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January 3, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Want to be remarkable this year? Here’s how

NEW CASTLE — “We are what we believe we are.” — C. S. Lewis

First, a greeting:

Happy new year, everyone! I know I’m not the first to share that with you, but I just may be the last. And that’s pretty cool, too.

Now, a challenge:

Be remarkable in 2013.

Yes, you.

Yes, right where you are.

Yes, starting today.

I know, I know. I can hear the pushback already.

•They don’t pay me enough.

•It’s not my job.

•My coach/teachers/parents/boss won’t let me.

•I’m too busy.

•I don’t know what to do.

You’re right on all counts.

And you couldn’t be more wrong.

“We can never know what might have been but what is to come is another matter entirely.” — C. S. Lewis

I might tend to agree with all of your excuses if I defined “remarkable” as something only a few people have ever been — or will ever be.

Sure, Bethany Hamilton, LeBron James, J.K. Rowling, Taylor Swift and Daniel Day-Lewis are remarkable.

But so are you. In your own special way.

At its core, the term “remarkable” simply means who you are or what you do is worthy of mentioning to someone else.

In other words, you can either fit in or stand out — but not both.

So, which category is more “remarkable?” Which category is worthy talking about?

That’s correct. So choose to stand out today.

Here are some simple examples of how:

•What if you became known at work as the most cheerful person — always smiling, always steady, no matter the circumstances.

•What if you became known as the greatest hustler on your team — always diving for loose balls, willing to take a charge, getting after it on defense?

•And here’s a huge one, no matter where you work or who you play for: What if we all started to look for opportunities, rather than place blame?

Here is a great story about finding an opportunity, as told in Seth Godin’s book, “Linchpin”:

Forty years ago, Richard Branson, who ultimately founded Virgin Air, found himself stuck at an airport in the Caribbean. They had just canceled his flight, the only one of the day. Instead of freaking out about how essential the flight was, how badly his day was ruined, how his entire career was now in jeopardy, the young Branson walked across the airport to the charter desk and inquired about the cost of chartering a flight out of Puerto Rico.

Then, he borrowed a portable blackboard and wrote, “Seats to Virgin Islands, $39.”

He went back to his gate, sold enough seats to his fellow passengers to completely cover his costs, and made it home on time. Not to mention planting the seeds for the airline he would start decades later.

So, what’s it going to be for you this year? Just the same ’ol, same ’ol?

Or is this the first day of a remarkable new year — and new you?

Only you know which direction you will choose. But either way, let me leave you with three key phrases to carry on your journey.

•Yes, you can.

•Your time is now.

•It’s never too late.

Yes, you.

Yes, right where you are.

Yes, starting today.

Happy new year, everyone.

Happy new you, too.


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