Sharpen Your Axe to Renew Yourself

Sharpen Your Axe to Renew Yourself

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Sharpen your axe while taking the time to renew yourself.

Increase your personal productivity by taking the time to develop a balanced strategy to renew yourself.

A Veteran lumberjack was challenged by an energetic young man to see who could chop down a tree faster. The young and energetic challenger was convinced that he would win against the older lumberjack with ease.

The rules were simple. Whomever chopped down their tree the quickest wins.

Both men selected a tree of equal size and began. Within minutes the Veteran stopped. From the younger fellows‘ perspective, he could see the Veteran taking a break and eating a sandwich. The younger man’s confidence went through the roof. At this point, he thought that for sure he would win since the Veteran already appeared to be tired.

Once the Veteran returned to chopping, the young buck began vigorously chopping and laughing to himself – “there’s no way that old timer can catch me now”.

After a few more minutes,  the Veteran took what appeared to be another break.

The young buck could see the Veteran now appear to be smoking a cigar. With the youngster’s over confidence in full swing, and thinking that he was clearly going to win, he decided to walk over to the Veteran and confront him:

“Say Old Timer, why are you wasting my time with this challenge? I see you chopping for a few minutes, then eating a sandwich. I see you chopping for a few minutes, and now you’re smoking a damn cigar!”

The Veteran responds: “TIMBER” as his tree falls to the ground.

He then points out to the youngster: “what you did not see was me sharpening my axe every chance I got. This simply made every strike on the tree more effective. When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”

The youngster replied “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut my tree.”

The same practice applies to life. You need to take the necessary time to cultivate your dispositions so you can increase your happiness, productivity, and increase your ability for better decision-making. Instead of focusing solely on the problems at hand, develop a more whole and balanced strategy to renew yourself in the four aspects of life: Physical, Social, Mental, and Spiritual.

Physical: Eat well, sleep well and exercise well.
Social/Emotional: Have a social life. Build meaningful connections with others. Cultivate relationships. 
Mental: Learn new things. Develop your interests. Read books. Find a Mentor. Do some writing.
Spiritual: Expand your spiritual self through meditation and spend time relaxing in nature.Walk your spiritual path.