The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R. Covey
Contributed by Margherita Wickersham
Chapter 4

This part introduces the concept of sharpening the saw; habit 7, which is further described by the principles of self-renewal balancing. The author states that he strategically placed sharpening the saw as the last habit because of it the practice that impacts on the possibility of all the habits. The principles that balance self-renewal include the quad dimensions of renewal, physical & spiritual dimensions, mental & social dimensions, ability to script others and balancing of renewals. Sharpening the saw is the consistency of that utilizes the four motivations of nature regularly in a rational and a balanced manner. For the fulfillment of the latter, people need to be proactive since people need the tools to their performance.

The physical dimensions take the direction of sufficient maintenance and care of the physical body through proper dieting, rest and exercise. Physical dimension helps one to be proactive as the first habit which allows one to act accordingly to one's commitments. The other dimension is the spiritual dimension which Covey states that it is a source of leadership to one’s life and it has a close relation to the Habit 2. The author argues that the spiritual dimension is the core and the bullseye to the commitment of one’s value plan. Covey states that meditation and reading of scripture strengthen and renews his duty to serve and fulfill his goals.

The mental dimension is achieved through studies and formal education such that as one expands their knowledge, it results in expansion of the mind. The author stresses the importance of broad reading to gain the ability to rationalize appropriately. Social/emotional dimension is closely related to empathic communication, interaction and leadership. Covey argues that the emotional growth and maturity of people is developed from the interaction and relationship with people.

Scripting other is also related to contributing to the emotional bank such that people are encouraged to see other people through their hidden potential. The concept of scripting others helps build trust by assisting them to become independent with the deep satisfaction of their lives. The author adds the balance in renewal as one of self-renewal which includes the balance of all the four dimensions such that their balance results to equilibrium in one’s life. The principles mentioned of steady self-renewal work together to bring an upward spiral of development of continuous progress. The driver of the upward spiral that only applies to the human endowment is the conscience. Covey quotes the words of Dag Hammarskjold that a person cannot play without the animal in the person becoming an animal. Dag’s quote puts across the point that people need to be self-aware in the selection of the principles.


The idea drawn from the renewal puts forth all the six habits learned which leads to the adaptation of a median framework of leading a balanced life. A person has to need to seek after equilibrium in their life so that they can continuously renew their potential. From the prose of part four, it can be deduced that the writer wants people to properly rest, renew, take exercise, eat properly, and find a channel to their spirituality and study broadly. The author comes out stating that religion is an essential factor in the balance of a person through which social improvement is achieved.

Sharpening the saw illustrates a process developing one's brain faculties and rationality, keeping watch of one’s fitness and relating with other people. It comes out that habit seven links to all the other habits and is codependent with each other. Habit 7 helps one to focus on one’s self and improve your inner thirst for knowledge and aptitude. It is thus crucial for a person to prepare a schedule so that sanity gets restored in balancing the life by prioritizing activities.

Have study documents to share about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Upload them to earn free Studypool credits!