Stephen Covey’s Four Dimensions of Renewal – Physical Dimension – Stop Being Lazy (Physically)

How can you preserve and enhance the great asset you have?

Physical: Exercise, Nutrition, Stress Management

Social/Emotional: Service, Empathy, Synergy, Intrinsic Security

Mental: Reading, Visualizing, Planning, Writing

Spiritual: Value Clarification & Commitment, Study & Meditation

George Sheehan, the running guru, describes four roles: being a good animal (physical), a good craftsman (mental), a good friend (social), and a saint (spiritual). Sound motivation and organization theory embrace these four dimensions or motivations – the economic (physical); how people are treated (social); how people are developed and used (mental); and the service, the job, the contribution the organization gives (spiritual).

“Sharpen The Saw” means exercises all of these regularly and consistently.

Physical Dimension

Eating the right food, carrying our body, getting sufficient rest and relaxation, and exercising on a regular basis.

  • I’m doing exactly this and without a doubt.  I’m VERY serious about my sleep for the most part.  Some of my friends call me after 10pm, but I’ve already meditated into sleep.  Others asked me why I sleep early, and it’s because I know, sometimes, that I’m at the end of the road at night and know that I can’t get anything else done because of mental fatigue.  So, I hit the sack.

“Most of us think we don’t have time to exercise.  What a distorted paradigm!”

Let me give you an example of this.  Last week I had to work a 9-5pm teaching test prep courses and work a mere 2 hours at night for a minimal rate.  However, I still exercised, did my podcast, ate well, slept well, and posted two blogs.  Could I have been more efficient with more time? Sure…but I didn’t make excuses to why I didn’t exercise.

You don’t need special equipment to exercise.  A good exercise program is building your body in three areas: endurance, flexibility, and strength.

To be honest, you’re considered minimally fit if you can increase your heart rate to at least one hundred beats per minute and keep at it for 30 minutes.

Flexibility obviously comes from basic stretching (warming up and cooling down especially), which loosens the muscles up.

Strength comes from resistance exercises such as calisthenics, push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups.  I’ve raved so much about the gym I go to because I’m on a course.  Lab Leaner, which is designed to shred body fat in a rigorous, 45-minute round of hell.  Then you have Lab Strong, a course designed to build strength.  Of course I can add in kettlebell strength and another class during the week, but I throw in lots of cardio because that’s by far the most important for the Spartan Race.

One of Stephen Covey’s trainers had Stephen almost collapse a barbell full with weights onto his thoracic region.  His trainer helped him at the very end and said, “well, why did you wait so long?

He replied, “almost all the benefit of exercise comes at the very end, Stephen.  I’m trying to build strength and that doesn’t happen until the muscle fiber ruptures and the nerve fiber registers the pain.  Then nature overcompensates and within 48 hours, the fiber is made stronger.”

All in all, the essence for renewing the physical dimension is to sharpen the saw.  If you haven’t been exercises, your body is going to protest this change in its comfortable downhill direction.  You will hate it, but be proactive.  Do it anyway.  Get soaked under the rain.  Feel the burn in your legs in that last one hundred.  Scream when you’re going up the steps.  Put your favorite song on and sing it while sprinting down the street.  This is no quick fix.  This is going to bring phenomenal, long-term results.

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