Below is an exerpt from a message to a business group in which participate. I wrote it the day after a meeting in which we stumbled on discussing "the meaning of life". One of the architects in the group expressed that he felt that contractors were often concerned with mundane matters such as running a profitable business rather than being concerned with "building something really special". I'd love to hear your thoughts.
"The Meaning of Life (as a Builder)"
In many ways I make little distinction between my personal and professional lives. Though half of our theme last night was "the meaning of life", not a lot was said about personal growth. My professional growth has been directly associated with my personal growth. As I mature I'm experiencing everything more deeply including my work. I assume that since all of you said, in one way or another, that you love your work that you too have experienced and are enjoying this rare opportunity. As we know, many others do not love their work. I didn't used to.
Mac, I read the articles you attached and I'm thankful that you always remind us that we should be vigilant because the buildings we create impact the occupants and many others and we should always take great care accordingly. That's one of the reasons I always enjoy doing public or commercial work-that so many people will experience it and that even I can often return to experience it.
So, yes, we should always do everything with as much care as possible whether we're installing crown molding or balancing our books. I'm now serving as my company's chief of everything from marketing to project management but it all supports the effort of creating buildings, hopefully beautiful ones. The business processes are the foundation that allows the building to happen. The more successful that effort the more our clients support our opportunity to create beautiful buildings. Building and maintaining the business takes every bit of creativity I can muster. This part of the work of building may seem mundane compared to implementing a nice detail with my hands, but that's a narrow view. Like anything, this work can be executed with imagination or simply by punching a ticket. It's really a function of the quality of the individual.
And finally, if you won the lottery tomorrow would you continue to get up the next day and do exactly the same work? Not me. Although I find great fulfillment in my work there are many other things I'd do in which I'd also find fulfillment. I'd spend more time with family and friends and build them homes at my pace. I’d play my guitar, I'd try to muster the courage to go build girls schools with Greg Mortensen in Afghanistan, I'd write, I'd...