Sharpen Your Axe.
A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. “That depends,” replied the foreman. “Let’s see you chop down this tree.” The young man stepped forward and skillfully chopped down a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, “You can start Monday.” Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by — and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, “You can pick up your pay check on the way out today.”
Startled, the young man replied, “I thought you paid on Friday.” “Normally we do,” said the foreman. “But we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last place today.”
“But I’m a hard worker,” the young man objected. “I arrive first, leave last and even have worked through my coffee breaks!” The foreman, sensing the young man’s integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your axe?”
The young man replied, “No sir, I’ve been working too hard to take time for that!”
Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to “sharpen the axe.” In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever but less happy than ever. Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay sharp?
Abraham Lincoln used to say, “If I had eight hours to chop down the big tree, I would spend 7 1/2 of those hours sharpening my axe. Most poor fools would spend the entire eight hours chopping away with the dull axe.”