Are you rushing through life? Andi Saitowitz explains how you can learn to enjoy the journey along the way.
Did you ever hear this story growing up?
A woodcutter strained to saw down a tree.
A young man who was watching asked “What are you doing?”
“Are you blind?” the woodcutter replied. “I’m cutting down this tree.”
The young man was unabashed. “You look exhausted! Take a break. Sharpen your saw.”
The woodcutter explained to the young man that he had been sawing for hours and did not have time to take a break.
The young man pushed back… “If you sharpen the saw, you would cut down the tree much faster.”
The woodcutter said “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. Don’t you see I’m too busy?”
Do you take time to sharpen your saw?
Enjoying the Journey
I am following a really fun and tough online fitness program whereby each day, there is a different workout and I don’t really know what to expect. It’s a hybrid program full of surprises with a fantastic range of cardio, core, strength and interval training episodes. Today, I was ready to train hard and so I opened my tracker chart to select today’s workout: Insanity relief.
Hmmmm? That sounded rather disappointing.
I wanted to sweat, to burn calories, to work hard, to raise my heart rate.
What does “relief” even mean and why is it part of a crazy hectic workout regime called insanity?
Then it dawned on me.
When we are deeply immersed in something, our eye is usually on the final prize – the vision – the goal – the end result – the destination. We keep moving towards it with laser focus, ongoing dedication and intentional purpose. What we may forget, is the importance of what happens along the journey –and how effective and necessary recovery and rest truly are – these are the essential times we must take to recharge, stretch, and prepare ourselves for what comes next. In fitness, our muscles clearly need time to build, our body needs to stretch to facilitate greater elasticity. I realised today that relief is just as important as any other day of insanity. It is a fundamental building block to drive greater performance and get you to where you want to go.
This is true for fitness and this is certainly true for life.
Yes – we must have a clear vision and goals for our success.
Yes – we must work really hard, put in the effort, and take meaningful action every day to achieve what we really aim to accomplish.
And yes – we must take the time for relief. To recharge, rejuvenate, revitalise and realign so that we equip ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for transformation. Meaningful, lasting and effective change in any area of your life is not only about doing, it is equally about being. We need both. We need to take action and do the work. We also need to stop, pause, reflect and become more of who we truly are.
Schedule Time to Recharge Your Batteries
So right now, go grab your schedule for the week ahead.
I trust your tasks are written down with the things you plan to do each day.
Now, take your pen and schedule – relief.
Plug in quality Me-Time.
Block out a nap, a break, a mini-vacation.
It’s up to us to create a life that we don’t need a holiday from.
Sharpening the saw is something only you can do for yourself.
It’s in your control.
We get to sharpen our saw daily by ensuring we each in our own way make self-care just as important as success. When we look after ourselves and take the time to sharpen our saw, the quality of our chopping afterwards is incomparable.
As Stephen Covey says: Feeling good doesn’t just happen. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It’s all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation. Or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything. You can pamper yourself mentally and spiritually. Or you can go through life oblivious to your well-being. You can experience vibrant energy. Or you can procrastinate and miss out on the benefits of good health and exercise. You can revitalise yourself and face a new day in peace and harmony. Or you can wake up in the morning full of apathy because your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone.
Just remember that every day provides a new opportunity for renewal – a new opportunity to recharge yourself instead of hitting the wall. All it takes is the desire, knowledge, and skill.”