Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sharpen your axe

This is the story of Joe and John. Both were woodcutters working for a firm that produced certain consumer products with a typical wood. The story happened in an age of woodcutters and such firms.

Joe was working there for a long time. He was a hard working man. Besides he had to provide for his wife and three children. This added to his burden for working harder. But even after a long service in the firm, he could not get a pay hike at which he was always sad. He tried to work hard to cut more wood but could not improve much on that side.

John was a junior worker in the firm. He also was a wood cutter. John too was a hard working person with fewer burdens of two children and a healthy wife. He made tremendous improvement in his job since he joined the firm. He used to get occasional pay hike.

Joe was a not a jealous person at another’s prosperity. But the fact that he worked hard for a longer time than John and still never got a pay hike, disturbed him. It made him sad and sad. He could no longer bear it. So he decided to quit the job and search for a better luck at somewhere else.

One day he approached his boss and told his misery and solution. He offered to resign if the boss was not willing to raise his pay. The boss laughed at this and tried to draw the attention of Joe to the fact that he never made any improvement in his work. He cut the same quantity of wood from the beginning of his service to this day. John is different. He had made noticeable improvement in the quantity of wood he cut for the firm. So how can a pay hike be given to Joe and how can one deny a pay hike to John. Joe understood his problem but still wanted to resign from the job. The boss thought for a while and gave an advice to Joe. It would be good that Joe met John and shared his plight. If Joe was lucky, John would reveal the secret of his success.

Joe decided to try this advice. He met John. John was a simple man, ready to help anyone. He was sad to hear the plight of Joe. He shared his secret. He told Joe that he used to take rest from the work thrice a day. One in the morning session, second for the lunch and third in the afternoon. Joe was very happy and left John with a new decision. From the next day onwards, Joe too took short break from his job thrice a day. He took rest and even had a nap during these shot breaks. But this did no good to him. It worsened the situation. He felt cheated by John.

Once again he approached the boss with the same story and proposal for resignation. His boss was a witty man. He sensed a missing link in the advice of John. So he told Joe to approach John once again and ask what he used to do during the short breaks from the work. Hesitating Joe once again approached John with the question, what he did during the short breaks. John revealed the secret of his success.

1.    Hard work does not mean to work always; it is working with devotion.
2.    Hard work is not working continuously; it is working with a purpose.
3.    Work without occasional rest will affect the product.
4.    Rest is not a time of inaction and sleep.
5.    Rest is a time to see dreams for tomorrow.
6.    Rest is a time to sharpen your axe.
7.    Only a sharper axe can help you to produce more.

Joe got his lesson. His implemented every word of it in his life. Joe became a synonym for success.

Wish you a successful life!

Professor Jacob Abraham
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