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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: Habit #7 Sharpening the Saw

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Rasheeda Gurley

on 3 November 2014

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Transcript of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: Habit #7 Sharpening the Saw

Brain
Heart
Soul
body
the 7 Habits of highly effective teens:

sharpening the saw
Habit #7
How you feel not how you look
Remember that there are thousands of healthy and happy teens who do not have high cheekbones, rock-hard abs, or buns of steel. There are many successful singers, talk show hosts, dancers, athletes, actors and actresses who have all kinds of physical imperfections. If you do not have the "look" or body type our society has stamped "ideal", so what?
I can quit whenever i want
Many teens begin drinking, smoking, and doing drugs in an attempt to display their freedom, only to find that they eventually develop an addiction that destroys their freedom
Perhaps the worst thing about picking up an addiction that is this: You are no longer in control- your addiction is, when "it" says jump, you jump. You react. Say goodbye to the whole idea of being proactive.
We always think that addiction is something that happens to someone else and that we could quit anytime, right? Meanwhile, in reality, it's hard.
Caring for the brain
This means developing brain power through your schooling, extracurricular activities, hobbies, jobs, and other mind-enlarging experiences.
Educated minds can focus, synthesize, write, speak, create, analyze, explore, imagine, and so much more. To do this, it must be trained. "Get as much education as you can. Don't let a lack of money be the reason you don't get more education. Even if you have to sacrifice and work your tail off to pay for your education, it's well worth it. You'd be amazed at the number of scholarships, grants, loans, and student-aid options that are available if you search them out"
Sharpen the mind
There are numerous ways to expand your mind. Read. Reading is fundamental to everything else and doesn't cost that much. 20 possible ways to sharpen the mind:
Read a news paper everyday
Subscribe to National Geographic
Travel
Plant a garden
Observe wildlife
Attend a lecture on an interesting topic
Watch Discovery channel
Visit the library
Listen to the news
Research your ancestors
Write a story, poem, or song
Play challenging board games
Debate
Play a game of chess
Visit a museum
Comment in class
Attend a ballet, opera, or play
Learn to play a musical instrument
Have stimulating conversations
Solve crossword puzzles
Find your niche
Some subjects, you don't enjoy at school, find the subjects you do enjoy and build upon them, research outside of school. Let the world be your campus.
Don't Let school Get in the way of your education
Grades are important, especially because they lead to future job and education options. But there is so much more to an education than grades.
post-high school educational options
Admissions offices and companies that are hiring don't care so much about what you majored in. They will be looking at several different areas:
Desire
-
How badly do you want to get in this particular school or program? How much do you want this job?
Standardized Test Scores
-
How well did you score on your SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, etc.?
Extracurricular
-
What other activities were you involved in?
Letters of Recommendation
-
What do other people think of you?
Grade Point Average
-
How well did you do in school?
Communication Skills
-

How well can you communicate in writing and verbally?
Sharpen The saw
-Is all about keeping your personal self-sharp so that you can deal with life.
-Means regularly renewing and strengthening the 4 key dimensions of your life:
Body
- the physical dimension- exercise, eat healthy, sleep well, relax
Brain
- the mental dimension- read, educate, write, and learn new skills
Heart
- the emotional dimension- builds relationships (RBA, PBA), give service, and laugh
Soul
- the spiritual dimension- meditate, keep a journal, pray, take in quality media

Balance is better
To perform at your peak, you need to strive for balance in all four areas
Why is balance so important? It is because how you do in one dimension of life will affect the other three. It's hard to be friendly(heart) when you're exhausted(body). It also works yourself(soul); it's easier to focus on your studies(minds) and to be more friendly(heart).
"Balance & moderation in all things" Take Time for a Time Out.
You need time out to rejuvenate the best thing you've got going for yourself! You need time to relax and unstring your bow, time to treat yourself to a little tender loving care. This is what sharpening the saw is all about.
Caring for your body
During our teenage years, many things start to happen to our bodies. And it is our choice to handle it with care or to abuse it. You can control your body or let your body control.
10 ways teens can keep their physical selves sharp:
Eat good food
Relax in the bathtub
Bike
Lift weights
Get enough sleep
Practice yoga
Play sports
Take walks
Stretch out
Do an aerobics workout
4 key ingredients to a healthy body
Good sleeping habits
Physical relaxation
Good nutrition
Proper exercise
You are what you eat
Rabbit-food pyramid (extreme)
USDA food pyramid (moderate)
Junk-food pyramid (extreme)
Use it or lose it
We all feel depressed, confused or apathetic at times. At times like these, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to exercise ourselves better. Besides being good for your heart and lungs, exercise has an amazing way of giving you a shot of energy, melting stress away and clearing your mind.
There is no best way to exercise. Many teens like to play competitive sports. Other prefer:

Running
Walking,
Biking
In-line skating,
Dancing,
Stretching,
Aerobics,
Lifting weights
Don't let "pain" be the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the word "exercise". Instead find something you enjoy doing, so it's easy to maintain.
Mental barriers
As you attempt to build a brain you will need to overcome a few barriers:
Screentime:
Is anytime spent in front of a screen. Sometimes can be healthy, too much time can numb your mind.

Nerd Syndrome:
Take pride in your mental abilities and the fact that you value education.

