Before we talk about how to change your life, I want to tell you a quick story about two lumberjacks who were equal in all respects. Ax’s in hand, both went out early in the morning to cut down some trees. The first lumberjack chopped and hacked all day long, working with a feverish intensity. The second lumberjack cut down twice as many trees but worked half as hard as his friend. How did he do it?
What’s Your Tree?
Before I give you the answer, I wanted to ask you, “What’s the tree you’re trying to cut down?” What I mean by that is, what’s the thing in your life you’re trying to accomplish? What do you want your life to amount to?
Do you want to leave this world a better place than you found it? Do you want to do something significant with your life? Do you want to take that special something that’s inside you and show it to the world?
I’m going to assume that unless life has beaten you like a redheaded stepchild and has broken your spirit, you answered yes to at least one of those questions. (Just for the record, I was a redheaded stepchild so it’s okay for me to talk about my own peeps).
The reason you feel that way is because God created you in his image and has put something extraordinary inside you that longs to get out! You were created with a need to live a life that is worth living.
Roadblocks To Life Change
But life isn’t always that simple, is it? Sometimes it feels like life has plans of its own, conspiring against us—holding us back from fulfilling our potential.
You’re so in debt that you have to give the best years of your life to a job you hate. Or you end up stuck in a relationship that knocks you off course. Or you’re just so busy that you don’t have time to yourself—you’re moving so fast and doing so much that you don’t have time to consider if anything you’re thinking, saying, or doing is worth thinking, saying, or doing. Sometimes you feel like you’re just reliving the same day over and over.
Any of that sound familiar?
The Second Lumberjack
If you can relate, I’ve got some good news for you. But first, I want to close the loop I opened with the lumberjack story because inside that story is a powerful lesson for you.
The first lumberjack approaches cutting trees the same way most of us approach life. Thinking activity will get us to where we want to go. And when life gets crazy and there are too many plates to spin, the answer is MOVE FASTER!
But let’s be honest with each other, that approach to life is exhausting. But for some reason, we still engage in endless activity, hoping that someday our busy life will turn into a significant life.
The second lumberjack actually gets more done by expending less energy. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?
How did he do it? The second Lumberjack took a break from cutting to sharpen his ax. With a sharp ax, he was able to cut down more trees with less effort. It’s biblical “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.” Ecclesiastes 10:10 NLT.
How does that apply to you and me? We need to approach life like the second lumberjack and take frequent breaks from life to sharpen our ax. If you don’t, you’ll waste your effort and energy on things that won’t cut down your tree. You’ll be doing a lot but not getting anywhere—at least not anywhere that you want to be.
How do you sharpen your ax? By evaluating your life. Specifically, there are 6 areas of life you need to evaluate in order to live a life that is truly worth living. I’ve created a 2-minute assessment that you can take that will help you sharpen these areas of your life. But, here a quick overview of each area:
- Key beliefs — What you believe deep down about yourself, God, and how the world works is what drives all the other things in your life.
- Core Practices — What you practice is what you become. If you don’t have life-giving practices built into your daily routine, you won’t be able to step into your full potential in life.
- Sense of Purpose — Your purpose is your north star in life, the thing that guides you through the big decisions of life. When your purpose is clear it simplifies the choices you need to make.
- Romantic Relationships — There’s not much in life worse than a bad relationship, it’s more gut-wrenching than just about anything else. But, there’s also not much in life that’s better than a great relationship. In fact, the quality of your relationship with your significant other will improve your mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical health.
- Emotional Life — The Journal of Medicine reported that 70% of the cases doctors treat doesn’t have a physical cause. That means most of our sickness is psychosomatic, or a result of soul sickness. Your emotional life has a profound effect on your overall health and enjoyment of life.
- Godly Friendships — Who you are is largely influenced by your closest friends. Proverbs says that if you want to be wise, you need to spend time with the wise. If you want to be more like Jesus, you also need to spend time with people that are also trying to be more like Jesus too.
Want to know how you measure up in those areas? Here’s a quick assessment that will help you evaluate them.
Once you’ve gotten some feedback, you can start sharpening those areas of your life so you can ensure you’re living a life that is truly worth living!