Lessons Learned: Sandcastle


As someone who has been around construction for my entire life, I have always had the perception that you build things to last forever. For a home Moceri Construction built to come crashing down would be devastating. For this reason, my mindset has always been that whatever I build, whether it be a relationship, an investment, a business, or a sand castle I build it to last. I put protections in place to prevent destruction, carefully strategizing for any threat. This approach over the years has served me very well and I do believe that building things to last is the best approach. That being said there are times when the end result is not in your control. Que the sand castle lesson.

I was recently in Maui where I was able to spend tons of time playing on the beach with my daughter. We chased waves, ran from waves, and played in the sand. Almost daily we would build a sand castle. I would build a moat and a wall to prevent the waves from destroying our work. Every castle we built I planned on it lasting forever. Surely, I could prevent the destruction of our masterpiece. With a deep enough moat and a high enough wall, it would be safe from the inevitable high tied.

This was a well thought out strategy that based off where I had strategically started building and the rate at which I can dig would have kept our castle in place for the afternoon. However, there was one fatal flaw in my plan. Each and everyday as we began building, what would hopefully become the best sandcastle anyone had ever seen, I neglected to account for the sea monster, a.k.a the bored six year old, that thirty minutes in would come out of the ocean to destroy the castle. The carnage was horrible with towers toppling and walls crushed. The only things some mounds of sand and tiny footprints.

With my dreams of building the world’s best sand castle crushed I would wipe myself off and move on to searching for all the sand toys that my daughter decided to bury. With my well thought out plan foiled I would eventually end my day drifting off to sleep with visions of the castle that could have been. Then something magical happened. In the middle of the night the carnage disappeared. By morning all evidence of the sea monster’s horrible destruction was gone and in its place was clean slate of beautiful sand.

The lesson for me here is not that planning for something to last is a mistake, I think the exact opposite, but that there are times in life where destruction may be inevitable. It won’t be from lack of effort or a good plan, but from an unforeseen condition that is out of your control. It may be devastating, and the thought of rebuilding may be a daunting task but when that clean slate is presented anew you can look at it as an opportunity instead of a failure. With the wisdom gained, this time you can dig the moat deeper, the walls higher, and send the sea monster up the beach with her mom in search for coral so you can get into the serious business of building your sand castle!

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