Meet Michael, he just turned 25. He will soon have his first child with his
wife, and he desperately needs money to support his family and his newborn child. His father and grandfather both had history
with woodworking and since he was tall and strong he asked for a job in a timber merchant. The pay was really good and so were the work
conditions. For that reason, Michael was determined to
do his best, he had to, his family counted on him. It was early Monday morning, the boss gave
him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, Michael brought 18 trees. The boss was very happy, congratulated Micahel
and encouraged him to keep up the good work, Micahel then proudly put his axe in the drawer,
changed his clothes and hurried back home to share the good news. Very motivated for the boss’ words, Michael
tried harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, this time
he managed to bring only 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less
trees. Michael thought, he must be losing his strength. He went to the boss and apologized, saying
that he could not understand what was going on, he was scared that if he continues like
this he might lose his job, he was trying harder and harder each day only to bring less
and less trees. The boss smiled and asked “When was the last
time you sharpened your axe”. Michael was confused by the question, “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees.” Have you noticed that in your life? You are Michael, the axe is your ability to
accomplish things, the trees are your dreams and goals, and the wife and baby are your
happiness and things you care about. You try to accomplish your dreams and goals
so that you feel happy and fulfilled. You swing your axe every day trying to achieve
something, but with the skills you have so far, you can get the same amount of happiness,
satisfaction and wealth, in other words your progress stagnates if your skills and abilities
remain the same. And sometimes we 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 than ever. And since progress equals happiness, it’s
hard to be happy when there IS no progress. It’s hard to be happy when every day you’re
going to work doing the same thing over and over again, seeing the same results or even
feel like you’re going backwards. It’s hard to be happy when every day you cut
less and less trees even though you try as hard as you can. You can be grateful for what you have so far,
but you cannot experience true happiness and fulfillment if you don’t progress, evolve
and grow. There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard
work. But we shouldn’t get so busy that we neglect
the truly important things in life, like taking time to think, meditate, to learn and grow. If we don’t take time to sharpen the axe,
we will become dull and lose our effectiveness. So start today. Think about the ways by which you could do
your job more effectively, learn how to better communicate with the people around you. Just stop and think for a minute, is there
Anything you can do differently to make your life better, find out what is slowing you
down and then work on it, don’t just mindlessly swing your axe, sharpen it, so tomorrow, one
swing can equal 10 of today’s. Learn something that will bring you closer
to your dreams. And before I end this video, I want you to
ask yourself. What new skills did you learn today, the past
month or the past year? Can you think of any? Have you read any books and more importantly
have you changed something in your life from those books? Are you seriously expecting something to change
in your life if what you’re doing is the same over and over again? Are you improving as time passes, or are you
becoming dull and inefficient? And if that’s the case well… do something
about it.


  1. I needed this video. I've felt exactly like this man that keeps chopping away but gets less efficient over time. It all makes sense now that I need to sharpen my skills if I want to find happiness in my work. Thank you for making this video!

  2. Thank you so much, ive been trying to become a better writer, with small success, because ive been trying to practice by just continually writing. I see now that I need to sharpen my skills to really become good.

  3. I actually find it quite amusing how a total BS comment can get more like on another video, than this video itself, when it´s actually providing such a powerful and important message…

  4. I've been feeling this way for a while now, I guess it's time to explore some options for improvement. Glad this video popped up

  5. I just clicked to say that I thought the thumbnail included an oreo and that the video was about not eating junk food. Boy was I wrong.

  6. From the get-go, I just dislike the click-baity title. Just say what you're going to talk about. That said, I think the message of the video is very good.

  7. Really some of my favorite videos on self improvement, development and psychology. Truly, an amazing format to present your ideas for everyone to share and grow on.

  8. If i had 6 hours to chop down a tree. I would spend the first 4 hours sharpening the ax.
    ~ Abraham Lincoln. 16th President of the USA.

  9. well this just reminded me of reason i want to die thankyou for putting me in th mood but i seem to have misplaced my box cutter so kind of a waste but ill save the video for another time

  10. omg, this is so true, we are so busy doing things that we care about, we work hard to achieve them but when we fail by the same amount of hard work or don't progress we saturate so , take a step back and think about what is wrong or what can we learn new about our work this is how we progress 🙂

  11. what do you mean exactly by sharpen your axe , sorry I have some English problems but I understood that theirs a msg behind it what is it ?

  12. I have been seeing so many of these animation channels and I love their style, I would like to learn these 2d animations too. I would like to turn my kids dreams into short stories, can anyone tell me which software is this respective youtuber using?

  13. kinda like when you are a good student but then stop studying but still try hard at school itself. You'll have to sharpen your axe, because cutting down trees with a hammer is really hard; even unnecessarily so..

  14. I wish my parents told me this story when I was a child. They didn't, thanks for making this video now I know it and will pass this on to future generations.

  15. I want to start my first online business, i watch and learn a bunch of tutorial every day… But i always procastinate because i'm afraid to fail… That's only my problem

  16. What a weird video. Do none of you think “how can I do this better, more efficiently, with higher quality? What will be my next step?” Progress is inherent in my work..

  17. Repetition is the road to mastery. For 90% of people this is by far the worst advice ever. They will keep changing what they do or the way they do it and never get good at anything, which is what happens to everyone that doesn't achieve anything in life, keep changing the way you do stuff , then you are 50 and wonder why you can't do anything properly . Nice job you screwed 100.000 people over.

  18. Its said that the old China Town was planned through 20 years and built through 60. And the cathedrals built in Europe, at a simmilar time, took 5 years ti plan and 100 to build(or something like that)

  19. This videos for the most part aren't wrong, but they kind of lack emotionality I think, or even let's say "love" which is a strong factor that can actually get to people^^

    edit: Maybe it's just me but these videos kinda give me a bit of anxiety and stress to perform (right) maybe that's normal and that's how it's supposed to be and that's life, but it kinda feels like for me it kinda might not work for me because while in theory it might not be wrong, it kinda seems not to be the right approach. I think the sober tone of the video may be part of this. I guess I must find my own way to approach things, life doesn't work the way that you can just watch a video and this will then change you or idk its not easy but we all shall try and then we will find a way

  20. how does my studies at school fit the axe in this analogy?? Im trying to find skills I can improve to preform better in classes that I am weak at like in English and History.

  21. I've spent all my time sharpening my axe that it has turned into a chainsaw but I'm still scared to chop down the trees because I don't know how the techniques of how to make the tree fall a certain direction or how to cut properly and I feel like I'm, going to injure myself. (I have knowledge and basic skills but I don't have the practical skills that actually allow me to start making money)

  22. Hey can you make a video on how to stop being lazy and watching YouTube videos a lot and TV. Basically how to stop doing things that distract people from doing actual work

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