As a Regional Market Manager by trade, I cover 4 different distributor territories in 3 states which is approximately 87,000 square miles in total. What I’m trying to tell you is, I spend a LOT of time in a car. As I was cruising along I-40 on one of my many 5-hour trips, I realized I was fighting the wheel pretty significantly to keep things between the lines. I started thinking back to when I last had my tires rotated and aligned and realized I was way past due. And because I do most of my deep thinking when I’m alone in the car, I also recognized I am more out of alignment on a personal level than my Nissan Rogue. Some might blame it on Mercury Retrograde, I say my internal Michelins need a tuneup.
According to someone smarter than me on Google, “Wheel alignment is integral to automotive health and should not be ignored. Tire rotation can help to minimize wear and tear, but it doesn’t make up for wheels that aren’t angled according to your factory specifications.” Like vehicles, human beings must also keep their alignment in check or it can be totally catastrophic. If your thoughts and actions aren’t angled toward your goals, you’re gonna wear yourself down fighting the wheel all over the road trying to get there. And while you can get by for a while by maintaining the superficial, eventually if you don’t take care of the core issue it will become detrimental. Like my mechanic friends on Google said, “The longer you wait to address small issues, the more they end up costing you in the long run.”
Based on my assessment of the people I admire and aspire to be like, a person must have these 4 “tires” in alignment to achieve true happiness and success: finances, relationships, spirituality and physical health. You’d be hard pressed to find any life issue that doesn’t fall into one of these categories, and if you’re not satisfactory at minimum in them all, you’re always going to feel like you’re falling short. Quite frankly I would give myself an F for Effort in all of the above, and boy does it show; at this point, I’ve been fighting the road so long my tires are bald and the wires are showing.
Like basically everyone else, I’m feeling the effects of inflation in the post-Covid America. My relationships in the romance department are laughable at best, traumatizing at worst, and even my friendships and family ties have mostly dissipated due to work/life conflicts and growing pains. Spirituality is an area of my life that’s never been of importance to me, and while I’m not feeling a calling to any religion in particular, I have been feeling a deep need to answer my own personal ‘why’ as a way to justify my presence having purpose. And finally, health… blah. Physical and mental, I’m being neglectful and it’s impacting everything from my digestive system to my sleep patterns and is the first tire on the verge of a blowout.
All of this seems super daunting as a whole, but the most beautiful thing about life is that you can start over at any moment you choose; I’ve done it over and again, and I’ll do it now. Even better news, adjusting my alignment won’t cost a dime and- being my own mechanic- I have total control of how long my “car” is in the shop. Aligning your well-being for true success and happiness is no one’s responsibility but your own, and the moment you realize that it’s as much a wake-up call as it is a relief.
I’m also not suggesting you have to be “killin’ it” in these areas to be successful, but you MUST feel satisfied with your efforts on a personal level, wherever that bar lies for you and without limiting yourself for continued growth. For example, right now being debt-free with 3 months living in savings would make me completely comfortable. However, I don’t want to set that as my goal, because ultimately I want more. At the same time, I don’t need to set my expectations at Jeff Bezos levels, because then I’m never going to feel like I achieved anything. It’s a balancing act that takes setting realistic, attainable goals and moving the post up a notch every time it comes within arm’s reach.
The mind is truly the most difficult muscle to train, and if you can discipline yourself you can do literally anything. It takes so much and yet so little effort to realize YOU’RE the one standing in your own way. The body is only limited by the brain and you can achieve so much more than you give yourself credit for. Right now my insides nor outsides align with the person I want to be, so it’s time to give myself a tuneup and get back on track. It’s time to start replacing those old, slick donuts (even if I can only afford to do it one at a time) so I can keep my car on the road to success!