When You’re Not Making Headway, Check Your Tires!

A few weeks ago I had trouble with a couple of the tires on my car. First, one wouldn’t hold air because it had a nail in it, no doubt courtesy of a construction

Brad W. Smith photographer, When You're Not Making Headway, Check Your Tires! LifeIsHOTBlog

You can ignore a low tire for a while, but it won’t get better on its own and it makes it harder to get where you want to go.

zone near my house. A few days after getting that repaired and having the tires rotated, another one wouldn’t hold air because of a slightly bent rim, something that had happened in a minor (but not inexpensive) car accident several years ago. With two bad tires in the same week, I spent a lot of time not getting very far.

I fretted about juggling my schedule to make up for unexpected time in the repair shop, the costs, and even wondering what else might need to be repaired on a car that’s 10 years old and has 140K miles on it. (Answer: about $2000 worth of normal wear and tear.)

4 Kinds of ‘Bad Tires’

Sitting in the tire shop late on a Sunday afternoon got me to thinking about how other kinds of ‘bad tires’ keep us from making headway. I’d been keeping an eye on that first tire and getting it refilled every few weeks for months, instead of actually taking time to see what was wrong and take care of the problem. Once and done.

If you don’t have time to do it right,

when will you have time to do it over?

You probably have done the same thing – instead of attending to some Thing that causes you problems once, you add the task called Maintaining the Problem to your daily or weekly or monthly chore list. It’s easy enough to fall into this trap of dishonest living, of pretending that everything is fine and nothing needs to change because you can accept the situation.

All of those little things wear you out, physically and mentally. I wasn’t surprised to read about a study that showed hard thinking really does wear out our bodies, though scientists can’t explain why.

Samuele Marcora at the University of Kent, England, found that people who first played a mentally challenging game on a computer subsequently performed less well on an endurance test on an exercise bicycle, compared to those who had first watched a documentary or sporting event. While it appeared the heavy thinking had worn them out physically, there was no correlating measures to their cardiovascular responses. It appears that the mental exercise altered their perception of the difficulty of the physical exercise.

I have come up with four kinds of ‘tires’ that sap energy and attention and diminish our enjoyment of life. I’ve listed them here with a few examples of each.

Tired Thinking

  • Tired of thinking about a problem you can’t solve, like someone’s addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex.
  • Tired of thinking about a problem you don’t want to solve, like your financial future or your dysfunctional relationship with your partner, friend, child or parent.
  • Tired of thinking that you can continue on the same way you’ve always done and believing that things will be different than they have always been.

“A conclusion is simply the place

where you got tired of thinking.”
~ author Dan Chaon, Stay Awake

Tired Feeling

  • Tired of feeling like you have to be perfect, or at least better than those around you, so that you always spend more time on projects or at work than anyone else.
  • Tired of feeling afraid of failure, and so you refuse to do those things you could do that might bring you success.
  • Tired of feeling anxious because of your “catastrophizing” – your chronic fear that the worst-case scenario will always happen.
  • Tired of feeling you have to please others, instead of letting them take care of their own feelings.

Self-esteem is made up primarily of two things:

feeling lovable and feeling capable.

~ success coach Jack Canfield

Tired Acting

  • Tired of acting like everything is fine when you’re hurting.
  • Tired of acting like you’ve got it all together when you’re unraveling at the ends.
  • Tired of acting like you’re not grieving when the pain is all you can think about.
  • Tired of acting like your needs don’t matter when others use you as a doormat.

I’m so tired I never want to wake up again.

But I’ve figured out now that it was

never them that made me feel that way.

It was just me, all along.”
~ author Maggie Stiefvater, Forever

Tired Living

  • Tired of eating food that energizes you with caffeine or sugar and then drops you like a stone and leaves you dragging.
  • Tired of carrying more weight than you need.
  • Tired of avoiding mirrors.
  • Tired of not exercising the body with vigorous, mind-clearing activity.
  • Tired of waking up ready to heave the alarm clock through the wall and utterly exhausted from insufficient sleep.

“I’m so tired. I don’t know if I can

ever outrun how I used to be.”
~ author  Marie Lu, Champion

Fixing the bad tires made my car ride better. Fixing the ‘bad tires’ in your life can make your life ‘ride better’ too. Instead of worrying about things that need to be fixed, just go fix them. Instead of watching problems that you know will only get worse, take the time now to fix them. Start today by making a plan to make a change. 

What ‘bad tires’ are holding you back from the life you deserve to live?

Get rid of the bad tires in your life and you’ll be surprised how your life smooths out and stretches in front of you.

Live Honest, Open, and True

Like a bad tire that just loses a little air over time, it seems easier at first to cope with a problem than it is to fix it and be done with it. There are four kinds of ‘bad tires’ that can plague your life: tired thinking, tired feeling, tired acting, and tired living. You can change your tiredness in for new ways of acting, feeling, thinking and taking care of your body and experience a smoother ride in life.

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