New Castle News

January 31, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Who am I? Your best friend — and your worst nightmare

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you upward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command.

Half of the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed — you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great men, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine, although I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of man. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin — it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.

Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?


— From "Thinking for a Change" by John Maxwell

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

So, now that we’ve been introduced to Mr. Habit, let’s get to know YOU a little better.

Or, better yet, let’s get to know those five friends you hang around with most often.

Depending on which road we choose to travel, our circle can be the “friendly five” or the “futility five.”

The good news: We decide who they are.

The bad news: We decide who they are.

The moral of the story: We get nothing from our lives that we don’t first put into it. What’s the catch phrase at youth groups across the country? “Garbage in, garbage out.”


•We are ... what we eat.

So, who are you today?

Junk food ... or whole foods?

Fuel and medicine ... or anything for comfort?

•We are ... what we watch on television.

So, who are you today?

“Honey Boo Boo” ... or healthy living telecasts?

Cable news shows that play to our fears and prejudices ... or documentaries and other inspirational programs?

•We are ... what we listen to in our cars.

So, who are you today?

Podcasts and other learning materials ... or mind-numbing sports talk radio?

Inspirational music ... or demeaning, thoughtless lyrics?

•We are ... what we read.

So, who are you today?

Biographies of great leaders ... or romance novels?

Athletic, business or spiritual-related wisdom ... or People magazine?

•We are ... who we choose to hang with.

Are your friends dream killers ... or are they your biggest supporters?

Are you content to just run with the complacent crowd ... or do you seek out influencers and difference makers?

To be completely transparent, I struggle with my “five friends” daily. I often stand atop the tee-totter and it’s so appealing to just slide down the easier path.

But it’s my vision for the future that continues to lift me up. It continues to grab me by the arm and yank me in the right direction, no matter how badly I want to run the other way.

And I’m guessing you fight the same battles.

But you know what? There’s good news. As you finish reading this blog, you can rest in a simple fact: A brighter future is just one new habit away.

In other words, we are ... who WE decide to be today.

And then we get to start all over again tomorrow.