I was talking to a truck driver once who had decades of driving experience under his belt. He was telling me a story about the first time he drove a tanker truck. You’ve seen them on the road, they’re usually rather cylindrical and they are used to carry all kinds of liquids from one place to another. We usually see them either carrying tanks of gasoline to the gas station or filling the tanks at the gas stations, but they carry all sorts of liquids. He was telling me about the first time he hauled a big tanker trailer with liquid in it. He started off in low gear and got through the first couple of gears but the problem he ran into was when the liquid sloshed toward the back of the tank, it dragged his truck to a stop!
Have you ever felt like that? Just when you think you’re starting to make progress, you get dragged to a stop. You just got your desk cleaned off and are getting organized or you just started really losing some weight or you just started getting ahead of the wave of paperwork and you’re quickly dragged to a stop. Darn! You were just starting to get ahead! You were making progress! You were moving! Now, you’re stopped. What do you do? How do you handle it?
I asked that trucker the same question and here’s what he told me. He said, “I realized that I just needed to adjust my shift point. If I adjusted when I shifted gears and waited for the liquid to slosh forward again, it would actually push me forward.” Deep wisdom from a truck driving philosopher!
Getting started really is the hardest part! Once you’ve made the decision to go, to change, to grow and started moving in that direction, you’ve already done the hardest part! Now, its just a matter to waiting for the right time to shift gears. It’s the little changes now that will keep you moving forward. You might even being doing everything right, but its just a matter of making a adjustment that will propel you forward. When you get dragged to a stop, you need to pause for a moment to figure out why and what adjustment you can make to keep moving forward and making progress.
You’ve been doing really good and have been losing weight and getting healthier but you step on the scale and the number hasn’t changed…you’ve been dragged to a stop. What adjustment do you need to make to get back on track? Is it tweaking your calorie intake? Investing in more physical activity? Is it eating more veggies and less empty calories?
You did a great job of getting your desk cleared off and your filing caught up but now you can’t find what you’re looking for…you’ve been dragged to a stop. What adjustment do you need to make to get back on track? Is it breaking down those filled-to-overflowing files in your file cabinet to make them more manageable? Is it a matter of only handling the incoming paperwork once and deciding right then if it’s trash, if it needs to be filed, or if it needs to be given to somebody else?
First, I want to encourage you to fight the feelings of discouragement when you get dragged to a stop. Don’t give time and energy to beating yourself up because it didn’t go perfectly the first time.
Second, take a moment to look and learn from the experience. Ask yourself constructively “Why”. Not in a condemning way, but in a learning way. If your answer starts out with “because I’m a failure” or “I’m stupid”… go back to #1.
Third, now that you’ve asked and answered “why”, what can you do differently to get past this point? What adjustment needs to be made? One of Einstein’s most popular quotes is “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results.” He was a pretty smart guy, so listen to him.
Fourth, DO IT! Make that adjustment with a smile on your face and bounce in your step because you are moving forward! You can do anything that you set your mind to!
I’m here to help you be the best YOU that you can be! My goal is to help you to be more productive and more efficient and more effective. What is something that has dragged you to a stop? Comment with something that’s dragged you to a stop in the past and tell me what adjustments you made to move past it. Your experience may help someone else!