Where you are today is the result of every choice and every action you did in your life.
A long, long time ago, in the Middle Ages, a pilgrim was on a long journey to a place of healing. This pilgrim was very wise and constantly questioned –aspects of his life. One day, he approached a quarry, and saw that several workers were employed there. “Desires,” he said; “why should I not ask them what they do?”
He walked over to the workmen who carved the stone from the quarry to make blocks. He asked the first worker, “What are you doing?” The worker looked up and replied immediately, without much excitement, “I’m cutting stone, don’t you see?” Slightly disappointed with this response, the pilgrim left the worker to go to another question. To the second worker, the pilgrim repeated his question, “What are you doing?” With a huge smile and a tone full of enthusiasm, the worker replied, “I work to build a cathedral!” This answer warmed the heart of the pilgrim who found that, despite his difficult and monotonous role, this worker was happy. He had a vision, and was conscious that his work was something greater than him. Thanks to his vision, he made his life more interesting.
What can we learn from this story? The meaning we give to our life is what nurtures motivation, and determines what we can expect. The two workers did the same work. They carved stone. However, the second gave meaning to his work, and was excited, because he was interested in its purpose.
You are like the stonemasons. If you limit what you hope for in life, you get exactly what lies within these limits. If you live simply in order to simply pay your bills every month, you will live without much enthusiasm. You will not want to get in the morning. You will look like the first stonecutter who lacked vision.
Often, we simply react. We do our daily activities without much thought. We act without worrying about the role our business plays in our lives and where it is leading us. We are fortunate to live in a prosperous society. We rarely suffer from hunger, and we need not fear for our safety. Yet many people live in great distress: they do not realize. As explained by the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow, the need for self-fulfillment is only felt strongly when all other needs are met (physiological needs, security and self-esteem, for example).
And where does this distress come from? It comes from the fact that few people decide to do what they would really like to do. “A musician must make music; an artist must paint; a poet must write, if he wants to find happiness […] [It is the] desire for self-realization, i.e., the tendency of individuals to become actualized in what they are. This trend can be formulated as the desire to become, from more and more what one is, to become everything one is capable of being.” (Abraham Maslow).
Do you go about your activities really knowing yourself? Are you self-realized as you do them? The purpose of this article does is precisely to help you move forward in this unique way of life. If you maintain a vision of abundance, what you get is virtually limitless. And your confidence, your security and your inner life satisfaction will increase as you progress.