Laws of the Farm: Sharpening the Axe

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

-Abraham Lincoln

This week I’ll be writing about the laws of the farm–specifically, enduring principles related to sleep, nutrition, exercise, mindset, and relationships that will make you healthier.

These principles, if implemented, will sharpen your axe. This concept is taken from Stephen Covey’s book Principle-Centered Leadership.

The Law of the Farm

Procrastinating and cramming don’t work on a farm. The cows must be milked daily. Other things must be done in season, according to natural cycles. Natural consequences follow violations, in spite of good intentions. We’re subject to natural laws and governing principles–the laws of the farm and harvest.

The only thing that endures over time is the law of the farm. According to natural laws and principles, I must prepare the ground, put in the seed, cultivate, weed, and water if I expect to reap a harvest. So also in a marriage, or in helping a teenager through a difficult identity crisis–there is no quick fix, no instantaneous success formula where you can just move in by getting psyched up at some positive mental attitude rally with a bunch of new success formulas.

The law of the harvest governs. Natural laws, principles, operate regardless. So get these agricultural principles at the center of your life and your [health].


History teaches that to the degree individuals live in harmony with correct principles, they prosper.

My intention behind this series is to help you set goals focused on developing habits in 2021. For example, she who sets the goal of developing the habit of eating vegetables twice a day will be healthier than the person who sets the goal of losing 20-lbs (assuming both people achieve these goals).

Goals focused on habit development abide by enduring principles; they change the individual from the inside-out. Goals focused on external measures (i.e. weight-loss) can be achieved in unhealthy, and quite damaging, ways.

“We must never get too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the axe.” This is done one principle at a time.

Stay tuned.


Daily Directive

I’m challenging you right now to workout 50 days in-a-row. Here is your workout today.

Day 18 (of 50)
AMRAP 12 Minutes:
24 Single Arm Dumbbell Thrusters 50/35
24 Sit Ups

Other Articles in this Series:
Laws of the Farm: Sleep
Laws of the Farm: Nutrition
Laws of the Farm: Exercise
Laws of the Farm: Mindset
Laws of the Farm: Connection

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