Splitting Stones

By May 16, 2014 No Comments

There’s a story of man whose job was to hammer away at massive stones and break them up. It might take 100 blows to the stone for it to split in two. There’s two ways to look at it. First, he finally had enough strength after all the attempts to break the rock apart on 100th blow, or that it wasn’t the final blow, but that it was all that came before which made the difference. This week we’re going to take this story and apply it to school, sports, and the working world.

Whether it’s school, sports, or work there are sure to be endless frustrations. For the student things could not be clicking in a particular class. Every day feels the same and it is as if there’s no progress being made. There is no tangible reward. The student may ask, “Why do I need to know or do this?”

The athlete will experience frustration when they feel as if the results are not there. The wins are not piling up, they’re not scoring as many points, and playing time has not increased. Frustration will mount if there’s no recognition of the work being put in. The athlete may ask, “Why does coach keep having us do this? It’s not working. Fundamentals are boring. Why do we continue to do this?”

At work the employee may feel as if they’re stuck in the middle. They want to move up the ladder but feel like there’s no opportunity to do so. They do not receive a raise or a bonus. It’s groundhog day every day. Regardless if it’s work, sports, or school we have the same frustrations and all ask, “Why am I doing this?” Much like someone watching the stone splitter after the first 50 blows, “Why is he doing this?”

No matter where we are at in our lives we must overcome our frustrations and doubt. We must persevere through these times if we want to be successful. The student needs to study hard. Yes, actually put down the phone and study. Crazy, right?! The student must master and know the information well enough that they could teach it to someone else. Students need to keep working, keep pounding away, ask for help, and be their own advocate. They might not like history class, but they need to learn the information, pass the class, and move on. The “A” might not come today, but it will come soon.

The athlete must outwork his or her opponent. It’s critical that they master the fundamentals, learn the game, and work at an uncomfortable level to rise above the pack. Athletes need to know their team’s system and the coach’s philosophy. They have to completely buy in and trust the process. Success might not happen today, but it will happen.

At work the employee must let their actions speak louder than their words. They must be seen rather than being heard. Employees must not focus on the raise or promotion, but rather on being so good at what they do that they’re hard to ignore. They must show up everyday willing to go through the grind and put in work. The promotion may not come today, but it will come soon.

Much like the stone splitter we must embrace the struggle and realize that’s where the results come from. It wasn’t 100th blow the split the rock in two, rather it was all the ones the came before it. As students, athletes, and employees we can’t forget all the work and details that go into the finished product. The best students, athletes, teams, and employees fail because they forget what go them to the top. Don’t focus on the 100th blow; rather focus on the fundamentals, hard work, and attention to detail.

Always remember, “It’s what you do when no one else is watching that counts.”

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!