Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job to a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.
His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.
The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.
“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”
Very motivated by the boss’s encouraging words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.
“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.
“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”
Author: Stephen Covey
From: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the “axe”. We are blessed with not one but four AXES i.e. BODY, MIND, SPIRIT & SOUL which has given human beings an edge over rest of the life forms and enabled us to rule the world. We need to sharpen these AXES regularly to remain happy & effective. And this can be done by taking care of our body; it needs nourishment, exercise & good sleep. Mind needs regular supply of fuel. Sharpening the existing skills, learning new skills, reading, listening to inspiring material can help us to maintain a sharp edge. Meditation, singing, dancing, thinking and doing something good to someone is what we all need to sharpen our spirit and soul.
If we fail to sharpen our “axes”, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness over the period of time.