“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” — John Ruskin
Does your work make you come alive?
Work can be the ultimate form of self-expression.
And so can any moment in your life when you use it as a learning opportunity, a leadership moment, or simply as a chance to express your values.
When you live life like a craftsman, you make your moments your masterpiece and you find more fulfillment.
And you can grow your greatness in the process.
In the book The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All, Jon Gordon shares a story about what it’s like to treat your work like a work of art and express yourself through whatever you do.
Approach Life as a Craftsman
If you want more from your moments, change your approach.
“’Once you design your masterpiece, you must be a craftsman in your approach to your life and work,’ the carpenter said as they drove down the highly toward the store.”
A Craftsman Creates a Work of Art
Don’t just get things done. Don’t just make things happen. Add the art part.
“All success starts with being a craftsman. A carpenter builds things. A craftsman creates a work of art. While most people approach their work with the mindset that they just want to get it done, craftsmen are more concerned with who they are becoming and what they are creating rather than how fast they finish it. After all, it’s no use finishing something if it’s not a work of art.”
Become More the Person You Were Meant to Be
You can use your work to become what you’re capable of.
“As a craftsmen, I know the things I build won’t last forever but I work and create as though they will. I pour my heart as a reflection of me. When I create art, I feel energized, and I energize all those who experience my work. And with each creation, I become more of the person I was meant to be.”
The World Needs More Artists
Craftsmen stand out from the crowd.
“The world is filled with those how get things done the fastest and the cheapest, but it needs more artists, craftsmen, and craftswomen. When you become a craftsman in a world of carpenters, you will stand out and people will clamor to work with you.”
You Will Know the Difference
When you design and create like a craftsman, you will know the difference.
“’When did you first realize the difference between a carpenter and a craftsman?’ asked Michael. The carpenter paused for a few moments as a tear ran down his cheek. ‘When I was a teenage, I was watching my father make a cabinet for the first time. He was using the finest and most expensive wood available. We didn’t have a lot of money so I asked him why he didn’t use cheaper wood for the back of the cabinet, which no one would see. My father shook his head and said no. I asked him why not, since no one will know. My father replied, ‘I will know. You will know. We will know.’”
Love What the Process Creates
It won’t be easy. But it’s worth it.
“That’s when I knew what it meant to be an artist. That’s when I knew I would be a craftsman even though the costs were greater. The wood was more expensive; the work required more energy, focus, and effort; the process was filled with more sweat and failures; and the years and tears it took to master my craft were greater, but it was the only way. My father taught me that when I fall in love with the process, I will love what the process creates.”
Do what makes you come alive. And breathe life into what you do.
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Image by Christopher L.