The Wood Cutter And His Axe -​​ How To Be The Best In What​ You Do

The Wood Cutter And His Axe -​​ How To Be The Best In What​ You Do – I Heard This Story Many Years Ago Will Do My Best To Recall What I Remember In This Article.

The Wood Cutter And His Axe

The story goes a little like this.

Many years ago there was a Woodcutter looking for work.   He was a tall, very strong man.  The woodcutter comes to a wood cutting camp and approaches the foreman and asks for some work.
He begins to let the foreman know that he is probably the best Woodcutter he will ever meet.  The woodcutter asks the foreman a question.

  • “What is the personal record for this camp, for the most trees cut down in a day”
  • The foreman smiles and grins” He said seven, By a man bigger and stronger than yourself.”
  • With an air of confidence the woodcutter then says to the foreman “OK I will beat that personal record”
  • The foreman obviously impressed by the wood cutters confidence gives the wood cutter a job.

The Wood Cutter And His Axe

The next morning the Woodcutter gets up with thoughts of success and starts work, to chop the trees the best he can, He had a powerful goal. People were going to be playing songs and writing stories about him. He knew if he worked hard enough he would be the best at the camp and even be better than the woodcutter the foreman said that set the record. His powerful choice was made, feelings of success were now part of his life.
At the end of the day, a lot of gossip had started around the camp, a few of the other Woodcutters had caught on about the new worker. The focus of thier gossip was the common question had the new woodcutter broken the personal record for the camp. Was he the best woodcutter.

Nearly Got The Record

The wood cutter had cut down 7 trees, which was more than any other man in the camp had done for a long time.   Naturally the foreman congratulates the new woodcutter.  The Woodcutter however was not happy shoulders slouched and very disappointed with himself.  His experience had taught him that his mistakes today would not be repeated. He had to be the top of his game. He vows to beat the record the next day.

The Next Day

The next morning comes and before anyone else started the new woodcutter had already begun to work.  He was so in focus at trying to beat the personal record for the camp, he skipped lunch and worked longer than anyone else at the camp.   A few people were now thinking surely he is going to break the record now, especially after the first day cutting down 7 trees and now skipping meals and breaks. Life at the camp was becoming interesting.
At the end of the day, the foreman goes up to the new Woodcutter and asked him how he went.   The look on the wood cutters face was a look of great disappointment. “he said today I only cut down 5 trees”, his voice was soft and you could tell he was not impressed with himself. He had to think of a strategy to grow his efforts, to him it was a competition not just with the camp but with himself to be the best. better than ever before. success was his only goal.

The Wood Cutter And His Axe On Day 2

On the third day the Woodcutter got up when it was still dark, he thought about the ideas of being successful, he had never let fear of failure ever enter his mind. The choice was made on the first day, today he would be the person that would work harder than anyone else had ever worked in the history of the whole camp.   He had skipped all the meals including his dinner. Talk around the camp was now on every ones minds.

Surely He Had Beaten The Record Today.

The foreman again asked the new Woodcutter how he went today.  A quite large crowd of Woodcutters had been hanging around to find out if the record had been broken.   The Woodcutters face could have made a baby cry.   He was so perplexed the words could hardly be heard or understood by those around waiting eagerly to hear how he went with his third day at work.
Sadly the woodcutter said ”Today I only cut down 3 trees” the other people around could hardly believe what they were hearing.   He had worked harder than anyone, worked longer than anyone.  With more determination than anyone, how could he of only cut down 3 trees.
The foreman a quite bright individual, and probably why he had the job in the first place said to the WoodCutter.

“With all that determination, focus, all the hours you worked, did you once stop and sharpen your axes?”
Sometimes in life you have to look at your tools you use to achieve your goals and dreams, and like the Woodcutter sharpen your axes.

