Abraham Lincoln’s Advice for These Challenging Times

My son is a huge Abraham Lincoln fan. So much so that he dressed up like Lincoln for Halloween when he was 10. An interesting choice considering most of his friends were dressed up as superheroes, villains or cartoon characters. Regardless, he donned the beard, black coat and stovepipe hat and set out to pillage candy. The results were very impressive. Most people were so taken aback by his unique choice that they overwhelmed him with candy, often giving him far more than the group ahead or behind him.

I’m an Honest Abe fan myself and you may want to consider some of his advice.

Many of you have heard the woodcutters story, but for those who haven’t:

Two woodcutters set out for work in the morning. Woodcutter A feverishly cuts wood all day. Woodcutter B keeps stopping and sitting down. At the end of the day, Woodcutter B has more than triple the amount of wood than Woodcutter A. Bewildered, Woodcutter A asks: “How is that possible? You rested all day!” Woodcutter B responds: “I wasn’t resting, I was sharpening my axe.”

During these challenging times where the future of our economy, business and careers are perhaps less certain than before, most of us find ourselves working from home, or not at all. This is an ideal time to sharpen your axe.

Take this newfound time without a commute, less “water cooler” time and perhaps fewer meetings and reapply it to improve your skills and marketability. Take an online class. Study for a new certification. Read a book. Find a mentor. These improvements could be the key to getting that raise, obtaining a promotion or securing your next great career move!

Like Abe said, “Give me six hours to cut down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Eric Kinsey

Founder\CEO Forward Progress Staffing

Career Advice, News