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When work is pleasure, life is a joy. When work is a duty, life is slavery.  - Maxim Gorky, Russian Novelist

Often the difference between experiencing work as pleasure and work as duty lies in how we look at it. That is the point of the popular parable from medieval times that tells of a traveler journeying through Italy. He comes upon three stonecutters who are sweating and toiling under a glaring, hot, afternoon sun.

The traveler asks the first man: "What are you doing?" He replies, "I am cutting a stone."

Turning to the second man, the traveler asks: "What are you doing?" The second stonecutter replies: "I'm earning 100 lira per day."

Finally, the traveler asks the third man the same question. That worker responds: "I am building a beautiful cathedral that will last for centuries!"

Although all three were physical laborers, the difference in perception between the first two men and the third is enormous. The first was merely chipping away at a rock. The second man was simply earning a little money. But the third stonecutter saw himself as an artist contributing to his culture, adding value to his community and creating something of longstanding benefit to others.

Ask yourself three important questions:

  • How do I view work in general?
  • How do I view my specific work?
  • How do I view myself as a worker?

As you consider your answers, try to shape your work perception more closely to that of the third stonecutter. See yourself adding value to your community and creating something of longstanding benefit to others. 

Get things done in 2021!

Kinder Brothers International

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