We made it to the last habit in our Blog series based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by the brilliant Steven Covey!!
The 7th Habit is….
SHARPEN THE SAW
This is definitely a habit that MOST actors I know neglect. Sharpening the saw is all about keeping your primary tool for success in tip top shape. What is that most important resource? IT IS YOU!
Many actors, particularly those in the New York Acting Community, tend to grind too hard. They forget to schedule time for rest, rejuvenation and rarely take time for themselves to have FUN. They often think that any time spent away from working on their career, self-taping auditions and doing projects is moving them in the wrong direction– and that couldn’t be further from the case.
In order to be a successful performer, you need to approach your life holistically. The more you honor yourself as a person, the more well rounded you become, and then the better you can source from your life to accurately depict human experiences. Living your life well gifts you great knowledge that you can bring to your craft and to the characters you create.
The book talks about the main pillars for sharpening the saw. They are:
Physical sharpening is about taking care of your body. Healthy food, WATER (oh man how many of us don’t focus on drinking enough water!!), exercise, getting enough sleep, taking time off when you are sick– all of this is important to staying sharp in business and in life.
Spiritual sharpening is about connecting with something greater than yourself– be it organized religion, meditation, or even spending time in nature.
Mental sharpening is about expanding your mind. Read books. Take classes in things OTHER than acting. Learn a new language. Do some writing. Try out brain training exercises for mental agility!
Social/Emotional sharpening is all about connecting with your people. Find people you can trust and be vulnerable with them. Create deeper relationships and connections. Build a community around yourself of people who BELIEVE in you and you in them!
Reading all of these habits you may be thinking “How do I do ALL of this?” Really good time management, and allowing certain things to take a front seat when they need to and a back seat when they have to. The goal isn’t perfection, it’s happiness in your life and work. It will look a little different for everyone and it will change throughout your life.
Take what resonates the most and focus on that first. Personal growth is a marathon and not a sprint. Success finds people at ALL ages and stages– so there is no rush. Enjoy the journey of becoming your best self– that is what life is all about anyway!
Thanks for hanging with me thru these principles! Check out the rest of our blog for other tips and tools on how to create a great acting career!