Sunday, July 29, 2007

Paradoxical Commandment #8

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build Anyway.

I find this commandment difficult to take in because it is so harsh. Nothing lasts forever. However, I believe that this commandment speaks to the act of building for that is what brings joy and satisfaction. Consider the sand castle. What is more temporary than that? In one day your castle complete with moat and tower is melted away with a miniature tidal wave. You knew this would happen but you built it anyway. Why?

Perhaps you were building for the joy of creating something with your family or friends. Perhaps you were building memories.

Are you building your business to last forever? Have you thought about that? What kind of legacy are you building or will your business die when you do?

When you develop something of substance or value, whether it be an organization of people or a building made of stone and glass, it is the intangible things that will be remembered long after.

I think Kent Keith explains this commandment perfectly when he says:

“Of course, it is gratifying when what you have built last far into the future. But don’t forgo building just because it may not last. The joy and meaning that come with building will last. They will be yours forever.”

Write it down,


  1. Yes, like castles in the sand. The water washes over much of our hard work. Best to enjoy every moment of the building rather than find our self-worth in what we create.

    Yvonne Perry

  2. Hi Yvonne,
    Thanks for your comment. Building in the moment is like planting a tree. We may not be around to see it grow to its fullest, but our enjoyment is derived from the creation.

  3. Hi, Carma,

    Have you ever seen the beautiful sand mandalas the Tibetan monks create?

    It takes them days to make these elaborate works of art.

    But when they're finished they release them into the wind, totally destroying them.

    They do this to illustrate the point that life is in the journey, not the final destination.


  4. Hi Suzanne,
    I have not seen or heard about the sand mandalas. I would love to.

    Yes, life and reaching for goals is about the journey and once we reach the destination, it is time to choose a new journey to a new destination.