Sharpening Ourselves

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (Abraham Lincoln). “Sharpening the saw” is a phrase and idea that was publicized on a broad scale by Steven Covey in his bestseller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and most of us can agree that, unless we are continually using what we know and are intentionally continuing our development, we will drift through life and what use to be clear and easy to do becomes hazy.

As an example, I use to be great at math in school. Now, except for a few “tricks” involving fractions, and simple math, I have lost most of the rest of it. I know what sine, cosine, and tangent are, and that they have to do with shapes and angles; however, I have no idea now 10+ years after my last math class how to effectively use these trigonometry functions.

But I am growing and developing in other areas that are less math-based.

In the past 4-5 years, I have learned way more about web design, speaking, marketing, online practices, social media (along with a ton of other people), glue, book manufacturing, and coaching. In all these areas, I use to be a novice, but now in many of them, some might call me an “expert”, though I dislike that term because we are really all on a path of growth, and every “expert” alive today has not arrived at the place where they can stop learning about their expertise. Instead, I am further down the path of learning and growth in these areas than some people, and still following the steps of those who are further down the path than I am.

Sharpening Myself While You Are Reading This

Like last week, I have prewritten this newsletter post because when it is published and broadcast on Friday, I will be sitting in an amazing conference learning how to jump-start an already developing speaking career. Expect to see developments in this area, both with what I share about my journey on, and in the variety and video samples of presentations on my Cam Speaks page.

However, while I am “sharpening” my speaking, what can you do to take an additional step in an area of your life? Join the conversation below, and I’ll be sure to jump in when I have the chance sporadically over the weekend. 🙂