You are the carpenter
Imagine for a minute that you’re a carpenter who just finished building your last house prior to retirement. As a general contractor, I come to you for a personal favor. I need you to build one last house before you hang up the tool belt for good.
You agree to it, but your heart really isn’t in your work. Each day, you show up to the job site and put in the necessary hours, cutting every corner possible (i.e. inferior materials). Frankly, the only thing on your mind is placing the last board and hammering the last nail. Suffice it to say, you’re just going through the motions.
Once you’ve finished, I show up the home site, hand you the front door key and simply say, “This is your house. My gift to you.”
Can you imagine the overwhelming feelings of frustration, regret, and guilt that would accompany this moment? If you had only known that you were building your own house, your attitude and effort would’ve been so much different.
Although the above scenario is fictional, there’s actually a home you’re building this very minute, often out of your awareness. It’s called your life.
So many of us suffer from the not now, maybe later syndrome. We say things like, “I’ll work on my attitude next week,” or “My effort will improve once I get some other things in order.”
Consider that the thoughts we think and the choices we make today build the house we live in tomorrow. While it’s certainly easy to blame the conditions of our house on other people or things, the reality is that we built it.
After reading this, you may feel a deep sense of regret, much like the fictional carpenter in the above story. You may be saying, “I wish I would’ve __________________ when I was younger.” If this is the case, I’ve got some good news for you. Since you are the carpenter, you possess the skills to remodel the home you’ve built. Put another way, you’re not stuck in your current home.
Below are 3 remodel strategies that you can begin to implement today.
Be clear on WHY you do what you do.
One of the biggest reasons why we go through the proverbial motions is the fact that our life (or work) is void of any purpose. The carpenter in the above story wasn’t building the house on purpose. He was building it out of obligation or necessity. In other words, he had to do it.
I invite you to get out a piece of blank paper and answer the following question – Why do you get out of bed each morning? Just write down whatever comes to mind. There’s no right or wrong answers. After you’ve brainstormed a list of answers, choose the one or two that resonate with you the most. These will essentially make up your Why Statement. Throughout the day, when you find yourself struggling to find motivation, simply refer to your Why Statement for some instant fuel.
Own your mistakes, then clean them up.
Mistakes are inevitable, but blaming and excuse making are choices. Imagine that each of your mistakes are akin to a crack in the window or a piece of torn carpet in your home. When you own them and clean them up, you’re actually repairing the mess and restoring the integrity of your home (life). However, when you blame others or make excuses, you’re simply pulling a shade down over the window or laying a blanket over the carpet tear. It’s a short term solution to a longer term problem.
Learn to embrace the grind.
It’s true that life can sometimes seem like a mental, emotional, and physical grind. No one is immune to this. I’ve never built a home, but I’m sure there are parts of the home building process that seem rather mundane or tedious. The same is true for life. Whether it’s the thousands of phone calls you need to make in order to land a big sale or the countless meetings you attend that seem to be pointless, they all lead in one direction – your dream home (goals). On the other side of the grind is a tremendous amount of gratitude. Gratitude for the values you obtained throughout the process (i.e. patience).
Every new day is a new opportunity to build the house (life) of your dreams. Build wisely!
I believe in you.