimensions of the human personality. If you will do this daily, you will soon experience the impact for good on your life.

The four dimensions of the human personality are: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Participate in some kind of balanced moderate, regular program of aerobic exercise, meaning cardiovascular exercise – using the large leg muscles and working the heart and lungs. This provides endurance – improving the capacity of the body and brain to use oxygen – along with many other physical and mental benefits. Also valuable are stretching exercises for flexibility and resistance exercises for strength and muscle tone.

Exercise mind through reading, creative problem solving, writing, and visualizing.

Emotionally they make an effort to be patient, to listen to others ( Listen to understand – not respond) with genuine empathy, to show unconditional love, and to accept responsibility for their own lives and decisions and reactions.

Spiritually, they focus on prayer, scripture study, meditation and fasting.

Some of these activities may be done in the normal course of the day; others will need to be scheduled into the day. They take some time, but in the long run, they save us a great deal of time. We must never get too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw, never too busy driving to take time to get gas.

These principles of self renewal will gradually produce a strong and healthy character with a powerfully disciplined, service – focused will.

PRINCIPLE CENTERED LEADERSHIP – Characteristics of Principle Centered Leaders


Lets break it down:

1)Exercise body – Cardiovascular, stretching, weights

2) Exercise mind – read, write, problem solve, creative thinking

3) Exercise emotions – practice patience, empathy, unconditional love

4) Exercise spirituality – prayer, scripture study, meditation and fasting






Hey Everyone!

We have some special house guests staying with us at the moment. 10, to be exact…

So, I wasn’t able to get on here till now, today! After being up at 4:30am, and then showering, cleaning the puppy pen and feeding them, walking both the mom and dad, making 3 lunches for my hubby and 2 kids, workout from 7am – 7:45, get kids ready for school, back home- sewing for clients from 9:30 –  11:30, picked up my daughter from school because she was sick – clean puppy’s, headed to emergency – my daughter has a cold and an ear infection, get home, bag 145 flyers, cook dinner, clean and feed pups, get kids in bed, take dogs out and into bed for another day tomorrow! Very thankful I have Jesus right now, Or I would probably go crazy! I hope everyone else is having a great day💖

Emotional Bank Accounts: What are they? and How do you build one?

In our efforts to get what we want in marriage and family life, there is one powerful lesson of transcendent importance: we must preserve and enhance the assets and resources that enable us to be productive.

(Stephen Covey) He calls these two goals “P” and “PC”.

“P” stands for the production of desired results,

“PC” stands for production capability, which means the preservation and enhancement of the results- producing assets or resources.

For example, if a parent has neglected PC work with a teenage son, the trust level will be low, making communication closed and mechanical. The son simply will not be open to the fathers counsel on matters where experience and wisdom are needed. The father may have much wisdom and desire to counsel his son, but the son will not be open to it because of the low trust. The P work, the production of desired results, will now suffer terribly, because the PC work has not been done. And the son may end up making decisions on a short-range emotional perspective, resulting in many negative long-range consequences.

When PC work has been ignored, a parent may need to ‘go the extra mile’ to recover a relationship. There are many other ways of going the second mile, of making emotional deposits. What may be a deposit to one person may be a withdrawal for another. “One mans meat, is another mans poison.”  When we live the primary laws of love(PC activity) we encourage obedience to the primary laws of life (P results). There is no short cut.

In developing marriage or family relationships, short cut techniques, artificial rewards, psych-up strategies, and duplicitous, hypocritical living may hide character flaws temporarily, but those flaws will be exposed in the next storm of life. Marriage is a courtship requiring continual deposits in the form of gentleness, kindness, consideration, small courtesies, pleasant words and unconditional love.

Any time we neglect PC in the name of P, we may temporarily get a little more P, but eventually it will decline. If we use manipulative and intimidating techniques, we may get what we want in the short run, but eventually the trust level and communication processes deteriorate. Instead of rich understanding, where a couple can communicate almost without words, even make mistakes and still be understood, the situation becomes one of mere accommodation, wherein they simply attempt to live independent lifestyles in  a fairly respectful and tolerant way. It may further deteriorate to one of hostility and defensiveness, where a person is made an”offender for a word” and its simply too risky to think out loud. Theses marriages may end up in open warfare in the courts or in a cold war at home, sustained only by children, sex, social pressures, or image projection.

In a sense, selfishness, a root cause of marital discord and divorce, is a symptom for heavy focus on P, or what we want – the results we desire. For instance, a husband who is selfish and inconsiderate for a period of time, cajoles and manipulates and intimidates to get what he wants, but eventually, because of lack of PC, the relationship deteriorates.

The same is true with parents in relation to their children. If parents focus on what they want and threaten and intimidate, yell and scream, wield the carrot and the stick, or go the other way and indulge the kids or simply leave them alone, relationships will deteriorate; discipline will be non-existent; vision, standards, and expectations will be unclear, ambiguous and confused.

