Vanity Killed My Car
When I was a freshman in college, my first car was a 1973 Dodge Swinger. Stop laughing! When I first bought the car it was quite sad looking. But hey, it was all I could afford for $700. I decided to save up enough money from my summer job and give my 'swinger' a swinging look. So I saved, and saved every nickel and dime for months.
When I had enough money I first had the body of the car stripped, putty applied to fill in the rust holes and then finally sanded down before it would get a new paint job.
I didn't have enough money for the paint job so I saved for another 3 months. I remember the day I took my car to Earl Scheib. If you're from Chicago you've seen Earl on TV telling you how, "I can paint any car, any car, for $99.95*." (spoken with a southern accent) When I took my car in to paint, it turned out to be quite a bit more than Earl and stated in his commercial; but that's a whole other story.
(Note to reader: The most dangerous symbol when buying is the dreaded "*". Read the fine print. The Devil is always in the details.)
Anyhow, the fateful day arrived when I went to pick up my car. Man, I was one happy guy. When I saw the guy pull up with my car, I couldn't believe how good it looked. For the first time I actually wanted people to see me driving it. I chose a gold, metallic paint that made the car sparkle when the sun hit it. What made this moment even more exciting was the fact that my girlfriend was arriving from New York the next day. I couldn't wait to pick her up in my brand, new ride.
That following day I picked her up from the airport and she was, from what I could tell, mildly impressed, "Nice paint job. Looks nice." she commented. We got in and started driving back to Chicago?so I thought. I was so caught up in our conversation that instead of driving towards Chicago I was actually going the other way, away from the city. I wouldn't find this out til later.
As we were driving and talking, I began to hear a slight sound that resembled a light knock. I thought for sure it was probably highway road noise. So, I ignored it and we kept talking.
About 15 to 20 minutes later the knocking seemed to pick up a little speed and became a little louder. Nonetheless, I ignored it and we kept talking.
Another 10 or so minutes past and the sound began to crescendo into a jack-hammering noise that could no longer be ignored. It grew louder, louder, louder with every second until suddenly a thunderous 'BOOM!' came from the engine. The sound was by followed by thick, black smoke billowing (think oil well burning to get a visual) from the under the hood which began to obscure my vision. I quickly pulled over, got out and popped the hood. As I raised the hood, a blast of black smoke smacked me in the face (I think we would all agree that black smoke is not a good sign in any situation).
I could tell I was in deep doo-doo. But for some reason I was so angry that the gravity of my situation still didn't sink in. I remember climbing half way up the highway hill, sitting down and staring down at my car as it poured smoke into the air. My girlfriend tried to comfort me, but you know how we men are, it's moments like these that "It'll be OK" statements just fuel a man's anger. I wanted to run down, open the car trunk, take out the crowbar and finish off my own car; a mercy killing if you will. My girlfriend quickly talked me out of that notion.
We walked to the nearest gas station where I was able to call my friend Juan to come pick us up. Juan was a pal who lived upstairs from me. Even though he had an exam the next day (we went to the same college), he agreed to come get us right away. I told him we were somewhere between the airport and the city.
More than two hours past before Juan showed up. As he got out of the car, somewhat annoyed, he asked, "Do you know where you're at?" I replied by telling him that we were probably halfway to Chicago. He said, "No, you're halfway to Wisconsin. You're no where near Chicago." At that moment I realized I had been driving the wrong way. But wait, it gets better?I mean worse.
We had the gas station attendant tow the car to station and hold it for me to pick up the next day. I agreed to drive the car so Juan could study in the back seat. We dropped off my girlfriend and began the drive to my house. As I was driving, after 15 minutes or so, the car wouldn't accelerate. It was slowing down. I kept pressing the gas pedal with no luck. I looked at the gas gauge and it was registering almost a quarter of a tank. I again pulled over to the side of the highway. This time it was Juan and I staring at the car trying to figure out what was going on.
