Career & Work Life Matters, ISSN 2150-6299, Vol 4, no. 8
A Tale of 3 Stone Masons: Which One Describes You?
|It’s easy to get so immersed in the busyness of everyday tasks that you lose sight of the real reasons you do what you do at work. Discover ways to reignite you own inspiration. Read this brief tale and learn a simple practice to begin cultivating your inspiration today.|
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Which type of stone mason are you?
Are you familiar with the story of the 3 stone masons? Review your personal inspiration for why you do the work you do in light of the message of this well-known tale.
A Brief Story …
One day, a man was out walking. He saw three stone masons and stopped to talk to them. He decided to ask each of them the same question: “What are you doing?” Here are the 3 responses.
1. The first stone mason replied:
This is my job. As you can see I am cutting stones. This is what I do every day. I come here each week so that I can make enough money to live.
2. The second stone mason replied:
I am cutting stones. Every day I do this. I do a great job. I am proud to be known as the best stone mason for miles around.
3. The third one replied.
I am creating a beautiful building. Look at this stone I am working on now. In years to come, you will be still able to see it. My children will be able to show it their children. The work I do on this stone now will bring pleasure to everyone that appreciates beautiful buildings.
As the man said goodbye and walked on, he began to wonder how the same question could yield should different responses.
What Inspires You?
How do you feel about the work you do?
In this story, despite doing exactly the same work, each stone mason had a very different perspective. The third stone-mason has found a way to inspire himself by connecting his work to the bigger picture.
What’s your perspective on what you do? It may be that your position is not a good fit for you and you need to make a change.
But no matter what your job, there are always times when you will feel less than inspired. When you are in the throes of the day to day demands it can be challenging to stay in touch with the big picture.
Reigniting your inspiration doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It can be a matter of training your self to pay attention to different things.
“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
― Vincent van Gogh
How to Inspire Yourself: An Easy Practice to Begin Today
Try the simple practice below to develop your awareness of what inspires you on a daily basis that you may not notice yet.
- Use your calendar, planner, or another tool you already use each day.
- Write down this sentence and complete it each day:
Today, I was inspired by or energized by ……….
- Plan to do it once a day for 10 days. It will be easier to remember if you associate it with something you already do. Choose a natural pause point, such as when you stop to have a coffee or review your tasks at the end of the day, and do it then.
- After 10 days review what you have written.What stands out? What do you observe about your responses? What changes do you notice?
- If it seems to be helpful, consider doing it more frequently during your day.
If you are in touch with why you do what you do at work will help you to build your resilience and make it easier to inspire others.