When the children are young and susceptible to threats and manipulation, parents often get what they want in spite of their methods. But by the time the child becomes a teenager, a parents threats no longer have the same immediate force to bring about desired results. Unless there is a high trust level and a lot of mutual respect, they have virtually no control over their children. There is simply no reserve funds in the emotional bank account. A lack of PC work done in the formative years leads to an overdrawn emotional bank account in the teen years, a breakdown of relationship, and a lack of influence.

Emotional bank accounts are very fragile, yet very resilient at the same time. If we have a large emotional bank account, say $200,000 of emotional reserve with others, we can make small withdrawals of $5,000 – $10,000 from time to time, and they will understand and accommodate us. For instance, we may need to make a very unpopular, authoritarian decision because of certain time pressures without involving others or explaining it to them. If we have a $200,000 bank account and make a $10,000 withdrawal in this manner, we would still have $190,000 left. Perhaps the next day we would take the time to explain what we did and why we did it, thus redepositing the $10,000.

A PC orientation flows directly out of the character and integrity and sincerity of a person, rather than as a manipulative tactic only to get P. If we are insincere and use PC as a manipulative technology, it undoubtedly will be revealed for what it is, the net effect, being a huge emotional withdrawal. But if we make small, sincere deposits consistently over time, we build a huge reserve. We can make these small deposits in the form of patience, courtesies, empathy, kindness, services, sacrifices, honesty, and sincere apologies for past mistakes, overreactions, ego trips and other forms of withdrawal.

FROM: CHAPTER 12 – Enriching marriage and family relationships.

BY: STEPHEN R. COVEY – Principle centered leadership


Synergy: is the endowment of creativity – the creation of something.

How? By yourself? No, through two respectful minds communicating, producing solutions that are far better than what either proposed originally. Most negotiation is positional bargaining and results at best in compromise. But when you get into synergistic communication, you leave position. You understand basic underlying needs and interests and find solutions to satisfy them both.

Two Harvard professors, Roger Fisher and William Ury, in their book – Getting to Yes – outline a whole new approach to negotiation. Instead of assuming two opposing positions – “I want that window open.’ “No closed.” “No, open” – with occasional compromise( half open, half the time) they saw the possibility of synergy. “Why do you want it open?” “Well, I like the fresh air.” ” Why do you want it closed?” “I don’t like the draft.” “What can we do that would give the fresh air without the draft?” Now two creative people who have respect for each other and who understand each others needs might say, “Lets open the window in the next room. Lets rearrange the furniture. Lets open the top part of the window. Lets turn on the air-conditioning.” They seek new alternatives because they are not defending positions.

Whenever there’s a difference, say “Lets go for a synergistic win-win. Lets listen to each other. What is your need?” ” Well, I’m in just the mood for this kind of movie. What would you like?” Maybe you can find a movie or some  other activity that would satisfy both. And you get people thinking. And if you get the spirit of team work, you start to build a very powerful bond, an emotional bank account(more on this later), and people are willing to subordinate their immediate wants for long term relationships.

One of the most important commitments in a family or a business is to never bad-mouth. Always be loyal to those who are absent, if you want to retain those who are present. And if you have problems, go directly to the person to resolve them. If you refuse to bad-mouth someone behind his back to another person, what does that person know? When somebody bad-mouths him behind his back, you wont join in.

For example, during times of death, divorce and remarriages, there are typically many strained feelings in families over the settlements. Family members who feel slighted or cheated often say nasty things about other family members. Think how much pain and anguish might be spared if members of the family would adhere to two basic principles: 1) People and relationships in our family are more important than things (people on their death bed never talk about spending more time at the office – they talk about relationships); and 2) When we have any difficulty or difference, we will go directly to the person. We are responsible for our own attitudes and behaviors, and we can choose our responses to the circumstance. With courage and consideration, we will communicate openly with each other and try to create win-win solutions.

On the continuum, you go from defensive communication to compromise transactions to synergistic and creative alternatives and transformations.




The Lord will guide you continually,

Giving you water when you are dry,

And restoring your strength,

You will be like a well watered garden,

Like an ever-flowing spring.

Isaiah 58:11

This morning during my prayer time, I was asking the Lord, to help me put into words all he has done for me the last few months, and this is the verse I came across – nothing could be more true! 

A year or so ago, I was tired. I was wore out, I was exhausted. And I prayed. I prayed for the Lord to give me the strength I needed.

 I prayed for the Lord to help me get on top of my health – I had been pretty sick for a few years – And I prayed to have more energy again.

A year later – I do feel as though he Lord has given me water when I was dry ( filled me up when I was low), and restored my strength ( I used to have muscle, over time, after not taking proper care of myself, I had lost all my muscle mass – I was helping my brother move something and he even commented ‘ your not as strong as you used to be’ ) – he has restored my strength by sending his Holy Spirit to help me learn how to properly take care of myself – eat right and clean, exercise mind and body, rest – slowly, over time, day by day, he is restoring my strength.