Consistency; One Of The Keys For Success

We have all experienced it; we’ve been away from the lathe for a while. When we go to make something we’ve made a lot of, nothing feels quite right, how we hold the tools, which tools exactly we used for this particular operation, etc. We were pretty good and fast at this just a while ago, but now it’s not the same. What is missing?

It is very easy to get out of practice quickly whether it is rolling a bead, making a fine delicate finial, or hollowing out that bowl. Fortunately, it usually doesn’t take very long to get back in the groove just like our old selves. The key to almost anything in life is consistency. It makes things easier, usually better and we have a successful outcome more often. These days I am not able to attend the regular weekly meetings at my woodworking club very often due to an increasingly busy schedule (The Gwinnett Woodworkers Association meets every Saturday morning). When I do show up there are always kind gentle folks welcoming me as a visitor. I founded this club in 1998 and personally taught the first 300 classes. There was no one else to do it back then.

The same thing happens after a busy show season when we have not been able to attend our church services for the past several months as we are usually several states away on Sunday mornings. You know what I mean, you look forward to seeing friends who always sit in the same place and when they are not there, you miss them.

I’ve heard folks speak of “muscle memory” for as long as I can remember. When it comes to tasks like turning wood, I think there really is something to it. I know of one woodworker, Gary Rogowski from the Pacific Northwest, who does the same warm up exercise every time he enters the shop. He cuts a “5 minute dovetail by hand” just to get the juices flowing and to get loosened up. I sharpen my tools to get warmed up . . . and because turning is more enjoyable with sharp tools.

In business someone said “Ninety percent of the job is showing up.” We have chosen to turn wood as a hobby. The better we are, the more fun it is. The more consistent we are the sharper we stay which circles back to being at the top of our game and having more fun at something we love. Being consistent is one of the very important keys for success at anything we do. Another quick example is right here – It is Tuesday morning, therefore it is time to write another Woodturning newsletter and offer discounts on specific merchandise. Folks are waiting, expecting, anticipating, so I get out of bed, put on the coffee and sit down at the computer. First I spend some time in the Word and in prayer to seek His direction for the message this week, then write it down. . . because wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this week’s message:
Luke 12:42 NIV
The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.


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