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Building Our Own House - A Fable

There lived a man by the name of John whose job was to build houses.  He was at the top of his field and beat on his craft for 30 years. He was known all over the country for his work as Lebron James, Steph Curry, and Jennifer Lawrence were all former clients. John took pride in his work as he routinely arrived early and left late. He built a reputation of excellence as his attention to detail was unrivaled.

After 30 years of work, John told his boss his intentions of retiring. His boss thanked him for all the work he’s done but asked if he could do one more favor, he stated that they had a special client who wanted a house and they wanted John to be the one to build it. John was annoyed but begrudgingly agreed.

So John set out to build one last house but his heart was no longer in it. He found himself arriving late and leaving early. Things he used to take pride in, he began delegating to others. Although the house was up to code and passed inspection, he knew in his heart that he did not give his best effort.

Although the house was up to code and passed inspection, he knew in his heart that he did not give his best effort.

After the conclusion of the project, John went back to his boss and his boss thanked him for the last 30 years of excellence that he demonstrated day in and day out. In order to show John the company’s gratitude, he handed him a little box with a ribbon tied around it. When John opened the box, his heart immediately sank because inside that box were the keys to the house he had just built.

Many people fall into the same trap thinking, “my parents want me to get good grades”, “my coach wants me to work hard in the offseason”, “my boss wants me to excel on this project” all the while missing the fact that they are building their own house through their attitude, effort, actions, and reactions.

Time is the only resource that’s fair across the board meaning that a child living in poverty in Kenya, has the same amount of time that a child from a wealthy background has. It is up to us to maximize the 86,400 seconds that are given to us on a daily basis. How we use our time should be in direct proportion to the size of our dreams. If you were the CEO of your dream company or the GM of your favorite team, would you hire yourself based on your attitude, effort, actions, and reactions demonstrated on a daily basis?

*These thoughts are inspired from Joshua Medcalf and Jamie Gilbert’s Burn Your Goals.