“Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.
“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”
Very motivated by the boss’ words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.
“I must be losing my strength,” the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.
“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”
-Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Sometimes, our lives can look like that if we’re too busy to take the time to replenish our bodies and nourish our souls. Working harder doesn’t always necessarily mean we’re working better – it’s about working smarter without sacrificing our health and happiness. If we neglect ourselves, overtime, we’ll become less effective to those around us and wear ourselves out. Right now, we may not see the importance of slowing down but our state of mind, heart, and body will eventually catch up to us.
I encourage you to dedicate at least 1 day during the week to replenish yourself by doing something you love to do. This can be anything that gives you joy, happiness, and a sense of freedom. It’s something that gives you a mental break from your work or connects you with others (and nature). Overtime, you’ll learn to keep this 1 day sacred as it’ll be your life line to your overall well-being. By resting and playing, you’ll find you have more energy, focus, strength, and emotional stamina for the rest of the week. And who doesn’t need more of that?
©2013 Susie Lee