Pressure:

The stress that result from success is much tolerable then regret that results from not trying your best. Don't sweat the pressure. You can deal with it.
You Gotta Want It
In the end, the key to sharpening your mind will be your desire to learn. You've got to really want it.
Caring For Your Heart
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." -Mother Teresa
The best way to sharpen the saw and nourish your heart is to focus on building relationships, or in other words, to make regular deposits into your relationship bank accounts (RBA) and into your own personal bank account (PBA)
RBA Deposits:

Keep promises
Do small acts of kindness
Be gentle with others
Listen
Apologize
Set clear expectations
PBA Deposits:
Keep promises to yourself
Do small acts of kindness
Be gentle with yourself
Be honest
Renew yourself
Tap into your talents
Sex & Relationships
Sex is about more than just your body it's about your heart as well
Sex affects self-image and your relationships with other people more than any other decision you make
Search your heart and think carefully before you decide to have sex or to continue having it
You're Gonna Make it
Normal to be depressed at times
There's a difference between a case of the blues and sustained depression.
If there are serious thoughts of suicide, just hold on, you're gonna make it
Some day you'll look back on your situation and be glad you held on
Laugh or You'll Cry
One last key to keeping your heart healthy and strong. Just laugh.
"You must unlearn what you have learned" -Yoda
Laughter
Loosens up mental gears and help us think more creatively
Helps us cope with the difficulties of life
Reduces stress levels
Relaxes us as it lowers our heart rate and blood pressure
Connects us with others and counteracts feelings of alien-action, major factors in depression and suicide
Relaxes endorphins, the brain's natural painkillers
Laughter has also been shown to promote good health and speed healing
Laughter can help heal injured relationships. "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." Victor Borge
Learn to laugh at yourself when strange or stupid things happen to you, because they will
Caring For Your Soul
That inner self that lurks far below the surface of your everyday self
Your soul is your center, where in lie your deepest convictions and values. It is the source for purpose, meaning, and peace
How to Feel Your Soul
Your soul is a very private area of your life. Naturally, there are many different ways to feel it:

Meditating
Serving others
Writing in a journal
Reading inspiring books
Going for a walk
Drawing
Praying
Writing poetry or music
Reflecting on goals or
mission statement
Thinking deeply
Listening to uplifting music
Playing a musical instrument
Practicing a religion
Talking to friends you can be yourself with
Get Back to Nature
There is something about getting back to nature that just can't be matched.
A teen's Best Friend
A journal for your soul- The only place where you can fully express yourself no matter how angry, happy, scared, love crazed, insecure, or confused you feel. You can pour your heart out in your journal and it will just sit there and listen. It won't talk back and it won't talk behind your back.
Keeping a journal will also strengthen your tool of self-awareness. A journal isn't what you think. You can put anything from a photo to souvenirs.
Your Spiritual Diet
You're not only what you eat, you're also what your listen to
There is a light and dark side of media. If the music you listen to brings your mood down and dark, it's trash and you don't need trash. If your music makes you feel relaxed, keep listening
You will eventually become what you view, hear and read so ask yourself "Do I want this to be part of me?"
You're Disturbing My Sleep
The way you dress tells people what's on your mind.When you upgrade your appearance and your mind set, a lot of brothers will upgrade their treatment of you
Stop competing to see who is freakier than the next, and your mind out of the bedroom, because you are disturbing my sleep
Baby Steps: body
Eat breakfast
Exercise
Give up a bad habit
Baby Steps: Mind
Follow media that has some educational value
Read a newspaper everyday and pay attention to headline stories and opinions
Next time you go out, visit somewhere you have never been before.
Baby Steps: Heart
Go on a one-one outing with a family member
Begin building a humour collection so you'll have something to go to when you're stressed
Fried Frogs
Addictions of all kinds have common characteristics.
Addiction:

Creates short term pleasure
Becomes the primary focus of your life
Temporarily eliminates pain
Gives an artificial sense of self-worth, power, control, security, and intimacy
Worsens the problems and feelings you are trying to escape from
What you look at today may have shocked you a year ago
But because that heat was ever so slowly turned up, you didn't even notice your conscience was being fried
Have courage to walk away, to turn it off, to throw it away. You are better than that.
Get Real
Let's be real, who has time for this?
There is time for everything. A time to be balanced and a time to be imbalanced. There are times when you will push your body to its limits, for a day, a week, or a season. And there will be times when eating junk food out of a vending machine is your only alternative to starving. Though this is real life, there are also times of renewal.
If you go too hard for too long, you won't think as clearly, you will begin to lose perspective. You may think you don't have time to exercise, build friendships, or get inspired. In reality, you don't have time not to.
The downtime you spend sharpening, your saw will pay you back immediately, because when you resume your normal routine, you will cut that much faster.
You Can Do It
You're probably already doing a lot of saw sharpening without even knowing it. If you're working hard at school, you are sharpening your mind. If you are into athletics or fitness, you are caring for your body. If you are working to develop friendships, you are nourishing your heart. Often you can sharpen the saw in more than one area at once.
Sharpening the saw will not just happen to you. Since it is a quadrant 2 activity (important but not urgent) from habit 3, you have to be proactive and happen to it. The best thing to do is it to take out time each day to sharpen the saw, even if it's only for 15 or 30 minutes. Some teens set apart a specific time each day to be alone, to think, or to exercise. Others do this over the weekend. There is no one right way.
"What would you do if you had eight hours to cut down a tree?" someone asked Abraham Lincoln. "I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the saw," replied Lincoln.
Baby Steps: Soul
Watch the sunset tonight or get up early to watch the sunrise
Start keeping a journal
Take time each day to meditate, reflect upon your life, or pray. Do what works for you.
Thank You for Watching
Writing down your unedited thoughts can clear your mind, boost your confidence and help you find yourself.
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