Dennis McCurdy's Find A Way
Get What You Want, Get What You Deserve.

Sharpening Your Saw

You may or may not have heard this story, but it's worth repeating:

In Canada, two lumberjacks, Pierre and Claude, each sold cord wood on the side. Both were legendary woodsmen and each had the skills and talents of the best. In fact, which man was the best was often a topic of discussion at the local tavern. "If there was a contest, who would win? Pierre or Claude?" patrons would debate.

The debate went on for years before coming to a head one night when both men were in the tavern. Claude stood up and brazenly issued a challenge to Pierre. The next day they were to meet at sunrise and be prepared to cut wood all day. At the end of the day the piles would be tallied and the winner announced. The winner would be the champion woodsman.

The next morning both men arrived early, rested and strong. Each was assigned an area to work, about 100 yards apart from one another. When they were ready, the gun sounded and the contest was on. The men could hear the other man's ax and saw, hacking and sawing, hacking and sawing, hour after hour. As the day progressed and the piles of cord wood grew, Claude noticed that every hour Pierre would stop for about 10 minutes. Claude began to think, "I am stronger, have more endurance. Pierre can't handle the pace." This observation made Claude work harder.

When the sun set, everyone gathered to hear the results. Claude was sure he would win by a huge margin. After all, he had worked hard while Pierre was taking constant breaks. The judges finished the tally and came forward with the results. Claude began to walk forward when the contest judge said, "The winner and champion woodsman is... Pierre!" You could have knocked Claude over with a feather. He was in shock! How could this be possible? He had outworked Pierre all day. Claude began to think, Pierre must have cheated. Claude protested, saying, "How could this be? Pierre, I heard you stop and take breaks, while all the time I continued to work."

Pierre looked at Claude. "Yes, it is true. I did take many breaks. And at each break I took time to sharpen my saw."

Sharpen his saw...

Do you take time to sharpen your saw? Are you continually developing your skills, your attitude, your health? Each of us needs to take time, to make time to sharpen our saw everyday. How?

  • Read good stuff -- not the newspaper or junk novels
  • Write -- journaling is a great way to relax, release, and learn
  • Exercise -- watch TV while on the treadmill, and do your dumbbell curls, walk during the commercials
  • Eat a healthier lunch
  • Do meditation or Yoga -- or just close your eyes and breathe for 2-3 minutes, maybe with music. (No, not Def Leopard or, for the older crew, Iron Butterfly (remember In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida?)

I am not talking about going to the gym for 2 hours, or reading a book a day. I am talking about small, consistent practices -- a walk, breathing, a 5-minute meditation, getting out in the sun for 10 minutes, walking at lunch, and eating a healthy lunch...

You can find a way, if you want to, if you look, you can find many small ways to sharpen your saw.

Oh..gotta go now..it's time to sharpen my saw on my elliptical...

Find A Way.

~ Dennis