Tale of Two Lumberjacks

By Brenda Jank

There once were two strong lumberjacks.
They both loved to cut down trees more than anything in the world.

Early in the morning, The first lumberjack was ready to work.
He sharpened his ax and started out his day.
There was no time to waste.

The second lumberjack started his day with a big breakfast.
He enjoyed it while listening to the sounds of nature around him.

The first lumberjack worked non-stop all day.
He chopped down 10 trees which indicated the end of his day to finally go home and rest.
He felt very proud and powerful.

The second lumberjack worked hard as well, taking breaks throughout the day.
Then he would continue to chop more wood.
His goal was to cut down 15 trees a day, which made him feel proud and powerful.

One day, the first lumberjack passed by the second lumberjack. He was astonished to count 15 trees in the second lumberjack’s yard. Confused and devastated, the first lumberjack asked him: “How is this possible? I know you take a rest every hour and I work continuously throughout the day, there’s no way you can cut down more trees than me. Tell me your secret.”

The second lumberjack said: “Every hour I take a break to rest, eat, and sharpen my ax.”

 When was the last occasion you allowed yourself a break, creating distance between yourself and your projects, work, friends, family, or even your own thoughts?

Sometimes, what we truly need is to take a break, pause, and sharpen our axes. 

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
– Abraham Lincoln


*THE LUMBERJACK STORY referenced in Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”

Brenda Jank and the Run Hard. Rest Well team are thought leaders in the arena of Restorative Wellness. Find additional resources at www.RunHardRestWell.org. Contact us at: brenda@runhardrestwell.org

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2 thoughts on “Tale of Two Lumberjacks”

    • Pop –

      Sharpening our axe takes an intentional stop and a bit of time – but ohhhh!
      The results are tangible, obvious, and worth it in every way!


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