Are you sitting comfortably, then I shall begin.
Once upon a time…
Once a year, at the start of the logging season, the greatest lumberjacks of world meet to take part in a competition. The rules are simple: using nothing more than an axe and their muscles, the person that fells the most wood, in the eight hours allocated, wins.
The morning of the competition is bitterly cold, but the competitors are high in spirits and ready for action. At exactly 9:00am a horn sounds, and the competitors run into the woods, chopping down everything in their path.
An hour later, Three-fingered Ole and Battle-axe Nelson are neck and neck, matching one another in speed, strength, and number of trees felled, leaving the others competitors for dust.
This is why it was such a shock when Battle-Axe sat down.
Three-fingered was a little confused by this, and having known Battle-Axe for years, knew it wasn’t because he was tired, but he didn’t have time to worry about it now, and laughed as he raced ahead.
Ten minutes later, Battle-Axe stood up and got back to work, but only for an hour, at which point he sat down for another ten minutes. In fact this happened every hour, despite the fact that all the other competitors just kept going.
As a second horn sounded to announce the end of the day, the competitors returned to base, and as they enjoyed a drink and some food, the winner was announced:
“And the winner is… Battle-Axe Nelson“.
Not only had Battle-Axe won the competition, but he had done so by a huge margin. Why do you think this was?
(scroll down for the answer)
The answer is simple: every time he sat down, he sharpened his axe.
The moral of the story
Now I realise that the vast majority of the people reading this blog don’t use an axe as a tool in their day job, but every one of you use your brain, and it is just as important to keep your brain sharp.
You’re the best person to know what you need to keep your brain sharp, but if I could offer some suggestions, I’d say:
- Always try to learn something new, you might just discover a better way of doing something.
- Make sure you plan new projects from the start, rather than jumping into them head first.
- And don’t overwork yourself.
In my opinion, It is better to take your time, and produce something of quality, than rush, and end up with a steaming pile…