Author – Dr. Leena Shenoy, Professor, Department of Mathematics, BNMIT
There was a timber merchant and he hires a woodcutter, named Raj. Raj was physically very strong, so the merchant offers him good pay and in turn, Raj decides to do his best. The merchant gives him an axe and explains what is expected of him. As a timber merchant, he expected Raj to get logs of wood in large numbers every day.
Accordingly, on the first day, Raj brings 18 logs of wood and he gets appreciation for that from his boss. Motivated by that, Raj tries harder the next day but he could bring only 15 logs. The third day he tries even harder but could bring only 10 logs. Day by day the number of logs Raj was bringing drops down.
Worried by this Raj started thinking “Maybe I am losing my strength. That is why my efficiency in work is dropping down…”
After few days, the merchant hires another woodcutter named Vijay, who was almost the same both in age and in physic as that of Raj. But after a few days, Vijay not only started getting appreciation from his boss and even a hike in his pay.
Raj gets disturbed by this and he goes and speaks to his boss in this regard. The boss explains to Raj the reason for Vijay to get a hike in his pay and about his consistent performance in the work and even he suggests Raj, to have a talk with Vijay to know the secrete for the same.
Then Raj meets Vijay and asks “My dear friend, I am working hard and putting sincere effort regularly for a long time but could not show consistency or any improvement in my performance… how could you manage that?
Now Vijay thinks for a while and asks Raj when was the last time you sharpened your Axe?
Sharpen? …I had no time to sharpen my axe. I had been very busy in cutting woods… Raj replies
Then Vijay says, “My dear friend, that is where you have stumbled. I too work hard and put sincere efforts but regularly I take small breaks in between my work and during that time, I not only relax my body and even I sharpen my axe and get prepared to continue the work.
This applies in each and every aspect of our life.
We all are so busy in the Race of life, that we hardly pay attention to sharpen our axe and under the impression that we have lost our efficiency hence losing the Race……