Building a house

A man’s character is his fate.
c. 540 – c. 480 B.C.

Many years ago, I worked for a home building company, and I observed very interesting behavior among people purchasing custom-built homes prior to construction.

Because of the soil conditions in the area, it was necessary to drive pilings to support the concrete slab. After the slab was poured, the frame was erected. New homeowners rarely visited the house prior to the framing, but once the house was framed and sheetrock was hung, the new owners generally stopped by every two or three days. The closer it got to completion, the more interest they showed.

Now, you may think that’s perfectly normal, and you might act the same way in that situation. But consider this question: what’s the most important part of the house? It’s the foundation. Without a good foundation, the house won’t last.

But what do most new owners focus on? The interior. They focus on the floors, carpet, wallpaper and light fixtures: the things they’ll see every day.

It is important that the interior features are quality products and properly installed. But the foundation is crucial to the structural integrity of the house. Without a solid foundation, everything in the house is at risk.

How does this apply to you and your life? Well, I see a parallel with the general behavior of many people; they concentrate on superficial things in life but fail to give much consideration to their founding principles. You must develop a solid foundation or all the other things in your life won’t hold up.

How do you develop a solid foundation? You get clear about your core values: you understand who you are and what you stand for in life. Unless you have clear core values as the foundation of your life, you have no path to guide you.

A foundation is so important. Take some time to figure out your core values. Take time to make sure you have a solid foundation underpinning your life. Unfortunately, we focus too much time, energy and attention on how we look; we’re more concerned with our exterior than our foundation. But it’s our core values that will ultimately determine if our life is a success.

So don’t get too caught up in exterior trimmings. Make sure you have a firm foundation; it will support you throughout your life.

Those who seek wisdom come to understand that even though the world may reward us for wrong or superficial reasons, such as our physical appearance, the family we came from, and so on, what really matters is who we are inside and who we are becoming.
55 – 135 A.D.

Copyright © 2015 John Chancellor

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