Digging Ditches with a Spoon

Anyone that has ever busted a knuckle trying to remove a rusty bolt with an old set of pliers knows the value of having the right tool.  Having the right tool is the lifeblood of a mechanic’s job.  Any mechanic will tell you, it’s not good enough just to have the right tool- you got to have the right tool for the right job.

Using the wrong tool makes work frustrating, difficult, and miserable!    Using the wrong tool is like trying to dig a ditch using a spoon.  If you drove down a country road and saw a grown man digging a ditch with a spoon, you’d think he was crazy.    Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, says this is what life is like when your priorities are out of whack. It’s like chopping down a tree with a dull axe.  (A lot of work with very little reward.)

The right tool for the right job

In order to make sure you’ve got the right tool, you first have to understand what you’re trying to accomplish.   Can you drive a nail with a sledgehammer? Yes!   You can drive it all the way through the wall, if you’re not careful. Sledgehammers weren’t made to drive nails.   They were made to break rock.

Only after you’ve determined what you’re trying to accomplish, can you find the right tool.   This principle is true at work, in marriage, and in life.   Therefore, in order to find the right tool for the right job-  you need to ask the question why?   Why am I doing this?   What am I trying to accomplish?

The most important tool in the tool box

The most skilled craftsmen in the world will tell you that one tool is the most important tool in the box.   It’s the same tool no matter what the profession.   It’s your brain!

You can chop wood with a dull axe until exhaustion.   You’ll get through a little bit of timber.   Stop for just a few moments, sharpen the axe, and you’ll get to a whole lot more wood.   In other words, working smarter always outperforms working harder!

Practice doesn’t make perfect

This calls into question the famous quote; “practice makes perfect.”   No it doesn’t! Not if you routinely practice poorly.   If you practice the same mistake over and over again, you are virtually guaranteed to make that mistake in execution.

Practice doesn’t make perfect – perfect practice makes for perfect execution! This quote also challenges us to use our brains.  Think through what you want to accomplish and what it will take in order to accomplish it.  Make sure you’ve got the right tool for the right job and you’ve got a much better chance at success.

Further reading

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