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Colored Pencil Theory

When I started Horsepower & Pizza, I made it very clear that not everything would be car-related. While I love cars and pizza, football is at the top of my list of interests, but I have yet to find a way to incorporate it into my content. I also have a newfound love for writing because of its ability to take my passions and convey them to a wide audience. Taken from a handwritten note I found on my desk, what you’re about to read is what was going through my mind one year ago.

I’ve seen a photo going around social media recently of a few colored pencils. Some heavily used; others untouched. The caption reads; “It’s easy to look sharp when you haven’t done any work.” Reading this made my mind go all over the place. Obviously, the used pencils have done their job, whereas the unused and still sharp pencils have not. My first real life connection took me back to hell – high school group projects. There is always at least one person who doesn’t contribute anything to the group, yet still gets the grade. This always pissed me off because as someone who tends to take charge in a group scenario, I always made a point to contribute or even pulling more than my fair share of the weight because I wanted the best grade possible.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m the reason my groups generally did well, or that I have all the answers – I’m 23, what the hell do I know? My point with this is while you and your group or team all look good, or get that good grade, it’s easy for that weak link to look just as good as everyone who actually participated. Avoid those weak links. There are so many people looking to steal your shine, and take credit for your grind.

I’ve always loved vehicles. I grew up in the garage. I love working on cars, I love metal working and fabrication. I’m a very hands-on learner, as working with my hands keeps me engaged, interested, and focused on the task at hand. In most hands-on or blue collar careers, you’re going to get your hands dirty. If your hands are dirty, and someone who is helping you out has clean hands, they’re not pulling their weight. I’m not talking about someone in management; I’m talking about a peer.

What I think past me was trying to say is this:

When you are feeling overshadowed by the lives portrayed online through social media, or even just your coworker stealing your idea in this morning’s meeting, remember why those pencils are still pristine in the box. Unlike the utilitarian sky blues and vibrant reds, these people are the questionable green and useless white of the box and would be nearly useless if they put the work in anyway.

I hope y’all enjoyed this week’s blog, next week WILL be car related again. Stay tuned for a Winter mini-drop on the site, there are a few new things coming.

Much love,


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