“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax…”
This famous quote came from Abraham Lincoln over a century ago, and it couldn’t ring truer today.
What the legendary American president meant was that he would spend twice as much time working on himself than on the task itself, which isn’t what most will people.
To paraphrase Growing Forever, one of my favorite YouTubers, most people hurriedly grab the ax without checking if its dull or not and start swinging away at the tree. And if they notice no major progress made on the tree pretty soon, they quite, probably blaming the tree for being stubborn.
The truth is, how you swing the ax, how hard, in what arc, in what rhythm, and in what spot you hit the tree are all action strategies that can be measured and improved, but all starts with the ax first, the ax of course being you.
Results come last.
Personal development — that is, investing in your own improvement, personal growth and betterment — is the greatest gift you can give yourself. With out it, all other life strategies, no matter how brilliant or time tested, are doomed to fail.