in life •  last year  (edited)

If the axe be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

One of the greatest American presidents said,

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.


This brings us down to the issue of the axe. Hey to check out more about increasing your productivity I’ll advise you to check out @maverickfoo’s blog for more inspiration.

Abraham Lincoln before becoming president was a skilled wood-cutter and that prompted him to use the above quote to portray his message. To succeed, it doesn’t all depend on hard work these days, but don’t quote me wrong you need hard work to succeed in life, but being able to work smart might just be that breakthrough you need to be the extraordinary.
Have you ever tried using a blunt pencil or blunt knife to accomplish a task before? How efficient were you in accomplishing the task, you'll realize that much more energy is required to accomplish such task and the quality of the outcome is always poorer when compared to one who uses a sharp tool.
So before we proceed, let's take a look at the story of the lumberjack. Shall we?

The Lumberjack

Ubuntu was a very strong wood-cutter and his fame was renowned across the village.

He asked for a job from a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was very good and so were the work conditions and for that reason the wood-cutter was determined to do his very best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area in the forest where he was to work.

The first day the wood-cutter cut down 18 trees. His boss was extremely impressed and said, “Well done. Keep it up. You are our best wood-cutter yet.” Motivated by his boss’s words, the wood-cutter tried even harder the next day, but he only cut down 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder but only cut down 10 trees.

Day after day the woodcutter cut down fewer and fewer trees. His boss came to him and told him that if he did not chop down more trees each day he would lose his job. The wood-cutter needed the job, so he tried harder and harder. He worked during his lunch breaks and tea breaks, but still he could not cut down enough trees. “I must be losing my strength” the wood-cutter thought to himself. He worked over-time, but still it was not enough.

Eventually his boss came to him and told him he was fired. The wood-cutter was really upset, but he knew that he had worked as hard as he could and just did not have enough time to chop more trees. He sadly handed his axe back.

The boss took one look at the axe and asked, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”

Just like Ubuntu, most of us are so busy trying to get things done that we use inefficient tools which results in waste of energy.

Defining AXE

A – Always pursue Your Passion

What is that you love doing, come on there exist a whole world of possibilities out there, what keeps moving you and giving you the happiness when working on it. Find it and follow it to the latter you’ll realize you’ve carved out a niche for yourself.

X – Xcel in your Area of Gifting

Aha, now this is a new one, so let’s take a laugh at our new spelling for eXcel, yeah. Be the best version of you in your area of gifting.

Let’s see the life of one of the most reputable steemians, @surpassinggoogle, see what he has achieved on the blockchain and I tell you truly he’s surpassing google already, for thousands of steemians that joined this platform heard about his good works and where all moved to find out who this rare gem of a person is.

Now let’s take a look at Romans 12:6

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith”.

Of a truth, we all have different gifts or talents, so let's develop them.

You could be good at encouraging others, why not drop a word of encouragement to that fella out there who is almost giving up.

If we can Xcel in our area of gifting, truly like @surpassinggoogle, we will be able to surpass google in our own ways.

E – Enjoy Serving with Others

Two are better than one, I’ll throw in my own story here, I’ve enjoyed serving with my friends and together the feats we’ve achieved have been mind blowing for even I hadn’t dreamt of such.

Right from our 100 level, we’ve been sharing ideas, going places together, won scholarships together, and also some awards for our school, this all stems from the joy we derive working with each other and I tell you, it motivates you to do more as it pushes you to attain a new level each day.

The book of Ecclesiastes says

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”

So while also pursuing your passion, enjoy serving and working with others, no need for negative competitions to attain self glory all to yourself for together, everyone achieves more. There are a lot of communities here on steemit, enjoy working with others and get to gain more knowledge.

Author’s Note

According to Claire Newton

Sharpening your axe can include things like setting up email filters, installing productivity software, and developing more efficient systems and processes. But (and most of us forget this), the most important ‘tool’ for achieving any task is YOU – your ability to use your mind and body to its full potential. Sadly it is also the one that we most often take for granted. We expect our bodies and minds to just keep on going and going even though we don’t look after them.

Most at times, we forget to give our bodies and minds enough sleep, eat enough nutritional food and don’t drink enough water. We exercise too little and don’t take proper breaks. We don’t relax and we don’t enrich ourselves with learning, creativity and beauty. In short, we don’t sharpen our axe!

Have you tried upgrading your axe to a chainsaw, makes the work faster, right?

I’ve been away for a long while now, and not that I don’t enjoy being here, but I’ve been bugged with life’s challenges and on a quest to triumph over them.

This post was a trial by me to see how most of these markdown works and I guess it's pretty amazing.

Keep being the most awesome version of you, and always remember to sharpen your axe.

A big thank you to the ever evolving communities for their awesomeness and determination to keep the Steem blockchain moving.

To @surpassinggoogle, @sean-king @ejemai @futurethinker @tojukaka @samstickkz @nairadaddy @jeline @mitneb and a whole lot of wonderful Steemians who are passionate about increasing human productivity, God bless you all.

Image Sources

  1. All pictures are sourced from Pixabay

  2. The gif is gotten from gfycat


  1. Claire Newton

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Greetings sir!
You came back with a knock-out!
This is a beautiful compilation dear
I've learnt from the axe story, true definition of what we pass through.

We keep asking ourselves, where are we getting it wrong?
Meanwhile the answer is in us, and we fail to recognize /correct it.

Well illustrated, funny gif, continue playing with markdown, lol. Thanks for the mention, I'm honoured. Good to have you back hot brain 🙌


Greetings to you too @jeline.

Well I'll have to say, thanks a bunch for the wonderful comment.

I've been learning gradually from you all, while away and it's a privilege to know you. Keep being amazing Buddy and keep Xcelling in your gift.

Remain blessed.

Hello! I find your post valuable for the wafrica community! Thanks for the great post! @wafrica is now following you! ALWAYs follow @wafrica and use the wafrica tag!


Thank you very much @wafrica. Much appreciated 😊

Magnificent contribution, thank you very much.


Thank you very much @teardrops for always being inspirational. Keep the good work going. Remain blessed forever. 😊💯

Nicely done. You have really summarized it greatly. "Work smart, not hard." Thank you for reminding me of that


You're most welcome @spalatino.
Yeah work smart and not necessarily hard. Cheers.

Beyond the well knitted wordage, lies an immortal advice that could save one a whole lot of time and increase productivity.

Thanks for sharing this.

Cheers 🍻 @nexrules


Cheers brother. Thanks for stopping by. 👍

This is incredible! I love the way you write. I love the meaning you gave to the acronym "AXE". I also learnt to sharpen my AXE..
Thank You.


Wow, thank you very much @kweenbrand for your amazing words. I'm Happy you learnt how to sharpen your axe. Keep being amazing.