Once upon a time there were two men who lived in the forest. Each of their houses backed onto the forest in different directions and both men wanted that land cleared for farming. They decided to have a contest. They set down that each would take the entire day to chop down as many trees as they could and whoever finished first, would be declared the winner. And so they began.
The first tree took quite some effort to cut down - for each of the men. Much energy was expended, such great effort! however finally the first tree for each, was down.
The first man thought "Wow, I did not see this as being such a tremendous task - I am going to have to work MUCH HARDER than I originally thought, skip lunch and push through to the end some way some how I'll just have to put my nose to the grindstone and NOT LOOK UP until the work is done" He looked over at the second man and saw that he also was mopping his brow as he was going round the back of his cabin towards the door.
The first man thought "Ha! He is tired already! and needs a break - I will certainly be the victor!" and with that he put his head down, grunting and straining and swinging his axe with all his might felling tree after tree, steadily working his way forward, Yes! he congratulated himself, he was DEFINITELY making some great headway and kept working into the evening.
By dusk, he decided to finish for the day and as he looked with pride - he was a little more than halfway done! Such hard work had he kept himself on task - he could greatly admire his own diligence! Sweating, exhausted and weak from effort and hunger (as he had had to work through his meals) he slowly walked round the front of his cabin and INCREDULOUSLY looked over at his neighbours land!!! COMPLETELY CLEARED! EVERY tree had been cleared, chopped into firewood and neatly stacked against the barn!!
Dragging his beaten, bruised and battered body over to his neighbours, eyes wide he peered in the window to see him sitting in front of a roaring fire enjoying a nice cup of cocoa and singing along to the radio......
he knocked at the door - words stuttering, eyes unbelieving and asked "HOW?....HOW??!! did you manage??"
The second man replied simply "When we first began and found the first tree SO difficult to make headway on - I took quite some time at my back shed to sharpen my axe, after that.....the rest of the tasks took no time at all"
So, take some time today - take a look at your axe and decide if it needs sharpening.....dollars to donuts says it does....
SHARPEN YOUR AXE everyone so you can enjoy YOUR time by the fire!!
Shine it up while you are at it!! :)