I hope you build wisely
From the book “Chop Wood, Carry Water,” by Joshua Medcalf
“…there once was a man named Kota who built some of the finest houses in all of Tokyo. His work became world famous due to his dedication to the process, his willingness to beat on his craft, and his relentless devotion to keep learning, even late into his career. Eventually though, Kota grew tired of building homes for other people and he was ready to retire. He had been building homes for over thirty years, and he was ready to move on. He wanted to travel and spend lots of time with his grandkids.
One day, Kota approached his boss, and turned in his two-week notice.
His boss said, “Kota, we are forever indebted to you for the magnificent work you have done for our company, and we are so grateful you have worked for us for so long. We do have one favor to ask of you though. Could you please build one more house? It is a very important house, for a very important client, and everyone in the company agreed it needs your magic touch!” Kota was frustrated. He would have to cancel two trips and postpone his new life, all for one house. He told his boss that he needed a day to think about it. After talking it over with his wife, he gave in and decided he would build one more house. But he told his boss, “This is the very last one!”
But while Kota had agreed with his head to build this last house, his heart was no longer in it. He had always been very hands-on through the entire building process, always selecting the finest materials by hand and making sure every detail was diligently tended to.
But this house was different.
He viewed it more as an obligation than an opportunity. He delegated much of the work, and consequently a lot of things started slipping through the cracks. The house would be up to code, but as it started to come together, it was obvious that it lacked the “wow” factor that Kota’s other homes were known for. Kota knew in his heart that this was far from his best work, but he was over it and ready to move on to the next phase of his life. The next phase was much more appealing and important to him.
“He went back to his boss, telling him, “I did what you asked. Now I am asking, one last time, for your blessing to retire.”
His boss said, “Thank you Kota! We just have one more thing!”
Now Kota was beginning to get really upset because he thought they were going to ask him to build another house. His boss reached into his desk and pulled out a very small black box with a red ribbon tied around it. He handed the box to Kota, and said, “We are so grateful for you, Kota. This gift is a token of our appreciation.”
Kota pulled the ribbon, opening the box to discover a set of shiny new keys. His boss smiled, “The house is yours! You deserve it!
Immediately, his heart sank. Unbeknownst to Kota, the whole time he had been building his own house. If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have cared so much more. He would have only used the finest materials, and he would have overseen every detail and given it his all like he had always done. But now, it was too late.”
Author Joshua Medcalf states, “The only thing that is truly significant about today, or any other day, is who you become in the process. Each of us are building our own house. Sometimes you might think you are building for your school, your family, your company, or your team, but you are always building your own house… I hope you build wisely.”
Your WOD for Wednesday, October 11th 2017 is: