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“What’s Done is Finished”




I have been a big fan of Ajahn Brahmavamso since the last 7 years and his talks have greatly influenced my attitude towards work and life.

Ajahn Brahmavamso is a Buddhist Monk who is currently the Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. I was fortunate to hear one of his talks on internet and I found him to be truly remarkable. The thing that got me interested in Ajahn Brahmavamso is that he talks in stories and shares wonderful experience which have deep meaning.


Through this post I would like to share a story from one of his talks which provides great inspiration and has always been close to my heart.


In south of Thailand many years ago, an abbot was building a new hall in his forest monastery. And then came the season of Rain Retreat.

Now in Thailand the monsoons are from July to October and during this season the monks stop doing their regular work and spend more time in studying and mediation. This period is referred to Rain Retreat

When Rain Retreat came, this abbot stopped his work and sent all his builders back home. He had now planned to spend the rest of the time studying and meditating.

Sometime during this season few visitors happened to see the unfinished building. When they stepped inside they could find the abbot there. With no other workers in sight, one of the visitors asked the abbot as to when the construction of the hall would be finished. The abbot without any hesitation answered “The Hall is Finished”

The visitor was a bit confused. “But I can see no roof, no windows, the floor is not done yet and cement bags are lying all around. It surely is not finished”

Looking at the concern of the visitor, the abbot smiled back at him and gently replied “The Hall in Finished. What’s done is finished” and he went away


Whats Done is Finished- Stevan Noronha1


That answer was truly remarkable. I could connect with this.

At that point, I had been working hard for many years, spending 12 hours every day at workplace. But at the end of the each day I always felt there was so much left to be done. That made me work from home at night. I ended up spending many weekends trying to catch deadlines and in process sacrificing family and personal time. However work never got over. There was always more to do. That never ever allowed me to be at peace or in relaxed state which I longed for.

In this context, the deep meaning of the monk’s statement “What’s done is Finished”, genuinely impacted me and been a personal guide ever since.

Ajan Brahmavamso said, had the monk worried too much about completion of the building he would never been at peace. So for him having that attitude was the only way to find peace and focus on other activities – be it studying or mediating. For him, at that moment he accepted the past and was done with it.  There was nothing left to be completed at that moment. This allowed him to fully focus on the next activity.  And for me that was a beautiful thought.

In our routine life, we will always have many things to be done – emails to be sent, projects to be completed and phones to attend, to do list to be completed – which will never finish. But this magical “What’s Done is Finished” attitude will help you stop worrying about what’s incomplete, accept the past and help you live in the present . It will enable you to fully focus on the present activity thereby improving your productivity

So even though you could not complete your project during office hours, when back home, at that moment for you the project is done and finished with. This will help you not worry about it unnecessarily and in turn allow you to spend quality time with yourself or your family in the present.

So next time when you worry about pending work not letting you focus on any other activities, I hope this short story of “What’s done is finished” attitude will help you stay focused and provide you the right direction just as it works for me.



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Stevan Noronha

Founder and Chief of Strategy - FOXBOX Retail

I’m an entrepreneur who’s super passionate about life and all it has to offer. Through this blog, I intend to share experiences along my entrepreneurial journey, travel, finance and life in general.This blog is a collection of experiences and learnings that I want to share .

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