R is for ‘Renewal’

7:41:00 pm

Today’s letter for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge is ‘R’ for my theme ‘A to Z of Effectiveness’. You can read more about my theme here. I’m also participating in the NaBloPoMo for April.

There is something therapeutic about going over one’s performance and starting afresh. We’ve learned lessons from the times we stumbled, we’re inspired by the times we overcame obstacles and we look forward to proceeding with renewed fervor. It is exactly this process that Stephen Covey calls ‘Sharpening the Saw’ or the habit of renewal, in his book, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.

According to several well known wise people, every human life has four dimensions. While they are known by different names, they are basically these - physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional. When you’re growing equally well in all dimensions, you have a balanced, healthy and productive life. And the only way to ensure this upward spiral of growth is by constant renewal in all four dimensions. Confused? Here is what it looks like:

Physical: Physical renewal is all about taking care of your body. It includes working out and eating right as well as getting enough rest. Unsurprisingly, this is an oft-ignored dimension!

Spiritual: Renewing your spiritual dimension forces you to go back to your principles, your values. You need to look inwards to ensure you’re in tune with your innermost core, either through prayer, meditation or some quiet time.

Mental: As the book says, our minds atrophy after leaving school/college. We need to renew our mental dimension by keeping our brain cells constantly active by learning something new.

Social/Emotional: This renewal is probably the hardest, dealing with our interpersonal relationships. Any kind of growth here requires a good understanding of interdependence as well as advanced listening skills.

It's understandable that a lack of growth in one dimension can affect the others; for instance, if you're stressed, your health is affected. By working for a balanced renewal in all four dimensions of your life, you’ll be ensuring that your life is within your control and that you aren’t being run by someone else’s goals. Considering that even our cars get regular servicing and maintenance checks, we can certainly afford to spend some time every day towards renewal!

Are all dimensions of your life in a healthy balance? Which one needs the most renewal in your opinion?

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