It was the annual lumberjack competition and the final was between an older, experienced lumberjack and a younger, stronger lumberjack. Who could fell the most trees in a day was the winner.
The younger lumberjack worked through the day and night. He could hear the older lumberjack in another part of the forest and felt confident that he would win. At regular intervals throughout the day, the noise of trees being felled coming from the other part of the forest would stop. The younger lumberjack took heart from this, knowing that this meant the older lumberjack was taking a rest, whereas he could use his superior strength and stamina to keep going.
At the end of the competition, the younger lumberjack felt confident he had won. At the medal ceremony, he stood on the podium expecting to be awarded the prize of champion lumberjack. Next to him stood the older lumberjack who looked surprisingly less exhausted than he felt.
When the results were read out, he was devastated to hear the older lumberjack had chopped down more trees than he had. He turned to him and said: “How can this be? I heard you take a rest every hour and I worked continuously through the night. What’s more, I am stronger than you old man”. The older lumberjack turned to him and said: “Every hour, I took a break to rest and sharpen my saw.”
We all need breaks to freshen our enthusiasm and output.