Today we get started with the serious automotive metaphor. As gearheads, we’re pretty good about figuring out how to modify our vehicles. It’s not so easy to modify our lives, though. (Or is it?)
How long since you replaced your timing belt?
As any gearhead with an interference engine can attest; timing belts only last so many miles. The recommended service interval is just that – a recommendation – but each mile beyond brings with it increased risk of mechanical catastrophe. If the t-belt goes, there’s a good chance it’s going to take all kinds of internal parts with it. Everything pretty much goes to hell in an instant.
Knowing what we do about the importance of timely t-belt replacement, why do we still hear about people who’ve snapped belts and nuked their engines? Sure, timing belt failure isn’t purely a mileage game, and random acts of mechanical sadism can occur under the hood without warning, but what’s the number one reason why t-belts don’t get done?
Timing belt jobs are a pain in the ass. At least they are for those of us with transverse-mounted engines. There’s all the other stuff we have to remove before we get to the t-belt and then, once we do, we’re working in this tiny space between the strut turret and the engine, before engaging in epic battle with the timing marks to get everything put back together. It’s time well spent, and we know we’ll be better off if we just get it done, but that peace of mind doesn’t really make the job any more pleasant.
Make the connection.
You’re a gearhead. Can you identify with this timing belt scenario? If not, what other automotive projects can you think of that are important – that absolutely need to be done – but are easy to procrastinate on? Fixing an annoying oil leak? Replacing a blown head gasket? Figuring out what you want to do with your life?
Is is time to replace your timing belt?
If it feels like what you do doesn’t matter or isn’t important, chances are, you’re in a dead end job. Maybe it’s not really a dead end job, but you’re just not interested in what you do and, the more you think about it, the more frustrated you get. There should be more to life than this.
Maybe you know what you want to do instead; maybe you have some ideas, but maybe you don’t. Whatever the case may be, you know you don’t want this.
It’s time for a change. Put off for too long, we could lose our timing belts. There’s a good chance they could take us with them, too. Everything pretty much going to hell in an instant.
We’ve got three options:
- Deny the risk: It won’t happen to me.
- Dismiss the risk: I’m not afraid of starting over from scratch.
- Defeat the risk: I’m going to change this before it changes me.
If your life needs a new timing belt, you’ve got three options:
- Deny the risk: My ship will come in.
- Dismiss the risk: As long as I’m floating, no need to rock the boat.
- Defeat the risk: I’m changing course.
Imagine you just picked up a sweet project on Craigslist. You got it for a steal! You know you should replace the timing belt, but you’ve never worked on one of these before. What would you do? What would be the first thing you would do once you got that thing home? This is what you know.
Now, imagine you just decided you’d like to do something else with your life. You know what you love doing and you know why you love it. But you’ve never made such a drastic change to your life before. What do you do? What would be the first thing you would do once you got that new project car home?
Apply what you know to something you don’t.
- What do you do when you need to fix a car you’ve never worked on before?
- How would you apply this to trying to get into a field you’ve never worked in before?