Those working 10 plus hours from the comforts of their desks, its time to sharpen the saw
It was during my morning run yesterday in Mumbai when I ran into an old acquaintance. He suddenly hollered my name and in the stillness, it was as though someone shrieked out aloud for help.
I was startled at first, but then I slowed down and turned. I saw a silhouette running towards me. I was unsure of who it was. Then he came near to where I was standing and as I saw his face, I still had no recollection of who he was.
My blank expression gave the suspense away, I guess, as he smiled, laughed and re-introduced himself. We had met during a presentation seminar long ago, about 7-8 years ago as audiences to that event.
We got into talking and as he shared that he was working as a fitness and personal trainer of a gym that he co-owned, I was impatiently waiting for the conversation to end as I really wanted to get back to my morning run. I was already 10 minutes late and it was apparently quite visible on my face.
He then asked me what I did for a living and taking this as an opportunity, I slowly started talking and moving ahead (it was so boorish, I know!) as I explained to him about my work. Soon enough, he was walking with me and in just a few minutes, we both were pacing back into the vast open space, still talking about each other’s work.
I mentioned that it was almost more than a month since I had started the morning run again and I added… ‘you know, after the rains had settled down.’
The last part was just an added advance defense to my earlier statement as I had already realized what the pro fitness trainer would say to me about this. To which he queried, what else did you stop doing during this rainy season?
I said, “nothing.”
“So, why only stop running?”
I had nothing to say that was justified. So I looked back at him and gave an awkward smile and kept running straight ahead.
He then told me about an interesting fact about running that I later recollected having read in a book from STEPHEN COVEY’s ‘7 habits of highly effective people.’
He said that the heart is a muscle that cannot be exercised otherwise but only through large muscle groups. Hence running, biking, swimming etc builds up cardio and helps pump more blood into the heart and is extremely beneficial.
Well, I agreed and accepted my laziness during the rains to fail to go out for running.
This incident then reminded me of the book (STEPHEN R . COVEY – The 7 habits of highly effective people) which I flipped through again today morning.
I then thought about writing a paragraph from it down for all my dear friends who have probably taken it easy during the monsoons and are having trouble getting back into the routine of exercise. Most importantly, for all of those who spend almost 10 Plus hours each day working from their desks!
It’s an old story of how a man wandering through a forest spots someone working feverishly to saw down a tree. He then asks him, ‘how long has he been doing this?’ to which the other individual responds, ‘since hours’.
The conversation continues wherein this individual suggests to the man cutting the wood to take few minutes of rest and meanwhile even ‘sharpen his axe’ so that he can then get the work done faster too.
To which the other person responds saying, ‘I have no time to sharpen the saw, I am too busy sawing.’
In life too, sometimes we are so overcome with our routine work and daily chores that we overshadow or ignore the greatest asset of all, i.e ourselves.
To quote the book –
Renew our four dimensions – Physical, spiritual, mental and emotional.
We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time regularly to sharpen the saw in all four ways.
So gear up and let’s get started again!
“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work ~ Ralph Marston”
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