Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The paid was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, 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 for the boss’ words, the woodcutter try harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees. The third day he try even harder, but he only could 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..."



Anonymous said...

Habit #7 in Steve Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is called “Sharpen the Saw.” Covey uses the common analogy of a woodcutter as we read in the story from Mr. Vala. The solution in the story is to periodically sharpen the saw.

However, most people fail to understand what sharpening the saw really means. If you’re overworking yourself and your productivity begins to fall off, common wisdom says to take a break, maybe even go on vacation. However, that isn’t sharpening the saw — that’s putting the saw down. When you put down a dull blade for a while, the blade will still be dull when you pick it up again.

Sharpening the saw is about renewing our own selves - physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

To achieve us our goals, we shall need to sustain high energy levels and a high degree of physical fitness is therefore essential.

For mind, we should ensure that we are reading regularly. Naturally we want to put in the good stuff - so it's not a case of reading for its own sake; it is reading carefully selected material which allows us to broaden and deepen our understanding.

We should also exercise ourselves to spread love and compassion towards all and break down the hatred or enmity towards anyone.

The final part of the Sharpen the Saw habit concerns spiritual exercise and it is perhaps the most misunderstood. Many people seem to equate religion with spirituality - but they are not the same thing. By spiritual exercise, what is meant is to regularly review our purpose and direction in life. Naturally, if we are religious, then this is indeed tied in with our personal faith. Religion gives us a direction. Main thing here is to introspect- look within and check our real being that we are ‘atma’ –the soul and not the body. If we understand this, there is no misery left in the world for us. Everywhere and everytime we shall feel that bliss.

Just what we need to do is “Sharpen the saw”.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

It is true that we must take rest from work and fill our errors or vacant space for solve upcoming problems in life.

And it is always beneficial to have some rest and grow ourselves and attack with double power to solve problems. So it won’t decrease our output as well.