Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
This quote has reminded me time and again that if my ax is not sharp before I cut down a tree, I’m not going to be very successful. What is the tree that you are trying to cut down this week? How are you going conquer that tree?
My good friend once said, “My worst days are the days I’m rushing out the door to get to class or work and risk being late.”
I think this is such a true statement. When I wake up with just enough time to get ready, I find I have no time to prepare for the day and I end up rushing out the door.
However, when I wake up before I need to and give enough time to sit down, have breakfast, be quiet for just a few minutes, and then get ready, my day is a lot smoother – I’m happier and I don’t feel pressure and stress throughout the day.
In 2016, a Pew Research study focused on how religion affects Americans daily. The finding was, “people who are highly religious are . . . generally happier with the way things are going in their lives.”
This is something that, in my life, I have found helpful in sharpening my own ax. To me, being religious isn’t as much as going to church and doing everything right as it is something that tells me what my purpose is; something that encourages me; something that supports me when I most need it; something that prepares me for the trees that are harder to chop down.
I have found that at the beginning of my day, being quiet, reading a Bible verse, meditating for a moment, and reflecting on my life is my way to sharpen my ax.
My mom always told me, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” meaning, there is more than one way to get the job done. Not everyone is going to do what I do. Some people leave enough time to look up an encouraging quote, listen to encouraging music, go for a run, or eat a good breakfast.
How are you going to sharpen your ax?