New Castle News

June 20, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: It’s summer, so rise and grind before you shine

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — “People think I’m a good writer but I’m not. I’m an editor. I keep shining the rough stuff. Then I pretend I wrote it in an hour.” — Donald Miller

I love that quote on so many levels.

Know why?

Because I wrote the previous two-word sentence at least four times. Didn’t get it right the first three times. And I’m still not sure if I like it.

But I’ll roll with it. At some point we have to. At some point we just have to let go and trust our hard work.

If you’re like me, you love to do a lot of things. And if you’re like me, you struggle to do a lot of things.

It’s all rough stuff for all of us.

Yet somehow, some way, it sparkles and shines when the spotlight comes on.

Welcome to the human race.

You’re unlike anyone else on this planet. But we’re so much alike it’s scary.

“Talent is determined far less by our genes and far more by our actions.” — Daniel Coyle

Where will you be six months from now?

It depends on what you do today.

It really does.

Every day we make deposits into our talent bank. The more we invest, the more we have to draw upon as our challenges loom larger.

Do you want to become excellent at your sport or vocation or hobby?

I’ve got just one word for you: practice.

There’s no other way.

For those who are eager to slip on the pads and hit someone, I’ve got some bad news. There’s still two months to go before the football season starts.

But that’s good news for you, too. That means you still have 60 daily deposits to drop into your talent account.

That can be a nice chunk of change if you’re a disciplined investor.

 “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steven Furtick

You see San Antonio’s Danny Green breaking the NBA Finals record for 3-pointers.

You see Justin Rose keeping his composure — and the ball on the fairway — to become England’s first U.S. Open winner in 43 years.

You see Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera smokin’ line drives deep into the gap.

You see a chiseled Henry Cavill rockin’ the cape in “Man of Steel.”

What you didn’t see was Green taking shot after shot the past several years on his way to becoming an “overnight sensation.”

What you didn’t see was Rose not leaving the course until he sank dozens of putts in a row at practice.

What you didn’t see was Cabrera taking hundreds of cuts in the batting cage — hours before AND after games.

And what you certainly didn’t see with Cavill was CGI or steroids. Instead, it was months of hard-core physical training and dietary discipline.

In other words, what you see is what you get at the ball park, on TV and at the multiplex.

But what you DON’T see is where the real work is done.

“I mean, listen, we’re here talkin’ about practice ... not a game, not a game, not a game, but we’re talkin’ about practice. We’re talkin’ about practice, man.” — Allen Iverson

Sorry, A.I. We have to.

It’s always grind before shine.


In that order.

As Mr. Miller stated earlier, it’s all about polishing the rough stuff.

Championships are won on the practice field.

The Academy Award is earned on the second, third or 27th take.

The business is successful because of the culture and systems put in place — which we, the customer, will never even know about.

It’s more sweat than swag.

It’s more grit than genius.

It’s more process than personnel.

In the end, excellence isn’t a given — it’s a gettin’.

And if you’re not gettin’ yours, don’t be mad at me or anyone else.

Just get practicing — got it?


The sooner you “get it,” the sooner you’ll get it.

(To follow Tim Kolodziej on Twitter, CLICK HERE.)