Are You Taking Shortcuts?

There was once a man in Japan named Kota who had built some of the finest houses in all of Tokyo.

Through his dedication to the process of building these houses, continuing to beat on his craft day in and day out, and always learning, the houses he built became famous.

Eventually, Kota got tired of building and wanted to retire. He was ready to hang up the tools and start traveling and spending a lot more time with his grand-kids.

Kota put in his two weeks notice at his job.

His boss thanked him for his work and didn’t know how he could his gratitude but wanted one more job done by Kota.

Kota got frustrated because he already had two trips and had put his new life of retirement on hold for one more project.

Unlike the other houses he has built in the past, his heart wasn’t in it anymore, but he agreed with his head.

This house was much different than the other ones Kota has built.

He didn’t view this project as an opportunity like the other ones, but as an obligation.

Pushing most of the work onto the others and not paying great attention to the small details, the project started slipping through the cracks.

This house just wasn’t as great as the other ones Kota has built. He knew it wasn’t as good, but at this point he was over it and just wanted to be onto the next phase of his life.

Kota’s next phase of his life was much more important to him than the present moment, which was building this last house.

Finally done with the house, he went back to his boss and told that he was done.

His boss had one last thing for him. In a small black box with a beautiful red ribbon around it was the key to this new house. This house he built was now his own.

Kota’s heart sank as he knew this house wasn’t his best at all.

He definitively would’ve paid more attention to the small details and what type of materials he was using if he knew it was his house.

But now it’s too late.

This story was part of a book called Chop Wood, Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf.

The point of the story is the only truly important thing about today is who we become in the process.

If you skip some steps or take shortcuts to get to the top, what good does that do?

Would you want a heart surgeon to take shortcuts on the procedure they’re doing for you? What about the pilot that’s driving the plane you go on?

I’m guessing you wouldn’t want them to take any shortcuts at all since your life is potentially on the line.

So why should you take shortcuts in your life? The little things that don’t seem to matter in the present, eventually build into a big problem over time.

Don’t take shortcuts, pay attention to the small details, and fall in love with the process of becoming great.

Because in the end, you’re the only one working on your house.

Build wisely.

Thanks and Be Great,


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