Time for a story!
Once upon a time… there was a carpenter who worked in a construction firm. When close to retirement age, he began to tire of his work and decided to ask his boss for early retirement.
His boss, open to hearing his petition, begged him to build one last house before leaving. Begrudgingly, the carpenter accepted, annoyed that he would have to wait a little longer to retire. He built the house as quickly as he could, cutting corners, using cheap materials and paying little attention to detail. He hired shoddy workmen and stayed in bed hiding when he should have been out checking on their work. As a result, the house was substandard, but the carpenter was unfazed – he knew he would be long gone before any complaints came in from the house’s future owner. When the house was finished, he reported to his boss that it was completed.
A few weeks later , when his last day of work came, the company held a special retirement ceremony for him. His boss gave a speech, thanking the man for his many years working with the company. Then, smiling, he handed the man the keys to the house he had built, saying: “Congratulations, my friend, all this time you were building your very own retirement present.”
If we give only the bare minimum, cutting corners and avoiding giving beyond what is in our job description, we are the ones who end up losing out, for we are not giving the best of ourselves. When we challenge ourselves to find new ways to give and exceed our own expectations, we find passion, satisfaction and a renewed sense of self-worth.
Through inner growth and the expansion of consciousness, the change in our attitude toward our work becomes even deeper. When our perception moves beyond the selfish, individualistic vision of what is ours, of our own lack, insecurities, and disappointments, when our sense of self transcends the limits of our personality to encompass all beings, we do everything to the best of our ability, for we know that with each thing we do and choose, we are giving to ourselves.
Why do we hold back from giving our best?
Why do we think we will be happy if we do less?