Two of the oldest and most respected of professions have a saying that I’m particularly fond of- “Measure twice, Cut once”.
Carpenters and masons have been living by this mantra for centuries and have been responsible for building some of the world’s most fantastic structures from the Parthenon to the Pyramids and the Coliseum to the beautiful monuments in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. These structures have stood the test of time and outlived their makers many times over.
I’m certain that at the outset, someone rebuked the idea of building these structures dubbing the concept impossible or unrealistic. There have always been skeptics and people commonly accept bad news- think about your daily news report. How much of that litany is positive? Hardly any. Bad news sells.
But bad news has never been responsible for building anything of worth, and the people who create greatness quickly learn to turn a deaf ear to the voices who shout what can’t be done and spend more time focusing on those who figure out how it can be accomplished.
In the coming new year, it’s important that we rely on advice that moves us forward toward greatness and not back toward mediocrity. You can trust the mantra of the greatest builders and apply it to your life, organization, and family- “Measure twice, cut once”.
Monday Morning Perspective
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
– Edith Lovejoy Pierce
As we peer ahead into 2012 we look at a block of time- prime for measuring.
We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds.
All of it is a gift. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.
Yet this gift of time is not ours alone. It is given equally to each person. Rich and poor, educated and ignorant, strong and weak—every man, woman and child has the same twenty-four hours every day.
But there are things about time that we must accept.
First, you cannot stop it. There is no way to slow it down, turn it off, or adjust it. Time marches on whether we want it to or not.
Perhaps most importantly, you cannot bring back time. Once it is gone, it is gone. Yesterday is lost forever. If yesterday is lost, tomorrow is uncertain.
We may look ahead at a full year’s block of time, but we really have no guarantee that we will experience any of it.
Obviously, time is one of our most precious possessions. We can waste it. We can worry over it. We can spend it on ourselves. Or, as good stewards, we can invest it in the activities that will improve the world around us.
This New Year is full of time. So as the seconds tick away, will you be tossing time out the window, or will you make every minute count?
When you measure your year, be prepared to take calculated risks. Measuring that second time will give you confidence. But never, ever, be afraid to take the leap and cut where your measurements have proven sound.
After all, the Coliseum wasn’t built with a measuring tape. Its creators measured, they cut, and most importantly, they built.
Build your future with the same vision and determination and your life’s work will stand the test of time.
Have a wonderful week and a Happy New Year!
© Crystal Dyer 2011. All rights reserved.