A small investment of time can have big rewards

Once upon a time, writes Chris Payne, there were 2 woodcutters called Fred and Sam. One day Fred said to Sam, “Let’s have a race and see who can chop down the most trees in a day.” Sam agreed, and went into a wood on the other side of a high wall. They began the race and Fred started hacking away at his first tree, which was really tough work…

woodcutter Fred chopping.jpg

After an hour of wielding their axes, Fred noticed that Sam had stopped chopping.

He was puzzled by this, but carried on chopping away at his tree and, 5 minutes later, he heard Sam begin again. Another hour went by, then Sam stopped again for a few minutes. Fred was thrilled, as he knew he was going to win. So he kept chopping away, pausing briefly every now and then to wipe his brow…

woodcutter Fred tired.jpg

He was even more delighted that this stopping and starting again by Sam continued for the rest of the day. As the sun was setting they got together to see who had felled the most trees.

Fred was astonished to discover that Sam was the winner: it was Sam who had chopped down the most trees. “How can this be?” he exclaimed. “I never stopped chopping once all day, but you kept taking a break.”

What do you think Sam said next?

Consider this before clicking here to reveal/hide his response.

Sam responded, “yes but I stopped to sharpen my axe…

woodcutter Sam sharpening axe.jpg

“…so it was far easier for me to cut into the tree trunks…

woodcutter Sam chopping.jpg

“You carried on with a blunt axe.”

Are you living your life right now with a ‘blunt axe’?…

Do you start your work day without getting clear of the main outcomes you want from the day?

Do you carry on working for long stretches without a break or a healthy snack?

Do you take your partner, children or friends for granted, and not invest time to keep these relationships ‘stoked’?

Do you take time out to keep healthy by doing regular exercise – or even some brisk walking or walking up stairs to get your heart rate up?

Do you neglect your bank accounts so you don’t work out the best current ways to invest your savings?

Have a think where in your life you are in ‘blunt axe’ mode.

And consider what you can do to ‘sharpen your axe’.

Sam’s technique only took him a few minutes. If you book sessions with me I will give you a short document about my Daily Practice which details the 3 simple things you can do to make a significant improvement in your effectiveness and clear thinking.

See this other video I created which teaches a similar lesson but with a different twist: it’s the story of 2 walkers disturbing a mountain bear.

Click here to find out more about doing sessions with me – and click here to contact me about coaching or other matters.