According to an old parable, three men were working hard cutting stone from large blocks of granite. When asked what they were doing, the first fellow said, “I’m making bricks.” The second said, “I’m creating a foundation for a large building.” The third person answered, “I’m building a cathedral.”
They are doing the exact same job, and all three responses were accurate, but they reveal the huge difference attitude makes. It’s the difference between tolerating or enjoying one’s life, between thinking small or large.
Just like the stone cutters, most of us have a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how we experience and interpret situations. It’s pretty clear that the fellow who saw himself playing an important role in building a grand cathedral is much more likely to feel good about his work and his life than the guy who defines his job as making bricks.
A bookkeeper for a school may think of herself as someone who just works with numbers or as part of an enterprise that educates children. A math teacher can characterize himself as someone who teaches long division, someone who seeks to make all math interesting and understandable, someone who teaches students how to learn difficult concepts, or, larger yet, someone who helps young people develop attitudes and skills that will help them lead worthy and successful lives.
What do you do?
Don’t minimize yourself by just describing the tasks you perform; think big,
There is no job that can’t be meaningful and gratifying, if not because of how it fits into a larger picture of producing human happiness, then at least in terms of the gratification you can feel simply from a job well done.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.