Best Place 2 - Wood Cutter And His Axe

The next day, now with sharpened axes, clear focus and the same determination, broke the camps personal record for most trees cut down in a day.
He cut down “8 trees that day and set a new record for the camp”. The woodcutter was so happy and the moral of the whole camp was through the roof.
  • The Wood Cutter And His Axe

Let this be a lesson to you.

  • How to be the Best in What you Do

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The Wood Cutter And His Axe -​​How To Be The Best In What​ You Do – I Heard This Story Many Years Ago Will Do My Best To Recall What I Remember In This Article.


12 thoughts on “The Wood Cutter And His Axe -​​ How To Be The Best In What​ You Do

  1. Author’s gravatar

    I loved the story of the woodcutter! That does happen to a lot of people too. They get so determined to make something happen and they’re working and working, but things just aren’t happening. 

    But yes, as you pointed out, sometimes it’s not about the work and the determination. It’s about the tools you’re using to get you there. 

    Are your tools sharp enough? I really, really like that. I’m going to remember to ask myself this question often.

    1. Author’s gravatar

      Thank you for your comment Christina,

      I heard this story so many years ago now, and I still love it’s message.  Did you like any of my other posts?

  2. Author’s gravatar

    This is such a good positive motivation story. Sometimes we think, adding more hours and being enclosed on our work all day makes us more productive. This is normally not the case, you need to have a plan, goals and the right tools to make it work. At times you need to sharpen your mind to renew your brain activity for better productivity. This is such a great lesson you have illustrated here.

    1. Author’s gravatar

      Glad you enjoyed the Story Anita,

  3. Author’s gravatar

    Ha Ha, Loved this post. Just as the wood cutter had not done, he did not look at his current resource and how to make it better. I totally agree with you, this is what we should be doing and reviewing regularly. Especially if you know that you have proven that your method works but has come to a dry spell or you are lacking creativity.

    I love your website. 

    1. Author’s gravatar

      Thank you Choannah,

      Yes we all I think forget this lesson from time to time, Is good to be reminded sometime

  4. Author’s gravatar

    That’s a great story.  

    Sometimes, in our quest for success, we overlook a little but crucial detail that can be ‘the make or break’ to our success.  Which is why it is so important to pace oneself.  To remember, no matter how much there is to do, to take care of ourselves; to eat properly, rest well, exercise regularly.  When we are balanced, we will not be prone to overlooking crucial things.  This is what I took away from your story.

    Thank you for the kindly reminder.

    1. Author’s gravatar

      Thank you Cath,

      I love your take on the story and like how you learning a lesson:)

  5. Author’s gravatar

    Great lesson learnt from this article, most times we strive so hard doing the wrong or not so right things in our life,  we know we are not getting results but we tend to stick to the plan and program thinking things will turn out good in due time. Eventually I might turn out good or it migth not. 

    My questions therefore is this; How do we know when to stop and change or Remain and work harder on certain aspect / projects of our lives.  

    1. Author’s gravatar

      Thank for taking the time to ask a question Zuchii

      I feel it is always a good idea to set goals of different levels

      Some easily attainable goals and some medium goals and some harder goals.

      When you have clear goals in place you can then track results.  If you not getting the results you like you have to then try work out why.  If you can work out why then you can determine whether you doing things right or not.  

      I like some easy goals as well, because achieving easy goals helps put the mind set in place you can achieve a goal, then you can tackle harder and harder goals with more chances of success.


  6. Author’s gravatar


    A fascinating story that I had never heard before reading your article, one’s goals cannot always be to beat someone else’s but to set your own. You should always try to achieve more daily that the day prior but this does not mean to that you have failed, this means regroup to see what you are missing or doing incorrectly.
    I try to set my goals within reason but sometimes get carried away then to achieve them work too many hours and getting frustrated only makes things worse.

    Thank you for reminding everyone we need to work on realistic goals,

    1. Author’s gravatar

      Yes I remember the very first time I heard this story.
      Was so relatable
      was a Huge Ahah Moment for me
      glad you enjoyed


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