Sharpen the Saw

Dear readers,

I hope you are all having a great time. It’s been a great privilege sharing all these insightful topics with you all and I can only aspire to share more as time goes on.

Today while I was in the Kitchen, by the way for those of you who do not know me personally, cooking is one of my biggest activities besides blogging, I had a thought flash through my mind. I had been working on some recipes and finally put it out for people to try and I got some really interesting and positive feedback. The highlight of my thinking process wasn’t just the nature of the type of feedback I got but the fact that my time and energy in researching those recipes were actually yielding results.

It dawned on me, that time and energy invested in self-development is never a waste, as long as we maintain the right attitude. To sharpen the saw, means to improve oneself in whatever field one has an interest. To sharpen the saw means to realize that if we must succeed then it is up to us to make it happen. To sharpen the saw means to realize that to the degree we keep reinventing and rebranding ourselves, to that degree do we keep our relevance.

As a chef I have noticed that the final outcome of a prep can be foretold often times in the manner in which the cook goes about preparing the ingredients and the actual mélange. The result that we desire in the final outcome of the finished prep comes in with the total combination of ingredients, technical know-how, finesse, feeling and the need to constantly better our self. A couple of years back I was to make a very delicate dessert and I was having some difficulty and I asked the Lady who was tutoring me at time “How do you do this stuff, it seems to just wanna mess you up each time.” She looked at me and said “This prep isn’t very kind even though it is very sweet”. Her words hit me and sank deep. She said to conquer it, you must try several times, you must fail several times, you must cry several times and finally when it sees that you are serious about making it, it would let you. Needless to say, that was what happened.

The process she described was sure to happen however I could dictate how much I wanted to try, how much I wanted to fail and how much I wanted to cry, by how much I was going to sharpen my saw. Similarly in other aspects of our lives we have to decide how much time we want to invest in an activity or endeavor by checking how “sharp our saw” is. The phrase “sharpen the saw” is actually coined from a short story of a wood cutter who goes to chop down trees but ends up having a bad day as his saw is blunt. AN old man walks by and tells him to take a break and sharpen his saw, to which he responds I don’t have time to do that. I have to cut down this tree. The old man replies “well that is correct however at the moment it is taking you so much time to do this, why not stop ,sharpen your saw and get back at it.”

Often times many of us complain about how difficult certain things are in our lives, and we give a million reasons why we do things the way we do. However what many of us fail to admit is that, we are constantly trying to hack down the tough trees of life with our blunt saws. We feel taking time out to sharpen our saws, or to master our craft is “too time consuming” yet we wonder why the next guy is doing so well. Truth be told there is no endeavor that gives itself easily without an additional effort. I have taken a close look at many successful people and there is a common denominator; they spend a lot of time sharpening their saws. Every hour others spend hacking at the trees of life with their dull saws, these men spend it in sharpening their saws, so that when they finally begin to cut through the forest of obstacles and life goals, they do so with such an effortless gets. What many of us fail to see is how much effort has been put in, prior to such an effortless gest.

One rough patch some people have in life is they are busy cutting other people’s trees. What does this mean? They have actually realized how important it is to sharpen the saw and have invested a great of energy in doing this, only to proceed in a wrong direction and begin cutting the wrong trees. Some people use their “sharp saws”; talents, effort, training, etc in cutting a tree because everyone is cutting this tree. For example, if I spend a good deal of my time creating a recipe and fine-tuning it according to my time, place, circumstance and materials and I abandon all of that at the last stage of execution to adopt a method from someone else who doesn’t have a similar scenario like mine then I may as well be welcoming trouble. If your saw is meant to cut trees of music, then go ahead, if it meant to cut the trees of show business then go ahead, however do not be confused. Now that been said, some of us are actually “people of many hats” being blessed by two or more talents.

Such talents come with the intelligence to be able to know the difference and thus learn to sharpen these saws differently. No matter how multi-talented one may be, the saws are always sharpened differently. Try to spend sufficient time on each saw and only then can such gift of multi talent be enhanced.

I hope this blog sheds some light on the subject, till next week do read, share, and follow for more.



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