Woodcutter's story ...

Some of you may have heard of this story, some may have not. Anyway, I am going to share this story with my own version of the competition...

There was a contest between 2 friends to "see" who can "fell" the most number of trees within a certain period of time. The contestants were each given a standard lumberjack axe, a sharpening stone, a bottle of water ...

The 2 contestants were to start "felling the trees" upon the blow of the whistle and to stop when the whistle blows the second time.

Contestant 1 was seen "chopping" the trees in a continuous manner, without even stopping for a rest. He would stop for a short while, if he needed to, before starting again. Contestant 2 was seen "chopping" the trees in a disciplined manner. He would "chop" the tree, stopped for an occasional rest and to "sharpen" his axe. And then he would proceed to chop the trees and repeated this routine.

The whistle blew, when the agreed time was up. The judge counted the number of trees that were "felled" by each Contestant. Lo and behold, everyone expected Contestant 1 to fell the most number of trees because he was seen "non-stop" chopping the trees whilst Contestant 2 was seen taking occasional rest which seemed to be non-productive.

When the result was announced, everyone could not believe that Contestant 2 won the competition in having more trees "felled" then Contestant 1. Why?

Contestant 2 "felled"  more trees because he took an occasional break to re-energise himself and to sharpen his axe. His axe was sharper, he was refreshed, and thus "felled" the most trees. Contestant 1 was using all his strength and was working very hard BUT his axe was blunt. He was tired, used more energy but the number of trees "felled" did not commensurate with his effort due to his blunt axe!

What is the morale of the story? If you aspire to be productive and successful, you need to work hard and smart. Take time off to re-energise, recuperate, re-organise and re-strategise occasionally. Do not always say "very busy" and have no time to have reflection on your on-going activities and to ensure that the tools used are still relevant and sharp.

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