Friday, August 18, 2023

The 7 habits of highly effective tea people #7

Shan Lin Xi

The seventh and last habit of the '7 habits of highly effective people' book is 'Sharpen the Saw'. It is about taking time to renew and refresh oneself in four areas: physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual. The habit emphasizes the importance of self-care and self-improvement to achieve long-term success and happiness. Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas mentioned above.

It’s interesting to note that tea can be used to improve all four areas. Tea has an impact on your body, on your mental state, on your social life and it can even have a spiritual dimension. These 4 areas (physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual) read like a Maslow pyramid of needs (physical, safety, love, self-esteem, self-actualization). The foundation is the physical area. This is most obvious when we are sick, because the sickness of the body makes it difficult for us to experience pleasure or true happiness. A healthy body is a prerequisite for a healthy mind and a rich social and spiritual life. 

So, to use habit #3 'Put First Things First', we should start by sharpening the physical, our body, our health. And how should we do this? I propose to use yet another habit, the #1, be proactive. Let's not wait to be sick, but let's make our body so healthy that we can fend off most ills that afflict people who don't properly take care of their body. There are lots of dangers to our health in the modern world. Smoking cigarettes is one of them. This is a bad habit that few tea lovers have, because smoking mutes your taste buds and makes tea tasteless. So, people who really love tea have a strong incentive to quit smoking (or, even better, they never start), because the smoke ruins their tea pleasure! Obesity is the other modern disease that is causing a lot of harm, because long time obesity causes a lot of cardiac problems, cancers and many more diseases. 

I know that tea can help you on the path of a healthy life, because it has helped me loose over 10 kg in the last 6 months. This weight loss has had positive consequences for me: the frequency and strength of my chronic headaches has been reduced and the pain in my left knee is gone. Besides, I never had the wish to smoke a cigarette! The subject of a healthy body is so important that I will dedicate a tea lesson per month starting this fall. Follow my YouTube channel if you don't want to miss the upcoming lessons. Please note that I'm not going to talk much about the antioxidants and polyphenols contained in tea. My approach will be mostly based on the taste of good tea! There will be no talk about miracle ingredients, but a lot of good brews and good habits!

Remember: a smart life that keeps us healthy is even more important than a smartphone or a smart TV! I will do a first tea class on Sunday August 27th to discuss the plan of the fall semester. But I will have to skip the first Sunday of September and formally start start the classes on September 10th. In the meantime, you may still order this sampler of roasted Tie Guan Yin, which we will study this semester. I recommend you also add this wonderful Hung Shui Oolong from the king of the Dong Ding competition. This latest addition to the selection is a very smart choice and I'm sure I'll dedicate a lesson (or more) to this tea.

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