I was listening to Les Brown’s Shoot for Moon audio where he talks about how you owe it to yourself to do your best. Les read a short story that was so gripping; it would be an injustice not to share it with you. It’s called, The Builder:

There was a man who was an efficient builder. He’d worked at a large company for years and had reached the age of retirement, when his employer asked him to build one more house. It was to be his last commission.

The builder took the job but his heart was not involved; he used inferior materials, timber was poor, and he failed to see the many things that would have been clear to him if he had shown even his normal interest in his work.

When he’d finished the house, his employer came to him and said, “The house is yours. Here’s the key. It’s a present from me”. The builder immediately regretted not using the best materials or the most capable workers. If only he’d known that the house was for him.

Moral: Commit to giving your best effort because it may be your karma.

What a mind-blowing story don’t you think? Imagine if all the half-assed things you did was given to you as a reward. Would you even want it? If ever there was a reason to avoid doing a crappy job, this is it.

Everything you do serves as a representation of you. You owe it to yourself to portray the best version of who you are. Never mind what people think of you, never mind if you’re not really interested in doing what you’re doing right now, if you’ve committed to something, maintain it. Your output will be marked as your level of capability and consistency.

The easiest way to remind yourself to continually do your best,  is to ask yourself whether you’d sign your name to that job for all the effort you’ve put in. The work you did today, was that your best effort? The cracks of half-assed jobs begin to show sooner or later; you cannot hide what you didn’t do or lack. Let that resonate with you.

Would you like to suggest a motivational story to feature? I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment in the space below, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

Image source: Ryan McGuire/Gratisography

Author: Robyn


  1. Luvuyo February 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Just beautiful

    1. Robyn - Site Author February 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks Luvuyo! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. dusty_web_admin February 19, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I love it, a rather sobering thought.

    1. Robyn - Site Author February 22, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks Dusty. I’m glad you enjoyed it. These are things that I’m sure you already know. Sometimes you just need a little reminder…

  3. Janet Sunderland February 21, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Ya know, sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is the biggest motivator. Just one step at a time.
    Great post!

    1. Robyn - Site Author February 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you so much Janet. I think that this post also served as a reminder to myself – to keep pushing. I’ve just read your Ash Wednesday post and it’s amazing. You are such a great writer. Reading your post made me realize how much time I’m wasting, focusing on finding stability, when I should be exploring and developing new stories. I’m really happy to have connected with you and I look forward to learning more from you.


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