Life lessons from my fist car purchase. When I was 15 years old I bought my first car. I didn’t have my drivers license, but from a very young age I knew I wanted something fast. I was walking home from the Kokomo Tribune press room where I had just paid my dues for my paper route. I must have also gone to the bank because I had about $200 in my pocket, and in 1972 $200 was still $200. As I walked home I saw a 1965 Mustang for sale for $250. I knocked on the door and the negotiations began. The Mustang was a 289 Hi-Po with a 4-speed transmission. I offered him $200 and he took it. The car wouldn’t start. He popped the hood and couldn’t find the problem. He looked but he didn’t see. He took off the air filter cover for the carburetor. He fiddled around but couldn’t find the problem. I rebuilt a lawnmower engine once before so I knew a little about engines. I looked under the hood of the car to see if everything was in order. There was a wire attached to the top of a round black thing with wires coming out of it, and one of the wires wasn’t connected to anything. I connected the wire to something and it fit. I tried to start it again but it still wouldn’t start. The car wreaked of gasoline. It wouldn’t start with my foot off the pedal nor while pumping the accelerator so I decided to do the opposite; press the pedal all the way to the floor. After a few turns of the engine it started! Had it not started a call to a mechanic would have been in order, and I may not have purchased the car.
What life lessons do we learn from this story?
- Being at the right place at the right time matters
- You have not because you ask not
- Our perspective matters
- We look but we don’t see
- We provide a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist
- Sometimes we just need to do something
- There are elements of order. We simply need to expose them
- We are sometimes too close to see the problem
- Clarity is found in taking in information and organizing the data
- Sometimes we need another point of view
Clarity is a funny thing. Just when you think you’ve found it, chaos enters the picture. The tiniest thing can alter your entire sense of order. At other times, clarity is too close to make any sense of. We can’t see the forest for the trees. We can’t see the hickory in an oak grove.
In a free workbook I address the Law of Proximity and how you can have victory over your past. The Law of Proximity is an organizational principle that states,
“Stimuli which are physically or temporarily proximate will be perceived as belonging together in a group.”1
In other words, your mind endeavors to bring order from chaos. Sometimes an actual connection exists, sometimes not. When presented with such chaos, the key is to understand if all of the parts belong together. In the story there was one wire out of place, however, all 10 points were part of the solution. Of course I now know the distributor cap center wire wasn’t attached to the ignition coil.
How about your life? Is everything in place? Are you able to see what’s missing? Do you desire something but are trapped in fear? Do you have the right perspective? In the previously mentioned workbook there is a reflection tool to get you started.
1 Gale Research International Ltd, Jennifer Bothamley, 1993