Do you know the story about the two stone cutters? When asked what he’s doing, the first man replies, “I’m cutting this stone into bricks.” When the second laborer is asked what he’s doing, he replies, “I’m building a temple.”
There is this girl in my office. She comes on-time almost every day (Sharp, 10:00 AM), Does get her work completed and leaves soon as the clock strikes 7:00 PM. She does what’s told to her, but you’ll have to tell her everything, very clearly written and explained (ambiguity does not get into her intellect). She won’t question why is she doing that she doing and shall keep on doing what is told like a machine would do. She won’t suggest new ideas, won’t think ways to troubleshoot any issues and shall ask questions about everything that’s not written in her explanation document (Not why to do, but how to do). However she’ll listen what’s told. Take notes and get done what you tell her (has to be clearly explained though).
There’s this another girl. She’s almost always late. Would give a new excuse every time, promise that she won’t be late the next time and that just does not happen – Health, family, bus, train, weather, rains, traffic, alarm, festivals and even broken shoe/unwashed dress and what not. All those obstructs exclusively to her, especially when she’s on her way to office.
She does get great work done though. You only have to tell her what you need and she’ll research extensively, analyse everything by her own, come up with an entire plan, forecast all the possible difficulties, list out all the resources required, commit time that’s needed to complete and shall get it done on time, despite getting late in reaching office almost every day.
Both these girls have joined office almost together (Kind of 2 days of difference in terms of joining date) and interestingly earned same degrees in terms of their academic qualifications. Their job profiles, in fact when started were same, which have now changed based on their performance though.
First one works in fear and does what she’s told without bothering about why she’s doing it. She clearly works for pay cheque and that’s all she’s interested in.
Second one, though irregular in terms of timings, works for the purpose. She gets done what she’s told with extreme dedication, mindfulness and integrity.
Who do you think cutting the stones and who’s building the temple?
This is what we do in our lives too. Think about the job you do. Why do you do what you do? Do you go for your job only because it provides you money to feed yourself and the family? Or you go to perform your job to make a difference in the world?
Every job in the world, if you think mindfully is extremely important and meaningful.
Doctors and fireman saves lives, teachers educate our children and shape their future, judges and lawyers ensures that justice is dispensed, receptionists at the hospital or court counter ensures that you get access to health/justice, Telephone operator at the fire brigade plays equally important role in timely listening the issue and sending appropriate fireman at the given address.
No matter what you do, however big/small it’ll look to you, plays a critical role if you do it dedicatedly and purposefully.
However, most of us are doing our jobs just as a way to earn money, without even pondering upon the higher purpose that it can serve and the difference it can bring.
We perform sub-standard work, count hours while on the job and somehow pass the time and collect the pay cheque at the end of the month. It however translates into low payouts, poor job satisfaction, slow promotions, work stress and disappointment subsequently.
Look at the relationships that we have. So many spouses have become just a person who can bring money/cook food and have sex with you. Parents have become just the source of feeding you. Friends have become just fun counterparts when you need them – for some loan you want or simply to pass time once in a while when you’re getting bored.
Look health for a moment. We walk slow and talk more while on the morning walk. Eat sugarfree in the name of losing weight. Take medicines but do not follow the precautions advised by doctors.
If you choose to sit down and think for a moment, all this is adversely affecting the quality of your life and potential differences you could bring in all the areas be it work, relationships, friendships or health.
At this very moment of life, you have two clear choices to choose from. You can choose to continue like it is – un-purposeful work, surface level relationships, selfish friendships, drama of self-care and morningwalk and so on, or you can choose to be highly dedicated and purposeful about your work, deeply connected and committed in relationships, strong and selfless friendships and devoted personal/health care.
In each area of your life whether you’re working on a job, serving a client, making sales, being in relationship or even having fun. You have this choice to make whether you want to keep on cutting stones or you’d like to build a Temple (metaphorically)
There’s definitely no problem in keep on cutting stone, but you just won’t get anywhere.
If you choose to build temple, don’t just work, work what you love. Don’t work merely for pay cheques, work for building projects and a better organization. Don’t just have relationships for the sake of having them, Fully devote yourself, give all your love, care and affection and have a deepest, inseparable connection with them.
No matter what you do, to build temple is to do that with extreme dedication, devotion, commitment and purpose. To build temple is to fully enjoy what you’re doing and accomplishing deepest joy possible (both for yourself as well as others).
“Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.”
– A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
So what’s your choice? Cutting stones or building temple?