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  • Writer's pictureJason Smith

Sawing Through Life's Challenges: Finding Strength in Persistence

Imagine getting to a job stepping out of the truck and seeing a pile of logs 24 inches in diameter, 12 feet long, 90 plus degrees and no shade. The client expects these logs to be turned into dimensional lumber in the next few hours. Never mind that one log weighs maybe 1500 pounds. Sawing logs requires an enormous amount of energy, effort, determination, and technique, so too does navigating life's challenges. Sometimes you get very lucky and the client gives you an amazing opportunity to show off your knowledge and experience. That was the case with this log a couple weeks ago. I took a curved log and figured out a way to saw it.


Sawing logs is very similar to life's challenges

  • Preparation: Just as you need the right tools and setup to saw logs, facing challenges in life requires preparation and planning. Although things don't always go as planned, be willing to adapt and change the plan to correct your course. Richard Gonzales describes in his book Deep Survival, don't be married to the plan but be willing to change in order to survive. So many times I have started sawing a log and realized that a knot on the inside of the log I couldn't see caused my blade to get off course and make a bad cut. I had to take a step back and rethink how I can saw with minimal impact due to this knot in the log.

  • Persistence: Sawing a log takes sustained effort, much like overcoming a difficult situation in our personal life or business.

  • Technique: There is a method to sawing logs efficiently, just as there are strategies to handle challenges effectively.


As the blade makes contact with the log, there’s an initial high-pitched whine, almost a sharp squeal, as the metal teeth bite into the wood. This sound quickly evolves into a consistent buzz. If you have heard it then you know it's unique sound and you never forget. When you hit metal or a nail hiding in a log then you hear a high pitched zing that will definitely get your attention. These are the sounds of sawing and as a sawyer they are music to my ears.


Just like in life, you have to find your rhythm when you are sawing logs. Usually, the first log of the day requires some minor tweaks and adjustments to make sure you get on the right path to making quality lumber. Some days its slow going but with persistence, right approach and mindset you begin to inch closer to the days goal. One cut at a time, just like one foot in front of the other you begin to chip away at it and after a couple hours of this, you see the results. The feeling you get when you see the client smile is immense, its a testament to the hard work determination you have endured for the day. Life is very much like sawing logs.


What am I reading? Ego is the enemy by Ryan Holiday I read Discipline is Destiny by Ryan awhile back and fell in love with his writing. I'm only one chapter into the book but I will certainly share sure some of the main points that resonate with me over the next couple weeks.


Best!



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1 Comment


tsmith103
Jul 07

Great analogy!

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