What Does It Mean To ‘Sharpen the Saw’ of Your Mind?

The mind is a very powerful quality because you must be conscious and aware in order to allow yourself to retain information and educate yourself from day to day. Mindfulness can be achieved by streamlining your attention on the now while also acknowledging the physical and mental attributes that come from your focused awareness. Majority of mental development and the discipline to study comes from the earlier years of formal education. After people have completed their external discipline of school, they subject their minds to a lifetime of wasted space. Our time and interest spent on reading, writing, exploring new subjects, and testing ourselves has now turned to television.

Educational programs can be found on TV; however, many people tune in to the programs with less constructive information on them. Our mind is a very powerful force, but will only be useful in the ways we allow it. The mind can both enslave or empower us and it will do so based off of what information we feed it on a daily basis. Having a sense of direction and self-management can be just the tools to keep your mind vigilant and educated. We must manage ourselves in an effective way in order to ultimately accomplish our missions with any form of resource life gives us. Even television can be systematically useful from time to time, as long as we remember that it is a good servant but a poor master.

Proactive people can figure out several ways to continue their education, even after school. One great way to keep the mind empowered is to examine different aspects of life against larger questions, purposes, and other paradigms. The ability to frequently train your mind without formal education is a skillset that will expose you to a lifetime of mindfulness. 

An effective way to continue  developing your mind is to read quality literature. By doing so, you afford yourself a vantage point through some of the best minds in existence. Listening to and understanding an author’s viewpoints (rather than solely relying on your own) can expand and sharpen your mental saw—truly optimizing your reading and educational experience. It is said, “The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.”

In the words of Stephen R. Covey:

“Writing is another powerful way to sharpen the mental saw. Keeping a journal of our thoughts, experiences, insights, and learnings promotes mental clarity, exactness, and context. Writing good letters– communicating on the deeper level of thoughts, feelings, and ideas rather than on the shallow, superficial level of events– also affects our ability to think clearly, to reason accurately, and to be understood effectively.”

In order to exercise the visualizing and imagining power of your mind, organizing and planning is key. By practicing these ways of living, you are able to begin with the end in mind. You are seeing the whole picture before you have even started your journey. Your mind is blossoming with new and creative ideas. 

By spending an hour a day honing in on your physical, spiritual, and mental practices, you are opening up the opportunity for your decision making skills and relationships to expand like never before.