We made our way to the nearest gas station, and with no one to call, we decided to have it towed home. The tow truck arrived and hoisted the car up and we jumped in. After several minutes on the highway, I heard an abrupt letting of air, "Pfisssssss". It sounded like the air-break noise trucks often make when stopping. I assumed it was one of the other trucks on the road so I ignored it. Juan dismissed it also and returned to his studying.
As we got off the highway ramp near home, I again heard a loud "Pfisssss", but this time there were no trucks nearby. After turning onto our street, the tow truck driver maneuvered Juan's car into a safe parking spot and then began to lower the front end of the car. As he was doing this, I noticed that, not one, but both of his right-rear tires were completely flat. This explains the sound I heard, twice!
I couldn't believe my run of bad luck this day. First my car dies a roadside death. Next, Juan's car dies on the side of the road. And now, the tow driver has two flats on one side. And to make things worse for the tow-truck driver was the fact that he didn't have a spare. Now he had to call in "his friend" to come bail him friend. I was ready to crawl into bed and end this day.
The next day my brother drove out to pick up the Swinger. After all the money I invested, I wanted nothing to do with the car. When my brother returned he told me what the problem was and what happened.
I had forgotten to put oil in the car. Yes, oil! The liquid equivalent of human blood for a car. With no oil, the car blew a rod and completely damaged the engine. My Swinger was dead.
My brother stared at me and kept asking this question, "How could you forget to put oil in the car?"
"I don't know!" I replied over and over again.
(Mental Intermission: At this point you must be thinking, "Wow, that was dumb." Now you know that you're not alone when it comes to making 'dumb' mistake. So stop beating yourself up for past mistakes?stuff happens!)
But deep down inside I knew why I forgot. I was so caught up in trying to make my car look good, that over the months I had completely ignored taking care of the engine. I was so focused on making it look good that I didn't give thought to how it was 'running'. My vanity killed my car.
In life I wonder if we don't do the same the same thing. We try so hard to impress others that we forget to take care of the basics. Too often we work the body but ignore the internal engine we have, our brain.
I spent hundreds of dollars on getting my car painted, but I didn't take the time to spend $2 on a quart of oil that would've kept my car running.
We spend thousands of dollars on cars, clothes and other material objects, but we won't spend $15 to buy a book on how to improve our life.
We'll spend countless hours at the gym trying to achieve the ideal weight or shape, but won't take 20 minutes a day, or even a month to learn something new.
When I think back and visualize my beautiful gold, metallic Dodge Swinger stranded with black smoke pouring out of the engine block, I'm reminded that with cars and life, "All that glitters is not gold".
Remember, work the body, but most importantly, work the mind, your internal engine of success and prosperity. Don't let vanity kill your dream.
Please forward this article; share it with a friend who may need a word of inspiration.
Miracles are Your Responsibility
Miracles are your responsibility! What does that mean?Simple..
Motivation: The Power of Opportunity
I think each one of us has had the experience of coming up with a great idea for a product or a way to do something, only to see someone else do it and make a ton of money.Here's mine - A few years back I went through advanced training in hypnosis.
I'm back from Hawaii; it was ten days of physical and emotional mastery.We went from learning from twenty of the planets best speakers in their field, to being pushed physically with a fifty foot pole climb, and then,flying fifteen feet like a free bald eagle to a hanging trapeze.
What Motivates You?
As a life-long student of personal development, I've attended dozens of motivational seminars, listened to hundreds of tapes, and read untold books on the subject of motivation . I've presented motivational seminars.
Its Not Enough
Whatever you are doing in your life at the present moment; it's not enough. What do you mean it's not enough? I've done all I can.
Your Biggest Do it Yourself Project
When I meet people and tell them what I do, I often hear, "Oh, you are a motivational speaker," with some amount of assuredness in their voice. While I realize there are many speakers that people lump into this category (some who are my friends and mentors), I strongly disagree with that label.
Planting Seeds of Action
Recently, I was driving past a local nursery and saw a sign that said, "Fall Is For Planting." As I drove, the idea on the sign was gnawing away at me.
