Smart Work Vs Hard Work : A Practical Story

Sharpening the Axe

Once upon a time there was a young man in a village. That young man had only one problem. He was jobless. One fine day he was going around the village looking for a job. At the edge of the forest he saw a timber camp. He approached the boss of the timber camp looking for a job. When he looked at the muscles of the young man, the boss was overjoyed and said “Boy from today onwards wood-cutting job is yours”. The young man was very excited. He immediately went to the forest to cut trees.

Day 1 – He worked from morning till evening with tremendous zeal and enthusiasm. By the end of the day he was able to cut eight huge trees.

Day 2 – Again the young man went to the forest, worked from morning till evening with tremendous zeal and enthusiasm. By the end of the day he was able to cut seven huge trees.

Day 3 – Same span of time, same zeal and enthusiasm, same axe and he was able to cut only six trees.

Day 4 – His performance went further down and he was able to cut only five trees.

On the eighth day of the employment when the boss of the timber camp was going around supervising the work, he saw this young man. He was unable to cut a single tree. From morning the young man was busy wiping his sweat. The boss was bit concerned. He called – “Hey boy come here. Why is your performance is going down day by day”? The young man said – “Sir, I have been working for the same span of time in the same forest with the same axe you gave me, but I don’t know why my performance is going down”. Boss was a very wise man. He listened to what the young man had to say and then asked – “Boy tell me something. Have you taken some time out of your schedule to sharpen your axe”? Young man said – “Sir, I was very busy cutting the trees; I never did anything of such kind”. Now the boss looked deep into the eyes of the young man and said – “Young man, listen to me carefully. It is not that very important to work hard in life, but very important to work sharp in life. I repeat it is not that very important to work hard in life but very important to work sharp in life. Similarly we might know many people around us who will be managing a business, who will be running a business, who might own a business. They work for eight hours a day, ten hours a day, sometimes twelve to fourteen hours a day. They will work for Five days, six days and sometimes seven days of the whole week. But still at the end of the month they will be struggling to pay the bills. They will be following the same routine day in and day out, over and over again, at the cost of their personal time, at the cost of their family time and the worst part is at the cost of their health. And every time they say they are busy and they are working hard. On the other hand we might know few business people, most of the time we call them as smart business people. They will work six to eight hours a day, three to five days a week and they seem to be making more profit and money compared to busy and hard-working people. And on top of that they have time to look in to what is happening in their business. They have time for their family. They have time for their hobbies. Friends the question is not what business these smart business owners are doing. The question is what is that they are doing different as compared to busy hard-working people.

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