The benefits of sharpening your axe.

(Life Design & Productivity Tip)

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As part of my ongoing mission to explain seemingly inexplicable results along the creative path, there’s a revelation from my Life Design adventures that I feel called to share with you.

It’s one of my favourite productivity tips – even though it seems counter-intuitive, it works like magic! 


The Benefits of Sharpening Your Axe

The following practice is for you, if you’ve ever felt any confusion, frustration or doubt about ideas such as;

Build it and they will come.”

“Do what you love, and the money will follow.”

“Leap and the net will appear.”


While these are all inspiring ideas, for many of us, real-life experiences don’t always lived up to the promises.

However, I’ve noticed that all of the above can be true – with one key caveat:

Under certain conditions.

Under certain conditions, we can bring our dreams to life in a way that is effortlessly magnetic to success and the perfect people.

Under certain conditions, we can crack the code of doing the work we love and enjoying what I call Dharma Wealth – the Holy Grail for many creatives.

Under certain conditions, we can take bold, courageous leaps of faith and find that not only does the net spontaneously and miraculously appear, we also get to glide on divine airstreams that support our perfect landing.

So now you’re probably wondering…

What are these all-important and all-powerful conditions?!?

Answering that wonderful question is essentially what my work has been focused on for the last decade.

And there’s a quote I love that sums up this idea beautifully;

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree,

I’d spend six sharpening my axe.”  


Why sharpen your axe?

Many a craftsperson or master in their field will tell you the key role that preparation plays in the end result and its ultimate success.

However, there is often an emphasis on doing, yet in my studies, experiments, and analysis, I’ve begun to see that the real magic often comes more from being.

I’ve learned that our energy, emotions, mindset, intentions, identity and belief systems – who we are and how we show up – these actually play a far bigger role in the end results than is commonly believed.

These are the conditions that can make that all-important difference.

And the good news?

These conditions are cultivatable!

Over the last few years, I’ve been refining my Life Design process to such an extent that a large portion of my day is now devoted to ‘sharpening my axe’, ie the habits and practices that I’ve developed to cultivate the right conditions for my desired results.

And not only have I seen more success from less work, I’ve also found a new sense of ease and flow in my work that has doubled if not tripled my productivity. 

Time invested in my preparatory practices is richly rewarded with a more streamlined effectiveness and an uncanny alignment with the right activity at the right time. (Saves hours, if not days!)

Most days – after cultivating the right conditions – my creative work feels aligned, effortless, inspired and joyful.

Days go smoothly.
Pieces magically fall into place.
Plans work out more often.
Inspiring, like-minded people show up out of the blue.
And delightful, serendipitous results manifest, all by themselves.

So, I am a total convert to my daily axe-sharpening practices. 🙂

Having spent a number of years more baffled by what’s going wrong than why things are going so well, this new MO is both a revelation and a joy.

And I want everyone to experience this magic! Starting with you.

If you’d like to short-cut your results and access the practices that are working so well for me this year, I share all the details in Hello Flow, along with support resources for implementing them in your own life.

(Some of them are so easy you won’t believe they can be effective – but they really are!)

But as much as I’m convinced by these practices, we’re all different, so the things you do to cultivate those life-enhancing and liberating conditions for success and happiness will be unique to you.

And if discovering your magic formula is something you’d like to work on – so you can build it and they will come, do what you love and see the money rolling in, and leap with more faith and confidence – I have three recommendations for you…

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Sharpening your axe

How to cultivate the right conditions
for more ease, flow & success

1. Just observe:

Simply begin to be more aware of when things work out well for you.
When does life flow?
Where do you get your best ideas?
What makes you feel aligned, lit up and inspired?

Over time, these insights will help you to cultivate the conditions that work best for you.

• • •

2. Approach your life as a design challenge:

The subtle mindset shift of approaching your life as a design challenge – with you as Creative Director – can be both empowering and fun.

This blog post, How To Design Your Life, reveals more about the benefits and how to begin.

• • •

3. Short-cut your trial-&-error process:

If you’d like to tap into the many lessons I’ve learned in my decades of experimentation and analysis, you can fast-track your progress in cultivating the right conditions for you.
Your Creative Life, By Design will help you identify the people, places, schedules, activities, environments, habits, beliefs, sights, sounds, smells and even the food and drink that will align your life with more creative success and the many joyous ripple effects that follow. 
So, I hope my recent insights will inspire you to begin cultivating the conditions that support your wonderful work in the world, as well as your success and, of course, your joy in the journey.

Because it’s not always about what we do so much as how we do it.
Or to quote from The Desire Factor, the audiobook I’m loving at the moment; 

“It’s not about the actions we take,
it’s about the energy we cultivate within us
and then infuse into those actions.”

And I’d LOVE to hear what you discover works like magic for you.

danielle raine creativity coach

PS If you feel called and ready to go all in and cultivate those ideal conditions for more ease, joy, flow and success, you can access everything I’ve learned and shared in all my programmes over the last decade with my new VIP All-Inclusive Creative Support System.

It includes both Hello Flow and Your Creative Life By Design!

It’s called Creative Diamond, because like a diamond, your creative spirit is uniquely colourful, brilliant, dazzling and incredibly strong…

Under certain conditions!

This year-long devotion to your creative self is designed to help you identify and implement those conditions, so you can design, create, and enjoy the life that’s calling you.

More details below if this sounds like creative heaven for you…

Hi! I'm Danielle.

creative coach danielle raine

creative coach danielle raine l



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