"I am building a great cathedral."

One of the best stories I recently heard about goal setting and instilling belief of achievement went something like this:

“There was a cathedral being built in ancient times. Three men were working with the heavy stones, straining, and sweating for long, hard hours. When asked what they were doing, the first man said he was working to put food on the table for his wife and children; he couldn’t wait until the day was done. The second man said he was just trying to survive; this was the only work he knew how to do. The third man answered, “I am building a cathedral.”

I love this story as it can be interpreted in numerous ways.

For example, unquestionably the best leaders create a compelling North Star vision inspiring great work. Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” methodology brilliantly communicates this theory.

Another great interpretation is having your proverbial “cathedral” in your own mind for your career or art. For example, some people want to start a company and sell it within 3-5 years. Other people want to build a generational-defining company (think 50+ years). Neither one is right or wrong, however it all depends on what that individual’s “cathedral,” is in their mind.

Overall, this story really helps clarify what skills you are working on and want to improve on, all while working towards the larger vision of your efforts.


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