As a life-long student of “Leadership”, I have always been a sponge when it comes to soaking up the wisdom of inspirational leaders, such as Mary Kay Ash. When I think about the lessons I’ve learned from many successful people shared how they elevated their game and accomplished stretch goals, they often described how they “made the shift” and the power of “making the shift”. As often as I have heard this phrase, very few folks actually described exactly how one “makes the shift” – so that got me thinking about shifting gears. And it turns out that gears of a car provide some good analogies for life:
P = "Park", which locks the transmission and driving wheels.
No matter how driven we are, we all need to park sometimes. If we don’t stop and rest, we will run out of fuel! The key though is to not stay permanently in park, locked in place or one mindset, or locked in habits that keep us from moving forward. Mary Kay Ash said it best, “No one follows a parked car!”
R = "Reverse", which propels the car rearward.
Certainly we need the ability to reverse from time to time. Just as the reverse gear of a car helps us get in or out of a where we want to be, sometimes looking back or stepping back helps us better prepare for a successful step forward. The key is not to get stuck in reverse, aka, the past. “The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.” (One of my favorite quotes!)
N = "Neutral", which disengages the transmission and rear wheels, permitting the car to roll freely but not go anywhere under its own power.
I think we have all experienced a time or a situation where we found ourselves busy, working hard, but not going anywhere? Neutral essentially means in “Not in Gear”, and when that happens in life, it means you might be allowing and enabling other people to control your destiny. Which brings us to-
D = "Drive", which propels the car forward under the transmission's control; the transmission is free to select gear ratios on its own.
Drive in life is about following your passion and purpose, it’s about being intentional about where and how you invest your time and energy.
And remember, ‘drive’ doesn’t mean that you always have to be in the fast lane – we all have to adjust our speed depending where are, where we are going, and “road conditions”, etc. And yes, there is going to be traffic, and pot holes, and detours in life that might slow us down, not to mention the occasional bad driver who jumps into our lane without signaling! The key is to stay focused and, as the signs remind us, not get distracted.
So as we start this New year, let’s get into gear and put the “pedal to the metal” because 2018 is going to be AMAZING!!
Best wishes for your success,