Are You Sharpening Your Axe

“If I had six hours to cut a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”- Abraham Lincoln

Experts across industries are saying that for most of us, 2020 is really just a year to survive and stay alive. It is indeed true. For most businesses, this year is not the one to have ambitious growth or profit targets. But at the same time, do not just put down your axe. I would say – let this year be a year to sharpen your axe.

When was the last time you sharpened your axe?

Dr. Stephen Covey, says that sharpening your axe means “increasing your personal production capacity by daily self-care and self-maintenance”. This applies equally to both salaried individuals, professionals as well as businessmen.

Sharpen Your Axe

Upgrade Your Skills

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship – Louisa May Alcott

Just as your mobile phone needs to be charged at regular intervals to keep it functioning, we need to charge ourselves through learning, with adequate focus on both functional skills and soft skills.

  • Enhance your domain knowledge through e-learning. Take up some online courses
  • Try to work towards getting any industry-specific certifications/memberships
  • Attend relevant virtual events/webinars
  • Approach your mentor to get some guidance on career/business advancement (You do not have a mentor? Make one)
  • Partner with industry peers for mutual learning & development
  • Identify your weaknesses and blind spots. Understand, acknowledge & and address them.
  • Learn from great leaders- focus on their effective traits, reasons for success and also learn from their failures and mistakes

In today’s rapidly growing and ever changing world with unprecedented complexities, how can you even afford to let your axe lie idle and rust? And isn’t it easier these days with classroom being right on your handset/laptop and you having the flexibility to attend it at your convenient time.

So, be a lifelong student and keep sharpening your axe so that when the opportune time comes to strike, it should be able to make the deepest impact.

Strategize & Adapt

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptations” – Max Mckeown

One cannot remain ignorant and mindless of things that are evolving daily around us. Let us move from a state of being mindless to a state of being mindful. After all, successful living lies in constant readjustment to our surroundings, isn’t it?

Remember what Father of Evolution Charles Darwin said– “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

And it’s so true. After all, our forefathers managed to survive on this planet because they kept on adapting and evolving.

Make Strategy

So, commit your hear t & mind to adapt today because every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision & change.

Focus on Your Well-Being

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in” – Jim Rohn

This one requires a holistic approach. Healthy mind resides in a healthy body and these two together can lead to profound growth in your efficiency and productivity.

Physical Well Being

Mental Well Being

Remember that every day is a brand new opportunity to recharge, renew, and refine yourself. Take out sometime to focus on it. Else, your axe will gradually become blunt and ineffective. Make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.

Stay Indoors. Stay Safe. Always remember – A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.

Neha Agrawal – Co-Founder, OPENMINDS | +91 9820402693 |

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P.S- Even after the dust settles and regular life resumes, do apportion some time regularly to sharpen your axe.

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