Care Enough About Yourself To Keep Your Saw Sharp

Working way too hard

There’s a story that I first read in one of Steven Covey’s books about a lumberjack.  It goes something like this:

An old lumberjack labored at the side of the road. He had a huge stack of large logs that needed to be cut into more manageable pieces. He had been at it for a while, his dull saw getting bound up in the logs as he struggled to cut. The old lumberjack was cursing and sweating when a young man came walking down the road.

“It looks like you’ve been working hard.” the young man said. “Why don’t you take a break in the shade, drink some water and sharpen your saw?”

“Can’t you see how much work I have before me? If I take time to sharpen my saw, I’ll have to stop working.” replied the lumberjack.

“But you could work so much more efficiently if your saw were sharp,” advised the young man.

“I’m much too busy to stop working. Now, please leave me to my work.”

Sharpen the saw for a smoother cut

Of course, stopping to sharpen the saw in this story represents being present enough in our lives to be able to recognize and respond to the need to take care of ourselves. I

sharpen the saw

Thrive by caring enough about yourself to keep your saw sharp.

often wonder what the world would be like if we were all more skilled at recognizing our inherent value to the point that we would acknowledge when our saws were dull and to tend to them. We wouldn’t be “too busy” to exercise or “not have the time” to meditate.

Hidden Energy Killers

Steven Covey says, “Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you.”  Here’s a good article, Do You Know the Hidden Energy Killers in Your Life?  It offers some sound suggestions for managing our energy through engaging in self-enhancing behaviors and avoiding the behaviors that deplete us of our life force. Here’s to moving along the path of valuing ourselves enough to stop and sharpen our saws.