The Woodchopper and the axe

I always preach about taking time for yourself. Im a firm believer in needing this, if you don't you will burn out, then you're no good for anyone. When it feels like you have no time at all that is when you NEED to make the time to have some 'me time'.

I met with my business coach again last week (Hello motivation!) and he told me a story that explained what I try to but so much better, let me tell you it...

Once upon a time there were two men in a wood-chopping contest an old man and a young man.  They were tasked with chopping down as many trees in the forest as they could from sun-up to sun-down.  The winner would be rewarded with both fame and fortune.

From morning till noon, both men steadily chopped and chopped.  By noon they were neck and neck, but then the old man took a break and stopped chopping, he made himself a cup of tea, a snack and sharpened his axe.  The young man saw this and thought to himself: “The lazy fool, he’s probably taken a break for lunch. He’s given me a chance to get ahead of him and I will without doubt win this contest!

A while later the old man got back to work. As the day continued he chopped down a couple of trees then took a break, doing to same each time, cup of tea, snack and sharpen his axe then repeat. The young man was getting more and more tired and more and more hungry. His axe was also completely blunt and it was taking him double the time and energy to cut down each tree. His clear lead was becoming less, the old man was catching up. Nearing the end of the day and the old man had overtaken him. 

When sundown came, the old man had chopped almost twice as many trees as the young man, who was drenched in sweat, hungry and exhausted.

“How did you beat me?” he asked puzzled. “You were lazier than I and even took lots of breaks!”

“Ah,” said the old man, “I did take breaks, but it was during those breaks, that I sharpened my axe.” 

Moral of the story: Taking time out to sharpen your axe is worth many hours of hard toil.

So read that book, go to the gym, book a massage, get your nails/hair done, start meditating, do whatever you need to to sharpen your 'axe' and do it regularly! 💝


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