“Shoemaker! Shoemaker! Work by night and run about by day!” Shouted a boy outside of Samuel Drew’s workshop window before darting off.
This was due to the fact that while self employed as a cobbler, he developed the habit of spending most of the day idling about and discussing matters of politics and current affairs with his friends. His workshop became a favourite resort of the village politicians and when they did not come to him, he went to them.
This ate up his time and it would find him — when the moon was up and the sun was down, and all his friends retired at home — hammering away at the sole of a shoe, working by candlelight until midnight to catch up on the missed day’s work.
A friend, to whom he told this story, asked: “And didn’t you run after the boy and scold him?” To which he replied: “No, no, had a pistol been fired off at my ear, I could not have been more dismayed or confounded. I dropped my work, and said to myself, ‘True, true! but you shall never have that to say of me again.’”
To him that cry was as the voice of God, and it was a word in season throughout his life. “I learnt from it not to leave till tomorrow the work of today, or to idle when I ought to be working”.
From that moment Drew dropped politics, and stuck to his work, reading and studying in his spare hours: but never again did he allow the former to interfere with his business affairs. The epiphany made him focus on his purpose and he magaed to publish over 96 books in his lifetime.
Read more in my new book! The Trials And Triumphs of Hyperachievers