I wrote a book called The Carpenter but it's really about being a craftsman/craftswoman. What's the
difference? A carpenter builds things. But a craftsman/craftswoman puts
their heart and soul, spirit and passion into their work to create a
The truth is
it's easier to just show up. It's easier to go through the motions at
work, at home, in your job, or sport. It's easier to be mediocre.
But nobody remembers average. Going through the motions won't make an impact. Just showing up doesn't lead to greatness.
Michelangelo said, "If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."
It's hard to be great. It's difficult to create a masterpiece. But it's well worth the effort.
So if I just
work hard I can become a craftsman many ask? Actually it requires more
than effort. It's not just about hard work. It's about what drives you
to work hard in the first place.
I was speaking
to a group or professionals one time and I asked, "Who believes they can
work harder than they already are?' Everyone raised their hand.
So what's the next question? Why aren't you?
We discussed it
and decided that to work harder you have to care more. When you care
more you will do more, create more and become more.
When Steve Jobs
was a boy his father was building a fence in the backyard. Steve
noticed that his father was using the finest wood and applying special
care for the back of the fence just like the front. Steve asked his dad
why he was doing this since no would see it and no one would know.
Steve's dad looked at him and said, "You will know. I will know.'
Steve said it
was a defining moment in his life and is the reason why he designed
Apple products with such craftsmanship and care. Even the inside of the
iPhone is designed beautifully because Steve was a craftsman. In fact
Apple's Chief Designer Jonathan Ive famously said, "We believe that our
customers can sense the care we have put into our product and design."
When you are a craftsman in a world of carpenters, people will clamor for your product or service and your craftsmanship.
And here's the
great news. We can all be a craftsman or craftswoman. It doesn't happen
right away. There's no such thing as an overnight success. You will have
to try new things, fail, learn, improve and grow. You'll face countless
challenges and tons of rejection that make you doubt yourself and cause
you to want to quit. But if you see yourself as an artist dedicated to
your craft with a desire to get better and you show up each day and put
your heart and soul into your work you'll get there and the world will
be better for it.
There's a word I
love and it's called Meraki. It sounds like it's a Japanese word but
it's actually a Greek word and it means to do something with love,
creativity and soul; to leave a piece of yourself in your work; to leave
Being a craftsman/craftswoman is all about Meraki.
Put your love and soul into it.
Leave a piece of yourself in whatever it is you are building.
Leave something behind.
Create a masterpiece that reflects the essence of your love, energy, effort and craft.