When I was growing up my father had a woodworking shop that my brother and I were proud to work in. Ok, there were times we were proud to work in it:  other times – like Saturdays and holidays –not so much. Nonetheless, there were always lessons to be learned. The obvious ones, of course, were the skills required to do woodworking: planning, layout drawing, cutting diagrams, joints, material selections – and on, and on. In addition to all of those, there were also important life skills that, many times, I didn’t realize I was learning until much later. To this day, I find myself reciting some of those very lessons to my own children and to my employees.

One of the greatest lessons comes from my Dad’s most common way to get us to begin a project:

“Ok, it’s time to put the coffee down and get your hands on it.”

You knew when he said that, he meant it literally and he meant right now.

No more talking about what needed to be done or how we were going to do it – it was time to literally shove a board into the saw. From that moment, there was something magical that occurred. Things began to happen.  Until we put our hands on it, there was nothing but a bunch of idle tools and a stack of raw wood. The project started to take shape and, before long, there was a fully assembled table or cabinet sitting in the shop.

And it all started with, “Put your hands on it.”

For the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about planning out the new year.

  • What your plan should be.
  • Starting with looking back at what you’ve done in the past year.
  • What you can build on for the new year.

A lot of serious thought has gone into these plans. And then a lot of effort has been applied in getting everyone to provide ideas and input. Just like all the planning and designing that needed to go into our woodworking projects.

But now the planning is done. Now comes the really important phase: it’s time to put your hands on it.

If you want to see results, they’ll only come by your actions, not your plans. We are all judged by our actions and not our plans. It’s time to believe in our plan and now “put our hands on it.” And get after this new year with a passion.

Magical things will happen. When you take action.



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