Last week I happened to visit an old friend of mine in one of the Kampala City suburbs. He lives in an old house built in the late sixties . I was terribly fascinated by both the house and the compound. It is a four bed-roomed house surrounded by a large garden of local shrubs, flowers, palm trees , coconut trees and extremely tall indigenous trees, over forty years old and making me look like a dwarf.
Inside the house, I felt as if I had stepped into one of the old Safari Clubs in Kenya.
Most outstanding was the classic tray ceiling design in the sitting room and the kitchen. The white lights hanging from the centre gave them character and style.It gave me the feeling of wanting to reach out and touch it.
The solid, dark wood floor was of herringbone parquet design. It looked beautiful and was worth every penny.
The solid oak doors with their polished brass handles gave the house a more antique and traditional look. The soft curtains hanging from wooden curtain boxes above the large windows, gave it an airy feel. The cool blue walls created a relaxing atmosphere. In the kitchen , everything had a place on the white-washed shelves and the sleek wooden cupboards. The attention to the smallest details in the ceiling, floor and wardrobes made the biggest difference. The large windows in the master bedroom gave it a spacious and airy feel.
All in all , it was a simple home with a more antique and traditional finish. For the five decades it had been in use, the owner had taken such great care to maintain it that it looked as good as new.
My friend who has always loved beautiful things had also made a good job in furnishing and decorating the house. The leather chairs, the Persian carpets and rugs , wall mirrors blended in with the shinning ceiling and floor.
I could see the owner’s personality in what she created with the help of a remarkable architect. I understand the owner is now approaching eighty but from what I could see , I could safely say that she is a meticulous person who loves beautiful things, who does not hold anything back to create a thing of timeless beauty. Together with the architect, they had allowed their imagination run wild to create this house which looked as good as new and was giving the tenant and even me a mere visitor incredible joy to be in it!
Suddenly , I remembered some four years ago, listening to a radio interview of the Chief Executive Officer of the giant Korean Electronics company: Samsung. By then Samsung was at its peak; producing top quality digital appliances. When the CEO was asked how his company kept producing such quality and beautiful products, his reply was deceptively simple and yet complicated. He said that he was deeply involved in the designing of most of the products and whenever his team and him were designing any item, he imagined his beloved wife and children using it. He wants his wife and children to have the best so he focuses on creating the best out of the love he feels for them. Wow! What an authentic principle.
He creates with a message within and this increases the joy of the person using the item.
When asked about how he recruited his team he said that he is led by the principle that great teams/people make and drive great organisations. No wonder Samsung a company that was started in 1938 remains one of the leading electronics companies in the world. It only follows Apple in selling the biggest number of Smart phones in the world.
This CEO reminds all of us that whatever we choose to do; we should do it for love, in love, with love and out of love. When you are feeling good, you focus on your creative power and you end up creating masterpieces. They say that a thing of beauty is a joy forever.
This does not stop at designing items or structures but it should be stretched to cover anything we do at work or at home. If we all did things or performed our work whole heartedly then each one of us would be leaving the duty station better than he/she found it and thus creating a better world. Whenever you do the best you can , it lines you up to do even much better second time round. The best is always ahead not behind.
In the sporting world this is why they say that even if you lost to the other team ,as long as you know deep in your heart of hearts that you gave it your best, you live comfortably with the defeat and it fires you to do much better next time.
Arnold Palmer (1929-2016) one of the best American professional golfers, advised all us to be confident about what we do. He said, “ It is easier to do your best at what you truly enjoy. If you want to do well, enjoy your work.’’
Another professional golfer from South Africa, Gary Player said, “ The harder you work, the luckier you get.’’
Standing in that house of timeless beauty , I could see the smiling faces of the architect and the owner as he handed over that house. He must have stepped back, examined his handiwork and sighed, “ Wow! This is it.’’
Let each one of us strive to do the best we can wherever we are with what we have: creating , writing, singing,dancing, teaching, nurturing, from the heart.
You have one life so offer it your best. At the end of of it , you will be incredibly happy that you gave it your whole. In the same way, you would have made many other people happy by what you created or did.