Why is it the thing(s) we enjoy doing the most aren’t able to pay the bills? Today we begin a series of articles (hopefully conversations) meant to get us all thinking about why we’re gearheads and how we can translate our gearhead skills and activities to other pursuits which stand to help us help each other live better lives. This series has been a long time in the making. You deserve the best we have to offer.
Suppose you were moving things around in the garage and out from behind the tool chest, this old, antique-looking can of oil rolls out. The label is faded, but you can still make out what it says. As you turn it over in your hand, you realize there’s still some oil in it. Giving it a shake, out pops a magic genie. (Betcha didn’t see that one coming.)
Magic genie stories always have some kind of catch.
This one’s no different. The genie will give you $10,000 to spend on your baby. (That’s your project vehicle; not significant other.) You have 60 seconds to come up with a list of parts you would buy to spend that $10,000.
Could you do it? I bet you could. I bet we all could. We’re gearheads. We’ve all got lists like these in the back of our minds. The problem is, where are we going to come up with $10,000 short of some kind of magic genie action? Why don’t he things we love most – talking about, working on, and driving cars – pay the bills?
For some, they do. Here at Gearbox, we’ve met people who make their living talking about cars, working on cars, and driving cars. The gearhead to sweet gearhead gig ratio is unfavorable, to put it mildly. For every decent-paying automotive-related job, there are probably a million gearheads who would apply for it (if they even knew it existed in the first place).
What keeps us from being as successful as we want to be?
It might seem like the odds are stacked against us. Maybe, if we knew back then what we know now, right? We could have done things differently, honed those skills, built a name for ourselves, and taken a different path. Instead, we’re sitting on the sidelines or farting along in the pits, trying to get this thing back on track. What keeps us from being as successful as we want to be?
Sure, there are obstacles in our way. Sure, there are other people out there already doing what we want to do, which will make it even harder for us to do it too, so why bother, right? That’s exactly the sort of thinking that will keep our lives JSB (jack stand baller, for those who have never owned a Mitsubishi Galant VR4).
“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that. Do you know where you’re going in life? Or do you just see where everyone else is going without out you? It’s okay if it’s the “everyone else” situation. I mean, how can we miss that sort of stuff? There’s always someone faster, ya know? Even if you’re the fastest there is, someone will come along who is faster than you, just like when you beat the old record. The trick, it would seem, is getting some traction and keeping things on the track.
Why does it feel like we can’t get any traction in life?
Could be any number of reasons; bad launch, worn out tires, suspension rebound settings. In short – we’re spinning our wheels. The race is on, we’re focused on the leaders, and we’re working hard as we can. “Work smarter, not harder” is so played out it’s not even funny, but if you’re a gearhead, you have a secret advantage.
This series is our attempt at helping you use that advantage. One gearhead to another. Every Wednesday for the next month, we’re going to be sharing another installment of Modify Your Life. We’re going to be dipping into the world of the gearhead to see if we can’t help you adapt your experiences and expertise in the automotive world to other parts of your life. You can expect a lot of metaphor.
If we can help each other build high performance machines, we can help each other build high performance lives. It’s time you got some traction and got into the fast lane. Next week: The Problem, and Changing Your Timing Belt.
Until then, keep going fast with class. Gearheads united.