The Universe has a strange—yet, unmistakable—way of letting you know when you’re not paying attention. When you’re not headed in the right direction pursuing the goals and objectives you were meant to achieve.
This time the slap came in the form of a combination of a telephone call from a colleague and my wife’s obsession with cleaning out the garage. The telephone call turned out to be a blessing. A shop owner with lots of questions. Questions I’ve spent a lifetime trying to answer. The call served as a reminder of just how much knowledge I’ve amassed over the past 40 years. And because it helped me remember just how much I enjoy sharing that knowledge through my columns and blog posts. The eight-volume Automotive Service Management Series I created. And, Misfire: What to Do When Things Aren’t Running on All Cylinders—the novel I just published on life, success, and leadership.
Normally, I would have left it at that—a conversation about formulas and ratios, exit strategies, and succession planning. But the Universe had other plans. Plans made clear over the next few hours I spent helping my wife go through some of the old files that live in the garage. An exercise focused on what should be consolidated and what could be discarded.
Have you ever tried that?
Going through stuff like that is painful. Almost impossible, really. I found copies of the original “Give Me Your Broken Cars…” The speech that started my career along with copies of all the keynotes I’ve been privileged to deliver over the years. I discovered drafts and copies of some of my favorite columns. Ultimately, it was a review of my professional life’s work.
Attempting to discard these was like leaving pieces of your life at the side of the road and that’s when the Universe really started slapping me around!
The Voice in My Head
“What are you doing?” the voice in my head began in a menacing tone. “Writing isn’t just something you’re good at. It is your calling. Your ministry. Something you are meant to do. Something I mean for you to do!
So, why aren’t you doing it?”
Needless to say, most of what I was looking at didn’t make it to the trash or into the shredder. I just couldn’t do it. They memorialize my life as a guide and educator. They commemorate a lifetime of service to the repair community.
In the end, the experience served as a teachable moment. Not just for the shop owner who called, but for me as well. It reminded me that I’ve always been a teacher. A storyteller. A Teller of Tales.
Fighting that voice in my head was futile. I couldn’t do it. Perhaps, the lesson here is neither should you?