“Wisdom has built her house she has hewn out its seven pillars…” Earlier this month I spent a weekend on retreat with my leadership class. The theme of the retreat was: “Building a house of Destiny”; laying the foundations for a life of significance. Like the house of Wisdom the house of Destiny has seven pillars. One of these pillars is Renewal. Renewal is defined as “the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again.” Stephen Covey in his book “the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” speaks of the need to “sharpen the saw’; the need for balanced renewal. My friend Don refers to this need for renewal as “taking time to take care.”
As a musician I want to use a musical analogy to illustrate the importance of renewal. Imagine for a moment that you were an exquisitely crafted stringed instrument [ a Stradivarius violin]. To make beautiful music every string must be in tune. When strings are not in tune it is difficult to make beautiful music regardless of the skill of the musician. Each string represents some facet/ dimension of who we are. We are complex beings combining Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social and Spiritual dimensions. To be highly effective as individuals all these dimensions must be “in tune” – in balance. Taking time for renewal allows us to be “in tune.”
Without times of renewal we rob ourselves of our effectiveness in all our relationships. When we are “out of tune ” we are not the only ones impacted.
Without times of renewal we run the risk of burn-out- ending up like the poor farmer from Aesop’s fable- “The goose that laid the golden egg.” Through greed the farmer destroys the very source of his wealth; the goose that daily laid the golden egg. He ended up with no golden eggs and no ability to produce golden eggs. He killed his goose because of greed we run the risk of killing ours because of neglect. The end result will be the same – loss of the ability to produce that which has worth and significance. If we are to be people of impact we need to- “take time to take care”- because we can’t give what we don’t have.
Here are some things I am working on as I try to raise that pillar of Renewal:
Spiritual dimension – A quiet time in the morning to begin the day and a weekly reflective walk to recharge my spiritual batteries.
Physical dimension – Taking time out from my busy schedule for a game of squash, a yoga class or a bike ride every week. Great ways for me to relieve stress and be renewed.
How important are times of renewal for you?
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