New Castle News

November 8, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: There is no finish line in the race to excellence

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — "Don’t worry about achieving. Don’t worry about perfection. Just be there each moment as best you can." — Pema Chödrön

When I ...

Then I ...

When you what?

Then you’ll what?

Please stay with me on this. I’m a firm believer in setting goals. After all, you can’t know you’re hitting the target if you don’t have one.

But the target is not the finish line. The end really isn’t the end. Achieving your goal really isn’t the ultimate prize.

Much more important than “When I” or “Then I” is simply ... WHY?

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

Why do you play?

Why do you sing?

Why do you dance?

Why do you study so hard?


Let’s explore the “When I, Then I” theory a little deeper.

“When I lose 20 pounds, then I will ...”

•Be happier.

•Be more attractive.

•Have more energy.

•Be able to fit into my clothes better.

Maybe. All of those are certainly possible. But here’s the rub: When you lose those 20 pounds, your work isn’t finished.

Losing the weight is a worthy goal, but it’s not the end. In a lot of respects, it’s really the beginning of even more focused attention in the future.

Think about it. When you get to your perfect number, you don’t automatically stay there. Lots and lots of work will be ahead for you to maintain that condition.

Know anyone who’s lost a lot of weight ... and then gained it all back?

“When I earn a scholarship, then I will ...”

Young athletes, you’re bustin’ your tail right now so you can earn a free ride to college. What happens when you get there? Would you like to keep your spot on the team? Would you like to start at some point?

Great. Now you’ll REALLY have to get to work. If you think you’re puttin’ in time now, just wait.

Film. Individual workouts. More film. Team study hall. Weight room. Team meetings. Positional meetings. Speed and agility training. Travel. More film. Playbook study.

Oh, one more thing — classes and school work.

Am I on to something here?

Don’t play to please your parents.

Don’t lose weight for your boyfriend.

Don’t study because you’re afraid to fail.

No people pleasing. No fear. No following the crowd.

Love. Just love.

Do what you love. Do what makes you feel alive. Be what you believe God has designed you to be.

Do you know that study after study shows that nearly 80 percent of people are unhappy in their job and believe they would be more fulfilled doing something else?

Why is that? Did they choose a career because their family pushed them into it? Was money the ultimate prize? Status or respect?

Don’t fall into that trap. Be warned, there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

There’s NOTHING at the end. Just more of what you’re doing now.

So if you remember nothing else from this blog, please write this down: The joy is in the DOING. The blessing is being able to compete in something you enjoy. Live in the present and stop focusing on the end result.

It’s not “When I.”

It’s not “Then I.”

It’s simply “Why.”

So, yes, start your engines and hit the road to excellence again today.

Just make sure you enjoy the ride.

If you haven’t noticed already, that’s really why we drive ourselves so hard in the first place.