It’s probably happened to everyone once or twice: you’ve finished your morning routine, placed your mug of coffee in the holder of your car, turned the key, and… the engine turns over and over and over but the car won’t start.
It happened to me this morning. And it filled me with dread. I could imagine the problem being everything from a bad starter to a bad fuel pump; no matter what it was, the warranty expired about six thousand miles back and I’d be bearing the full brunt of whatever it was going to cost. And I could imagine the cost being rather up there – the car is a Saab, and aside from cost, getting parts for a Saab is like trying to get Dapper Dan pomade – two weeks from everywhere. And I could imagine a hefty towing charge just to get it to my mechanic of choice, the Mom & Pop Shop that doesn’t have price mark-ups between departments.
The real problem, of course, being that I’d have to somehow come up with the funds. Sitting in my car, feeling utterly hopeless and trying to come up with a solution, my mind was riddled with fear and doubt and dread. Only the worst case scenario could possibly be expected to happen to me, right? It only figures, right? If I only had the money, everything would be just fine…
Well, these thoughts weren’t getting me anywhere. Then my eyes fell on the book sitting in my passenger seat, a book by Steve Siebold that doesn’t have any answers to engine problems, but does contain (is chocked full of) all kinds of secrets to setting – and keeping – the right frame of mind.
I open it up to number 123: Champions Know Security is a Perception
(I’m not interested in breaking any copyright laws, so just a few excerpts from number 123. If you want it all, I strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.)
“…there are only two facts in which you can be secure: all of us were born, and all of us will die. Everything that happens in between these two dates is up for grabs.” “Champions are motivated by the idea that their security is in their ability to perform, … if any form of security exists within the universe, it is within their thoughts.”
And the real kicker:
“Extrinsic things like money will never make you feel secure unless you are secure on the inside; unless you believe you have the ability to deal with whatever happens between your birth day and your death day. If this world-class thought process exists, almost anything, from a teddy bear to a million dollars, will enhance your feeling of security. If you don’t have it, a billion dollars won’t make you feel secure. Security is simply a perception, and the great ones have always known it.”
Just a few chapters earlier was The Great Ones Make the Complicated Simple. “Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” -C. W. Ceram, Roman archeologist, author.
So how can I apply these things to the situation at hand? The incomprehensible complexity of this car is outside of my control. The geography of the nearest mechanic is outside of my control. What can I possibly do?
Well, I started to think of the simplest things that could go wrong. And the first thing that came to mind was, could the car be out of gas? The gauge hasn’t quite touched the red, and the light hasn’t lit, but who’s to say the bizarre angle of my broken driveway isn’t skewing the sensor? It couldn’t possibly be that simple, could it? It’s just got to be something far more complex, far more difficult, far more than I can handle on my own, right? Isn’t that how we think?
Lo, a half gallon into the tank later, and the car starts right up.
Here I was ready and willing to hold the planet accountable for my terrifying quandary, assuming the worst case scenarios and virtually giving up any hope of driving my car again without spending gobs of money I didn’t have – I was convinced the money would solve the problem, the money would provide my security.
And that was a delusion. Lesson learned. Not that money isn’t necessary. Like oxygen, it is. But security is a perception, and it lies within our own thoughts and minds.