Building Totem Poles

It seems like forever ago. Chipping away at the long poles for hours, not paying attention to anything except for the chisel, the hammer and the wood. There were more than 30 of us and we were all chipping away. Totem Poles remind me how most of the world works today.

There are all sorts of totem poles. Tall ones, short ones, different amounts of totems on them. The ones we were carving made it into this article and eventually into a park. The ones that people are building today will probably live on for a very long time.

Building a totem pole is much like building a set of applications, a company, or simply improving yourself. For example, in a software company each application is one of the totems. Some are small totems, and some are huge. At least with the totem’s I carved, we would draw out plans for the pole before carving a single one, which is a lot of what people do with applications.

The biggest thing to remember though when building a totem pole is that it’ll stick around for a very long time. Here you can see the shadow of one of the poles I helped to carve. The same is true for a lot of the work I’ve done, and a lot of the work you’ve done. Keep that in mind when making a new totem pole. Keep it original, make something that’ll help change the world in some way. When the totem pole gets to be too big, make a new one. Bill Gates did it, he switched careers to philanthropy and started a new totem pole. Whatever his motivations were, they don’t matter for the point here. If a man who can do pretty much anything money can buy decides he wants to start a new totem pole because it’s the right thing to do, it’ll show him as something more in the history books, it’s a new challenge, or any other reason it doesn’t matter. The important part is that he thought about what he wanted to do, wrote down the plan, and started work drawing it out. His previous totem pole had been pretty impressive, but his next one was by far even more impressive.

So if he can do that, why can’t you? Make a new totem pole for yourself. Write down your ideas in a notebook until you come up with a plan, and then get to it. Because only you can make your own totem pole. Just be sure that it’s built to last.

 
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