Often when I hear a quote I connect with I like to learn more about it, like did the quoted person actually say it and is there a story behind it? I’ve found knowing these extra details helps the good advice stick and feel more inspirational when I can relate to the intention behind it.
One quote that has really stuck with me was said by Actor Will Smith during an interview with Charlie Rose in 2002. The interview itself was full of great advice and values he lives by, but there was one thing he said that really stuck with me:
You don’t set out to build a wall
You don’t say I’m gonna build the biggest, badest, greatest wall that’s ever been built
You don’t start there
You say I’m gonna lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid, there will not be one brick on the face of the earth that’s gonna be laid better than this brick that I’m gonna lay in this next 10 minutes.
And you do that every single day and soon you have a wall.
He then goes on to tell a story about how he and his brother took 1 1/2 years to build a wall for his Father’s store when they were growing up, which is just a perfect example of how true this advice is. Now since I have never built a wall I simplified this message to “ Focus on the brick, not the House”. This mantra has helped me get through big projects with the same level of focus and determination as the smaller projects.
Over the years I found myself looking at the Huge task ahead and worrying about the what if’s, but now by setting one “brick” to complete a day not only do I achieve more of my goals, at the end of each day I feel like I’ve achieved something and made use of my time.
One thing I know for sure, if completing that goal seems impossible, set yourself daily “bricks” and watch your house take shape.