How to Chop Wood

Icon thx Nicholas Menghini via nounproject
Icon thx Nicholas Menghini via nounproject

While chopping wood with some friends today (as you do on a lazy Sunday afternoon), one friend shared a piece of advice for a good chop, which was:

Focus on what you want to hit.

Which is kind of obvious, really.

If you play baseball or golf, you’ll undoubtedly hear someone advising another player to keep their eye on the ball. It should be obvious that if you’re trying to hit a ball, you should actually be looking at it. But it’s amazing how easy it is to be thinking about how far the ball will fly, or how fast you’ll have to run to make it to first base, or the girl in the stands you’re trying to impress.

Chopping a log and hitting a ball all require complete focus on the present moment and the task at hand. Look up too soon or get caught daydreaming and you’ll miss completely.

On any given day it’s easy to get caught up in the million things going on, what we should be doing, what someone else needs from us, and our weekend plans. How often are we completely focused on the task of the moment or giving our full attention to the person we’re talking to right then?

And it’s interesting to note that you can’t chop a whole pile of wood by focusing on the whole pile. The only way to reach your goal is to focus on the log right in front of you (something Greg alluded to today as well).

What if you, for even one hour in the day, would narrow your focus entirely to the conversation or the task of that moment?