Motivation, Your Core Resource
Your motivation is one of the core resources you have to accomplish all the things you want to achieve.Let us get one thing clear though before we handle this resource called motivation.
What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?
The next time you find yourself relaxing on the couch, having popped some corn and about to watch the "Sopranos", instead, pose this $1,000,000 lottery question to yourself and see what flows. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Would you work, not work? If you knew anything you touched or did held the possibility for success - whatever that is, what would you do? If there were no time constraints, no obstacles, no self-doubt, what would you do?Some of you are already saying, "What's the point of this!?" "This will never be real!" "Who's got a million dollars??Not me!" Well, the whole point is to have you dream.
Is Work Still Necessary?
I have a confession to make - several confessions in fact.I have at times been stupid enough to believe that work is not necessary to make money or achieve success.
Ask Your Question - Get what You Desire
"Questions get answers, advice, opinions, beliefs, impressions, stories, and more questions. Questions are about life, people, careers, achievements, facts, and faith.
Change Your Life For The Better!
Are you still hoping and waiting for someone somewhere to come to your rescue, wave a magic wand and instantaneously change your life for the better?Are you praying that you will one day win the lottery and dramatically alter the financial quality of your life?Are you sitting behind your desk, daydreaming and hoping to one day rise to the top level of management without much effort and hard work?Are you hiding in the background, silently praying and hoping that you will find favor, get noticed and be thrust into the limelight of your destiny?If you are tired of hoping and endlessly waiting for something positive to happen or someone to come to your rescue, make a deliberate decision today to take charge of your own life and begin to lead a fulfilled and productive life.4 things to consider as you decide to change your life for the better.
3 Great Ways to Beat Procrastination at Work
As more tasks become automated due to advances in technology there is a general expectation, whether it is realistic or not, that productivity should increase as well.Everyone seems to have more work than can possibly be done in a day and this pressure can result in feelings of being overwhelmed which in turn leads to procrastination at work which can actually decrease productivity if not properly managed.
Harnessing the Power of the Unknown: Move from Repeating the Past to Re-inventing the Future
The Unknown - it is scary territory for many, something to be avoided for others and shameful for those who feel they are supposed to know everything. What is your relationship with the Unknown? Take a moment to ponder it because your attitude towards and experience of this is what governs your ability to create, to innovate and truly bring more of yourself out into the world - in short to be successful.
Read All the Books
All of the books that we will ever need to make us as rich, as healthy, as happy, as powerful, as sophisticated and as successful as we want to be have already been written.People from all walks of life, people with some of the most incredible life experiences, people that have gone from pennies to fortune and from failure to success have taken the time to write down their experiences so that we might share in their wealth of knowledge.
How to Get Up on a Down Day
One of the major obstacles to achieving goals is losing the motivation necessary to finish them. Many times the initial surge of energy is lost after the reality of hard work or set backs sets in.
How to Use the Power of Words to Your Benefit
Someone I know maintains that "motivational words are great coming from philosophers, but that's because they're not in the real world." The power of words can be an incredible aid to helping us remain motivated and focused.
The New Morality
In a world where dynamism alters egos and principles in a man every second, where men divest in tenets that secure them from being devout to something natural, where humanity seeks reasons to be ignorant just to feel sly and intelligent - we're confronted with issues of morality. We can no longer be satisfied with being truthful incessantly, we can no longer be happy for the sake of empathizing, we can no longer be sympathetic in a world that beseeches us to be methodological, we can no longer be human when the invariable pretension has made us lose our ethicality forever - we can only choose to be different moralists altogether.
Ten Major Causes of Failure
-Lack of a specific purpose in life. You can not hope to succeed in any field of your life if you don't have a central purpose.
Make It Happen Now!
Most people think that when they have chosen a path that's it - that's the path to follow. This is far from the truth according to leading Business Coach? Brad Tonini who has just released his latest book "Make It Happen Now!"I asked Brad to share his thoughts on why we don't get started to "Making Things Happen".