Sharpen Your Saw Before Getting To Work

Sharpen Your Saw Before Getting To Work

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Courage To Change — November 12, 2019

When I had hit the absolute career bottom in my mid-20’s, I was broke, and pleading with Employment Insurance (government support program we have here in BC) for a path out of this mess. They enrolled me into a study and life skills program, and it was structured around Stephen Covey book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” It’s a good book. Relevant to the reading today is that there is a chapter titled “Sharpen the saw”.

Literal translation, take care of the tools you use to get the work done. In our case, it’s a little more esoteric. We have the tools, but now we need to maintain them in order to keep us working at our best. So yeah, maybe it’s time to sharpen your saw

Quick and Simple Disclaimer: The readings in this post are literally taken wholesale out of the book entitled Courage to Change. You can find it at Amazon, Here. The portion entitled Alleged Insight, well that mess is all me.

If you’re an introvert, go buy the book, if you’re a broke introvert, the text from many good books can be found HERE , if you’re in dire straits however, go find an Al-Anon Meeting, it saved me.

So onward to Today’s Reading

I’m not particularly handy with tools.  Recently a friend demonstrated to me that oiling a saw before using it make sit work more smoothly, whether it’s cutting metal or wood.

Later it occurred to me that learning to oil a saw is a little like learning to apply the Al-Anon program.  Though skeptical, I considered learning a new way because I saw it demonstrated. I knew that the program worked when I saw how serenely Al-Anon members in circumstances similar to mine were coping with difficult situations.  So I tried their approach – I learned to apply the Steps, Al-Anon literature, slogans, meetings and sponsorship.

Using this oil doesn’t change the raw materials of my life, nor does it provide me with new equipment.  It does make what I already have more useful, and that removes many of my frustrations, giving me great satisfaction.

Today’s reminder

Building a  useful and fulfilling life is not an easy task. Al-Anon helps me learn more effective ways of living so that I can avoid needless difficulty. With proper tools, progress is just a matter of practice.


“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so you learn to love God and man by loving.  Begin as a mere apprentice and the very power of love will lead you on to become a master of the art.“

   Francis de Sales

Alleged Insight:

When you get up in the morning, the first few minutes are often on autopilot and it’s challenging to adapt to anything new. That is exactly the time when having the right tools to hand means the difference between responses and reactions.

In short, while the big projects of our recovery are the materials from which we rebuild ourselves into the people we choose to be, our acceptance, self-awareness, placing unmanageable tasks in our Higher Power’s care, there is a whole aspect that’s neglected.

Our toolbox is what helps us get from here to there; sponsors, slogans, prayer, meditation, self-care; all lead to the end results of becoming the better version of yourself. Taking care to maintain these tools in their best shape only makes senses when you think about it. Oil the steel and sharpen your saw before you get to work.

May God bless you, and DFTBA.

Sincerely, Duke.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *