Sharpen the Saw and synergise

Synergise and Sharpen The Saw.

posted in: Habits, List, Psychology | 0

Continuing with the summary of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” this week I would love to share the last two topics and conclude the book in general. As you can probably tell from the blog title, today I will be writing about habits called “Synergy” and “Sharpen the Saw”. So let’s get straight into it!

First of all, let’s talk about Synergy. Synergy happens when two or more people combine their abilities, skills and energy in order to produce something greater than they would be able to do on their own. Imagine you being the best version of yourself and working with another great individual. The outcome of you working together could potentially be not just double but triple or even quadruple!

This all sounds great, but it is quite hard to reach. What could help you to reach synergy is the appliance all of the habits that we’ve talked beforehand and so here is a few of them: Proactivity, Keeping your end goal in mind and Think win-win.

A simple example of synergy in action:

Let’s say I want to start a company. I know a lot about business development and customers, but I need someone who is good with technology. Therefore I would seek for a person who is able to solve my technical problems, while I would help him with the business side of things. This way we share the knowledge and combine two minds into a third one which is much more powerful than the two separately. 

There is not too much to be said about the synergy, it only happens when people in companion understand themselves, their goals and they want everyone to benefit from the situation. This being said we can now move on to the next point for today.

Sharpen The Saw is the last topic in this book. So let me explain what this means by using this little story:

There was a guy sawing down the tree. He was midway through it, but it has taken him over 4 hours to get to where he is at the moment! While the man was sawing, his neighbour passed by him and saw that the guy was exhausted spoken to his neighbour: “You know if you would stop for 20 minutes and sharpen that saw, you would be done in the next half an hour!” The man who was getting exhausted of sawing the tree only replied: “I don’t have 20 minutes! That would be a waste of time, I need to saw down this tree first! 

As you can tell from the story, most of the times we get so busy doing the thing, that we forget to sharpen the saw, which would help us to do things more efficiently. In the example above the story is literal, however for us who live in the 21st century sharpening the saw translates into very similar ideas. There are four main pillars in the human beings which should be kept sharp in order for us to become the best version of ourselves. These are:

Physical – exercise, nutrition, stress management.

Social, emotional – service, empathy, synergy, security.

Mental –  reading, visualising, planning, writing.

Spiritual –  spiritual reading, study, and meditation.

It might seem that sometimes we don’t have time to do some of these things, but they are very important in a personal growth process. Also, there might be some times where we might want to slack off and not do it because of a silly excuse. “Oh it’s raining today, I guess I can’t exercise” – Do it anyways, this way you would approve that you are a proactive person, develop your will power and physical body at the same time! It does not take a lot of time to keep your saw sharp. Spend at least 20 minutes a day on each of the pillars and this way you will prove yourself that you are an effective person.


That is it, this post concludes my overview of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I hope you enjoyed reading these posts as it was a great exercise for me to really learn and understand each of them. If you are interested in learning more and reading the book yourself, buy it on Amazon by clicking here.