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Word from Wise One: Too Busy?


Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells the story of a woodcutter. This woodcutter was unemployed and went around looking for a job. He got one from a timber merchant.

The paid was really good and so were the work conditions and hence the woodcutter was determined and motivated to deliver.

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 with the boss’ words, the woodcutter tried even harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees.

The third day he try even much 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 therefore went to his boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what the matter with him was.

"When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked.

"Sharpen my axe? I have had no time to sharpen my axe.” He responded “I have been too busy trying to cut trees..."


…. Does this ring a bell? Aren’t we all at times too focussed on the job to the extent of forgetting to take care of the tools that enable us do the job well?


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