An old man living down the end of a street was told he has a few weeks to live due to a heart cancer infection. He was a very skilled carpenter who had done a lot of outstanding work for important people in his community. So, naturally, he excelled in his dealings with people. They loved him because he met deadlines and never disappointed. He had spent several years doing good work but never got satisfied despite all the recommendations he received from his customers. He was always working and constructing art with wood, and his finishing is always top-notch. He spent a lot of time at his workshop doing his job but never got satisfied. He would always look down on himself.
Few days to his death, the old man walked down to his workshop to inspect his finished works. However, at the sight of these works, he wasn’t motivated and felt too empty and unhappy. While he was standing staring at his works, a friend came in with an expatriate. The old man’s friend introduced the expatriate to the old man as a foreign investor. He had referred to the old man as the best carpenter he ever knew which is why the expatriate was so eager to meet him. The expatriate was so excited about the works he saw inside the old man’s workshop.
He asked, “You made these beautiful things with wood, and these tools you constructed?”
“Yes,” the old man replied.
The expatriate then commended him and decided to give him a gift. The old man rejected the offer and said, “It’s not a perfect job.”
The expatriate wasn’t encouraged by the old man’s reply. He left disappointed and advised the old man to appreciate his efforts no matter how little. It is one of the keys to living a comfortable life while giving your all to achieve mastery in your skills.
The condition of that old man is similar to many young learners today, who acquire a certain skill that can take them from one point to another point of their career. They, however, look down on it because they think it lacks purpose. One finds a purpose when one decides to commit his time to learn. The old man was consistent throughout his lifetime, yet, felt empty.
You need to stay focused and believe in that purpose for scaling. Being consistent is the way to mastery.
Ideas are everywhere and you have something unique that makes you different from every other person, something you can do better than any of your colleagues. You just have to identify that uniqueness and work on it daily.
It took a craftsman more than seven hours daily to work on a metal forming. He got inspired because he felt right while doing it. This is how you should look at your skills. You must feel right learning it and own a purpose that drives you. Your ability to improve is important, no one is too late to adapt to a new working strategy.
But all in all, as you stay consistent, also reward yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for your little wins. Self appreciation fuels consistency. Even more, community fuels consistency. Surround yourself with people who appreciate your work and share similar passion, goals or interests. In times when you can’t self motivate, they will motivate you. One of those amazing communities is Ingressive For Good Circles.
At I4G Circles, we are a community made up of Young Africans passionate about Tech and leveraging it to solve problems. Join the H.A.C.K Community, let’s help you stay motivated and consistent.
I really enjoyed the piece, but should we say the old man wasn’t consistent throughout his course or he lacks inner satisfaction?
He was consistent but he didn’t have a community around him to fuel his self-belief and appreciation for his work, so he spent more time criticizing than appreciating his efforts.
[…] right now, time would come and you’ll have it at the tips of your fingers, you just have to be consistent. Maybe someone you started learning about web development with is already building amazing stuff […]
What a pity!
I feel the old man is like most of us. We are not aware of the infinite potential buried inside of us. Only if we can believe in ourselves and unleash it. In any craft, we need self-motivation especially for times when nobody seems to acknowledge our work especially after putting in a lot of effort.
My takeaway from this story is that:
* I should celebrate my wins no matter how little.
* Talk to myself like a good friend will when I lack inner motivation.
I got value!
Good to hear it.