Sharpen Your Saw

Here’s a fable for you:

A old man went for a walk in the woods. After a mile or so he began to hear the sounds of another man working. As he approached he saw a younger man laboring furiously at sawing down a tree.

“Whacha doin’ there, sonny?” the old man asked with a grin.

“I’m trying to cut down this tree,” the younger man said with as much patience as he could muster.

“Well, it looks like your trying very hard. How long have you been at it?”

“Five hours, so far. I’m about half way through.”

“Wow, that’s quite an effort. Tired?”

“Exhausted. But I gotta get this thing cut.” As he said this, the young man felt the cumulative effort of his labors. All at once he was tired, very tired, but the job had to get done.

“Why don’t you take a break?” the old man suggested, “You could sit there for a few minutes and sharpen your saw. With a sharper saw the work would go faster. You wouldn’t have to work so hard.”

“Sharpen my saw?” said the younger man, incredulously, “I don’t have time for that!”

Are you guilty of not taking the time to sharpen your saw? Think of sharpening your saw as all of the restorative practices that add up to put you at your best. Sleep, healthy food, exercise, meditation, and leisure are all ways of sharpening your saw. We all have our favorites and know to some degree what works best for us.

But do you do them? Or, do you use the excuse of outside pressures to drive yourself into the ground? Even though we know a full night’s rest and a good diet are important to our long term welfare we often prioritize other needs, especially other people’s needs, over our own. We sacrifice our own welfare in the process.

The rewards that come from a sustained practice of keeping your saw sharp pay huge dividends in the long run. But in order for it to work you have to put in the effort.

Exercise may seem a huge effort at first, but as the payoff accrues, your increased strength, endurance and vitality begin to show themselves as once arduous daily tasks become easier.

Don’t have time to sharpen your saw?

You don’t have time not to.

To our perfect imperfection,


P.S. I just announced the date for a new workshop in January. Four cutting edge leaders in the fitness industry will be here. You should, too. Here’s the link,

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