On Being a Head or a Claw

One of my favorite talks ever uses the illustration of a common hammer.

The illustration looks at the 2 sides of a hammer:

The HEAD is the part that is used to build. This is what you use to drive nails into wood.

The CLAW is the part that is used to pull things apart.

The example I remember best is the dog house I built years ago. It took me days to build this dog house. I wanted it to match our house, so I painted it the same color, I put a matching roof on it, it was amazing. For some reason, our dog didn’t think so, because she wouldn’t go into it, but that’s another story. The dog house was amazing.

Years later, we sold that house and were preparing for a big move, and I had to get rid of the dog house. I remember going out with a hammer, and in a matter of minutes, the dog house was completely destroyed and torn apart. What had taken me days of building, measuring, planning had taken just a few minutes to pull apart.

Let’s apply this to our lives:

We’re all HAMMERS. We either BUILD or TEAR DOWN.

Everyday was have to make a choice.

When we BUILD:

– We encourage others with our words

– We help others with our time and energy

– We go out of our way to acknowledge positive things.

When we DESTROY:

– We’re careless with our words

– We criticize little things

– We attack other people with negativity

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good complement”.

Do you realize how powerful “BUILDING” words are?

Do you realize how impactful “DESTRUCTION” words are?


Spend your life encouraging, affirming, speaking positive words, recognizing things done right, catching people doing good.

Tearing apart is easier, but it does so much damage.

Be known as someone who builds others up.




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