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Enduring Principles

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln

This week I’ll be writing about the laws of the farm–specifically, enduring principles related to sleep, nutrition, exercise, mindset, and relationships that will make you healthier.

These principles, if implemented, will sharpen your axe. This concept is taken from Stephen Covey’s book Principle-Centered Leadership.

The Law of the Farm

Procrastination and cramming don’t work on a farm. The cows must be milked daily. Other things must be done in season, according to natural cycles. Natural consequences follow violations, in spite of good intentions. We’re subject to natural laws and governing principles–the laws of the farm and harvest.

According to natural laws and principles, I must prepare the ground, put in the seed, cultivate, weed, and water if I expect to reap a harvest. So also in fitness, a marriage, or in helping a child through a difficult identity crisis–there is no quick fix, no instantaneous success formula where you can just move in by getting psyched up at some positive mental attitude rally with a bunch of new success formulas.

The law of the harvest governs. Natural laws and principles operate regardless. It’s time we get these principles at the center of our health.


History teaches that to the degree individuals live in harmony with correct principles, they prosper.

My intention behind this series is to help you set goals focused on developing habits in 2022. For example, she who sets the goal of developing the habit of eating vegetables twice a day will be healthier than the person who sets the goal of losing 20-lbs (assuming both people achieve these goals).

Goals focused on habit development abide by enduring principles; they change the individual from the inside-out. Goals focused on external measures (i.e. weight-loss) can be achieved in unhealthy, and quite damaging, ways.

“We must never get too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the axe.” This is done one principle at a time.

Stay tuned.


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