I don't actually know the official "name" of this parable, or where it originated from, or if I have the story right. All I know is that I learned it from my Dad who learned it from his Dad and it made an impression on me as a young child. The rock shown above was given to me by my grandfather and is a physical reminder of this story.
Two miners are tasked with the challenge of building a tunnel through a section of rock, and they are given the option of two tools. The first option is the mighty sledge hammer, and the second option is a modest tack hammer. The first miner strides up and confidently takes the sledge hammer, proclaiming that the strength and power of the sledge hammer will surely break through the rock faster than the puny tack hammer. The second miner walks up and looks down thoughtfully at both hammers, and gingerly takes the tack hammer. The following day they begin digging their respective tunnels. The man with the sledge hammer vigorously strikes the rock, becoming winded quickly and taking breaks frequently. The other man chips away at the rock with his tack hammer steadily all day. As night falls and the first miner gives up for the day, exhausted and sore, claiming that tomorrow will be more fruitful. The second miner feels indefatigable, and diligently tacks away through the night, slowly but surely tunneling through the stone. By the end of the week the first miner has made progress, but plagued by blisters and fatigue, has not finished. The second miner, although tired from his consistent effort, has broken through the mass of rock, thus the victor in the challenge.
Is there an area of your life where you are using a sledge hammer where a tack hammer would better serve you?