Discover more from The Monday Morning Coach
Always Quit on a High Note
Effort in the little things will stay with you for a lifetime.
There's a story of a world-famous architect who built the most innovative homes like no other. During the architect's career, he worked for a company and helped it grow in prominence due to his ingenious designs. The architect also became a world-renowned designer known for his intricate details and meticulous work.
The architect never cut corners and put intense effort into every project. However, he eventually grew tired of his occupation, and though he still churned out good work, his work no longer gave him joy as it once did. When he finally decided to call it quits, he notified his employer, ready to begin a new endeavor.
But before he quit, his employer asked him to finish one final project. The architect was perturbed and uninterested, but after much prodding, pleading, and begging from his employer, he finally obliged. The architect quickly designed and constructed a home but didn't put much thought, effort, or ingenuity into the design.
When the architect finished, he delivered the final blueprints and the key to his employer. As he turned to leave, the employer grabbed him by the shoulder and handed him the blueprint and keys back.
"What's this?" The architect asked. His employer told him that for all his hard work and artistic effort, he wanted to include a home on the company's dime to gift to the architect.
This story comes from a short book titled Chop Wood, Carry Water which helped shape my coaching philosophy and the way I approach every opportunity to coach. As our society and expectations between employees and employers are rapidly changing, we must stay motivated to do good work, not just work that gets the job done. But where we root our motivation is essential.
If our motivation is rooted simply in the appeasement or praises of others or strictly in results, we will get worn down. Before we realize it, we're mindlessly doing unsatisfactory work because we've let our circumstances dry up our ambitions.
However, when moral principles like goodness and joy are our motivation, we can learn to fall in love with executing the little things all over again. We may even begin slowly enjoying the little parts of work because we "get to" instead of being forced.
We all have "houses" that we're building. Don't let the frustrations of today, this week, or this year ruin your finished product. The attention to detail and maintenance of habits for the little things you're doing now is what you will take with you when your opportunities to do what you want or be where you wish finally come to fruition.
So keep building and investing in the little things faithfully—even if you’re ready to change jobs. Your effort in the little things will stay with you for a lifetime.
Thanks for reading! Receive new posts and support my work. Consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.