“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln
You could say in one way that this quote promotes procrastination, or you can say that it encourages preparation for success. I believe that President Lincoln’s intention was to encourage preparation—the right kind of preparation. The best tool to chop down a tree is a sharp axe. If you try to chop a tree down with a dull axe, you will spend a lot of exhaustive time and energy on something that will take much longer than if you had spent time sharpening the axe. With a sharp axe, you are prepared and can chop that tree down in no time!
“Twenty years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Have you ever known someone who always talks about doing something different but just never seems to go for it? Maybe the person talks about wanting to move somewhere else and get out from under a mortgage, but he never makes a move to put his house on the market or look at other opportunities. Perhaps the person complains about his job and wishes that he could do something more meaningful, but never takes the steps towards looking for another position. Maybe the person is you.