The Carpenter
Posted on 7/23/2011 by Alan Rousso
Categories: Metaphoric Stories Personal Growth Coaching Distinctions

Sam had worked his entire life as a carpenter. He had developed a reputation of doing the finest work in the land and for over 30 years, he had created the most meticulous work, the finest craftsmanship, yet the time had come for him to retire from what he loved most... his work! 

Sam approached his boss and told him that he had spent the better part of his life working diligently, yet the time had come for him to leave.

His boss reluctantly understood, but asked a small favor... "Before you retire, could you please build one more house for me?" Sam thought about it, and while his head said yes, his heart just wasn't into it... reluctantly he said yes.

Sam showed up the next day to build this new house, however, he did not take the time to do meticulous work... instead, he used shoddy materials, started taking short cuts, and the workmanship was not up to his standards or ability. While inherently he knew this, he plodded along, doing whatever he needed to do, just to finish the job and get done.

Weeks and months went by until the house was finally finished. The house looked great from the outside, yet Sam knew that the work he had done was sub standard. The fine craftsmanship that he was so accustomed to creating was just not there.

Sam announced to his boss that the house was completed and thanked him for the years of support and friendship. A part of Sam was glad it was just over while an emptiness remained in his heart, knowing that this was not the type of work that gave him the pride of accomplishment that he had become so familiar with. 

As Sam stood before the house waiting for his boss to sign off on the work he had completed, something strange was happening. All the workers that Sam had ever interacted with were showing up at the site! His boss arrived and Sam just had to inquire, "What's going on?... why are there so many people here?"

Sam's boss looked at Sam and told him the news... "Sam, you have worked diligently with us for over 30 years, have produced extremely good work and time has come for me to repay you for all your years of dedication and service... the house that you just built is YOUR house... our present to you!"

Sam was shocked... had he known that this last house he was building was the house that he was going to live in, he would not have cut corners... he would not have done shoddy work, yet this is what he had built. 

Whenever you are engaged in any activity, whether it is working on a patient, spending time with your family, or doing something for yourself... do it to the best of your ability and enjoy the process of just doing it while remaining present... because...

"Whatever your get... you give yourself!" Build a great life or you get to live in something less your best!

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