Written by: Navi Ganancial, Consultant at Ivanhoe & McToterson
In my collection of random quotes and writings, I found a story titled ‘The Carpenter’ that I wanted to share with my readers. The author is anonymous, but much credit is due for this simple, yet powerful tale. In keeping with this blog’s theme of business-related content, when you read the story below, I want you to think of the following:
1. How does this story relate to you in terms of your work ethic?
2. How are you building your career-track now and for the future?
3. What do you want out of work and life? What steps today will it take to get you there tomorrow?
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go, and he asked his worker if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we’d do it much differently. But we cannot go back.
You are the carpenter each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or put up a wall.
“Life is a do-it-yourself project,” someone has said. Your attitude and the choices you make today will shape the house that you build for yourself tomorrow. Build wisely!