Pre-Production :: Chop Wood, Carry Water, Paint Walls

If the Karate Kid taught us anything – and I feel certain that he did – he taught us that it is essential to recognise the significance and the potential benefits of performing seemingly tedious, repetitive tasks.


The Shack needed painting. Sixteen walls and no ceilings. Most of them a couple of coats each. So I took all of the wisdom from the famous car-waxing and fence-painting scenes in The Karate Kid and I applied it to walls.

‘All in wrist. Up. Down. Long stroke. Don’t forget to breathe.’

I am now one of the most dangerous men in France.

And The Shack is looking good.

The electricity is all done. The decorating is about half-done. The Shack will soon be properly habitable – by which I mean fit for normal people with normal requirements, not merely for hermits and hillbillies.


But there’s still plenty to do, as there always will be.

“Before Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
– Zen Proverb (Mr Miyagi)

Now eggs and beans.



About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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