The Flat Tire Analogy

This is an analogy I worked up a few years ago, and it is still not perfect. If you would like to help, please feel free to send your feedback. 

A few years back, I was called in to intervene in an emergency. The exact details about the incident easily tell a story and teach a lesson. Still, because I am a ‘personal development so-and-so’ with a need to collect these types of stories, this seemingly doomed analogy was loosely formed from the situation.

The analogy goes like this: you head outside, intent on hopping in your car and driving off somewhere. And when you get outside and to your car, you find that you have a flat tire. A very visible and obvious flat tire.

If I were to ask you what the first thing is you would do when faced with this situation, I should be almost guaranteed that your answer will not be: get in the car, put the key in the ignition, start the car and drive away.

You could choose to open the trunk to get your spare tire. You could choose to get on your phone and call a cab, and maybe even call a person you were supposed to meet at a specific time and let them know you will be delayed. You could choose to stand there and cry. You cannot choose to get in the car, put the key in the ignition, start the car, and drive away.

Okay, that is not true. You can just as easily get in the car, put the key in the ignition, and start the car. There is no impediment to that procedure. And you could always attempt to drive away, although it would be difficult to go very far, very fast, or very comfortably on a flat tire. But it is not impossible. It just happens to be a horrible idea that is guaranteed to make the issue worse.

That was the situation I walked into. A client arrived and needed to progress on a project with the standard setup to get things done unavailable. And was going to remain that way for the 20 minutes that he had to operate in. And he had no choice but to operate in that 20 minutes.

He called up for the standard procedures, and no one could provide it for him. I walked in, he called for standard procedure, and there was no way I could offer it. After taking control of the situation, I offered him an alternative. Only one alternative, which at this point, was the only way we could have done anything.

To my relief, my actual relief came in to attempt to get things back on the path to normal. Well after the 20 minutes of the allotted time I had to try to incorporate a fix.

Back to bad analogies: life will offer you plenty of curves that will try to throw you off your path, and some will be successful at the moment. The way to act in those moments is to accept that what you intend to happen can not be willed into existence. Accept it, deal with it, and move on from that moment.

So, how bad was my analogy? Email and let me know, good or bad. 

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