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The Stonemasons and the Cathedral Builder

Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, a traveler was walking through a construction site.

He asked the first worker he saw, “Sir, what are you doing?” The man looked aggravated and unhappy and barked at him, ”I’m trying to cut this hard stone, can’t you see?!”

As he came upon the second worker, he asked him the same question. He replied grudgingly, “I‘m cutting stone so I can take home 10 quid by the end of the week.”

As he made his way to a third worker, he posed the same question. This worker was different. He radiated and smiled in response to the question, and said, “Sir, can’t you see? I’m building a cathedral!”


Our outlook and perspective on why we do what we do - wether our focus is on the feeling of burden of the short term, or the glory of the long term, can change the way we motivate ourselves. Why work hard now? Is it just to get it done to check the box? Or is it for the bigger picture, the long term, the cathedral you are building?

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