Sharpening Your Axe

Below is a morning meditaion that our Ahmek Director, Greg Albisser, gave this past summer on the importance of taking time to recharge ourselves or “sharpen our axes”. The first part of the meditation is a passge from Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, the second half of the meditation was Greg’s message to our Ahmek campers.

Sharpening Your Axe“Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber mill and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.

‘Congratulations,’ the boss said. ‘Go on that way!’

Very motivated by the boss’s words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

‘I must be losing my strength’, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

‘When was the last time you sharpened your axe?’ the boss asked.

‘Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…’ ”


Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the “axe”. In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy.

Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay “sharp”? There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life. We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don’t take the time to sharpen the “axe”, we will become dull and lose the edge that helps to makes us Ahmek Men.

– Greg Albisser