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Power Up Passages

Shifting Gears.

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March 20, 2007.

"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears."
Barbara Johnson

If there is one common denominator that winners share, it is their tendency to push themselves. They want what they want and they're more than willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Sometimes they push themselves a little too hard, a little too long. And sometimes they push themselves right to the edge, right to the very brink - and that's a little too far.

All of us have a number of things we need to do and want to accomplish daily. The only way to get them done is to, quite frankly, get busy and do them. So we push - and push some more. If we are not vigilant, we can ultimately push ourselves right to the breaking point and beyond.

"The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher."
Proverb

There is a fine line that separates pushing yourself to succeed and pushing yourself too far. It is incumbent upon each of us to determine where our own lines lie and be ever mindful not to cross them. Getting where you want to go in life is a delicate balance of walking the line; the line between giving it all you've got and completely giving out. And making things a little more tricky is the fact that this line is never static. It can change by the day, by the hour or even the minute.

So how do we walk this ever changing line without crossing it? How do we really know how hard we can push ourselves, how far we can go before we end up over the line? And exactly where is this line at any given time? Good questions, tougher answers. You see, we're all different. Our moods change, our energy levels fluctuate and ability to handle stress and pressure vary from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.

"There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear."
David Mahoney

Sometimes we need to crank it up a notch or two and really get after it. Then there are occasions when backing off the gas for a while is the better course of action. There are times when we need to fire things up and times when we need to cool things down. There are moments when we should let it rip and times when we should simply unwind from the grind. So how do we really know for sure what we need to do at any given moment?

In its simplest terms, we must become proficient at reading ourselves. That's right, we must get good at gauging what we've got left in the gas tank at any given time. Like it or not, we're never going to have the same amount of 'oomph' every minute of every day. Sometimes we can shoulder the heaviest of burdens and keep moving forward - and sometimes a much lighter load can knock the wind out of our sails. That's why learning to listen to what your body is telling you is one of the most important lessons you'll ever learn.

"You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing."
René Descartes

There is only one way to fulfill your destiny, to make your life everything it can be and more. And that is to constantly push yourself to improve daily. Yes, you do need to PUSH yourself every single day, continuously pushing to get better, faster and smarter at everything you do. That means adapting, learning how to bend without breaking.

Way too many people use feeling tired or worn down as a convenient excuse for not pushing themselves. There is sizable difference between just not running and running out of gas - between being tired and completely worn out. Let's face it, plodding along in low gear, or worse yet no gear, is never going to get you anywhere worth going. If you're ever going to discover how far you can go, how high you can fly, you've got to push and push some more.

So how do you really know if you're powering through the blahs or in reality pushing yourself past the point of no return? How do you know if you're pushing too hard or not pushing hard enough? Again, this comes from experience, learning how to listen and respond to what your body is telling you.

If you need to take a break, take it. Use these precious moments to recharge your batteries and regain your focus - and then get going again. If you need to slow down, then back off the accelerator for a while and allow yourself to relax and unwind. Then, refreshed and revitalized, get moving again better than ever before.

"I can only go one way. I've not got a reverse gear."
Tony Blair

There's nothing wrong with shifting into a lower gear once in a while, taking a few minutes to slow things down every now and again. Shifting into a lower gear can help you collect your thoughts and collect your breath, granting you a moment or two away from life's constant commotion. But a word of caution here. If you rest too long, you may find yourself stuck in reverse. So take your break, shift back into gear and get back in the game.

The key to staying on track is to shift gears whenever and wherever needed. By choosing the right gear for the right moment, you can continuously push yourself forward towards a future holding limitless possibility and infinite opportunity. A future where everything you now only dream about can come true. By listening and adapting to what your body is telling you, you'll soon be deftly shifting gears while shifting your life into overdrive.

The Bottom Line: The key to success lies in your ability to adapt.


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Author: Greg Hickman


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