#67 | Should you really be reading this right now? GBXM doesn’t pay my bills, and I’m pretty sure that means it’s not paying yours, either. (If it is, please let me know how, as I’d like to subscribe again.) Back in school, many of us had guidance counselors ask us what we’d do if we had a bazillion dollars in the bank and didn’t have to work. Frankly, I think that’s bullshit.
WHY THEY ASK THAT QUESTION
Left to our own devices (read: corporate marketing propaganda), we tend to want a lot of stuff. Most of that stuff is disposable, easily forgotten crap in the long run, but we still want it. Bad. A lot of us grew up with the following game plan:
- Get good grades in school.
- Go to college. (Get a degree.)
- Get a good job.
Simple, and not a bad idea, really. But here’s the thing. Look at the whys behind this plan. Why do we want good grades in school? So we can get into college and get a degree. (Back before college acceptance depended on more than a pulse and a halfway decent credit score or co-borrower.) Why do we want a degree? So we can get a good job. And why do we want a “good” job? So we can make a lot of money without digging ditches, thereby enabling us to buy all that disposable, easily forgotten crap.
WHAT WE MISSED
I’m a firm believer elementary school should teach us the basic skills for learning – hand tools. Reading, writing, basic math, science and geometry/social studies are the sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and hammers of life. High school should be about learning how use of those tools empowers us to do the things we want to do with our lives – building, modification, and repair. The engine builds, forced induction, suspension and handling, brakes and steering of life, if you will.
By the time we finish high school, I believe we should have a solid, if not basic, intellectual toolbox and some experience using those tools in ways we can recognize as being useful toward our goals – a pretty good idea what we want to do with our lives – beyond making a shitload of money. It’s a damn shame people pick majors based on salary information over their true passions, while those who do pursue their passions – education, journalism, the arts – largely graduate into essentially debtors’ prison.
We missed the big idea, here. If you had a bazillion dollars in the bank and didn’t have to work… Yes, the point is to get us thinking about what we really want to do with our lives, but I think prefacing those thoughts with a preposterous dollar amount is distracting. Remove money from the equation and what do you get?
- Wake up every day excited about your to-do list.
- Happily put in more hours, gaining more experience.
- Become an expert, then a master at what you love doing.
SHOULD YOU REALLY BE READING THIS RIGHT NOW?
I really appreciate you reading this, but maybe you should be working. Maybe you should be polishing your resume. Maybe you should be working on your business plan. Somewhere along the way, we got sidetracked. We fell into the consumer trap. Escaping into content on the web is so easy. But how much content is there for gearheads who want more from life? We can’t all be race car drivers and crew chiefs.
When was the last time you read something on an automotive site that was meant to help you live a better life? When was the last time you read something that was just mildly entertaining? See what I mean?
For years, I’ve said I want GBXM to help gearheads like us adapt the skills we use building high performance machines to building high performance lives. Things haven’t really played out as I originally planned. We’ve run a lot of unique and interesting stories, but I kinda feel the biggest benefit so far has been showing us how much we have in common.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from 5+ years doing this is the things we have in common empowers us to realize the true potential in our differences. Road racers can learn from rallyists, who can learn from rock crawlers, who can learn from car audio nuts, who can learn from lowriders, who can learn from lifted diesels.
Every group has its own tricks and specialties. Every group has its own values. We’ve all got a group that rubs us the wrong way. For some it’s riced out Hondas, for others it’s stanced-out Euros, and some people it’s coal-rolling retards. These are surface distractions, though. We all do what we can within our means and abilities. Something superficial initially attracted each of us to playing with cars. Experience, exposure, and embrace got us where we are today.
Seeing how this one simple revelation has made a positive difference in my own life, I want to do more to help my gearhead brothers and sisters feel a stronger sense of global, automotive unity. Thus my motives behind exploring ways to help gearheads apply the skills developed building high performance machines to high performance lives.
WE HAVE – A PLAN
A few years ago, I was introduced to something called the Lominger Competencies, a list of 67 skills determined most valuable in the business world. It’s something companies pay big money to license and use for their employees, typically for career advancement (management prep). A license to offer a paid training program for our readers would cost more than a couple years’ salary, so I can’t afford to license the complete content. I’m also not a certified consultant by any means, so I wouldn’t be comfortable building a training program anyway.
As the complete list of these competencies is publicly available, however, I think it’s a great starting point for a series of articles this year. Little content as we published in 2014, we could certainly use the writing prompts! Some of us just need a little nudge here and there to get us thinking about the next big idea. I’d like GBXM – and GBXM readers – to be that nudge, for you, for I, for gearheads like us.
For the first time ever, I’ve got an editorial calendar in place. (One of) my big goal(s) for 2015 is to consistently publish new stuff on a weekly basis – consistently edifying stuff. We’re going to explore these competencies together. I’ve broken out the 67 Lominger competencies into blocks for each month, starting with strategic skills in January, and finishing up with results in December. In between, we’ll talk a little bit about operational skills, drive & energy, and a whole lot about personal & interpersonal skills.
This is going to supercharge our usual gearhead interviews. Not only are we going to continue introducing you to gearheads like us, we’re going to be bringing this personal/professional development stuff up with them. Of course you’re always encouraged to discuss just about anything with us in the comments, but we’re going to do a little collective reflection this year.
ARE YOU READY?
This is the year I finally get my shit together. We can go anywhere and find pictures of cool cars, crazy entertaining Russian dash cam footage, and the latest paraphrased press release. I want this to be a place where we can all feel really good about what we’re reading. This “playing with cars” thing? It’s more than a hobby. It’s a way of life. Building high performance machines is a means to building high performance lives. This is the year we crack that code. Together. Gearheads like us.
DO ME A KINDNESS?
If you like where this is going, if you think the gearheads of the world deserve a magazine that puts their needs – their success – before any kind of money-making, do me a kindness and share these stories around. I’m going to tag them all #67, so we can all refer back in the future.
Keep going fast with class and press on regardless.