An elderly carpenter was due to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the business. His employer was sad to see him go. For many years, the carpenter had been his most loyal and diligent worker. Always producing outstanding work.
Before the employer granted his request, he asked for one last favor. Build one more house. The carpenter agreed though his heart was not in it. This became clear when construction began. He took shortcuts and used inferior materials. His focus was on getting the job done not on getting it done to the best of his ability.
When the house was completed, the employer came to inspect the work. He said nothing while looking around. When he was done he handed the keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your house, it’s my gift to you.”
The carpenter was shocked and embarrassed. Shocked by the generosity of his soon to be former employer. Embarrassed because he knew he had done a poor job. A job way below his usual standard.
He kept thinking “If only I had known, I would have made sure that everything was done right.”
There are going to be days when you’re working on your craft that you’ll be tempted, just like the carpenter was, to cut corners. To avoid doing what needs to be done for one reason or another. Train yourself to fight that temptation with every fiber of your being.
Always do what needs to be done. Your work says nothing about the people who observe it or receive it. It however, says everything about you and your standards, values, and beliefs. Your work will always sell you up or sell you out.
The universe does not set standards. It does not ask you, with the dawning of each new day, to do what needs to be done. It will accept whatever you offer it. However, it does so with a catch. The rewards it gives in return are solely based on the standards you have set for yourself.
You, and only you, can raise your standards to ensure that what needs to be done gets done and gets done when it needs to be done. Doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done means you’ll always be prepared. As Whitney M. Young Jr. said, “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
This present moment is all that you have. Do what needs to be done. As Steve Maraboli said, “The value of a moment is immeasurable. The power of just ONE moment can propel you to success and happiness or chain you to failure and misery.”