It started with the toaster.
My wife and I get up one weekend morning, plug in our humble little toasting machine, drop in a few slices of bread, then sit back and wait for toast. One minute goes by, then another, then another, and then still another. By now we should have made charcoal let ...It started with the toaster.
My wife and I get up one weekend morning, plug in our humble little toasting machine, drop in a few slices of bread, then sit back and wait for toast. One minute goes by, then another, then another, and then still another. By now we should have made charcoal let alone toast so we go take a look...
Now, operating a toaster is not complicated. There are just a few "necessities" involved in the process of making toast. We'd done all of those things (plugged it in, put in bread, pushed the lever down) but nothing happened. The heating coils weren't hot and definitely weren't heating.
Our toaster was toast.
A few weeks later, we bought a new barbeque grill. In the process of putting it together -- or rather, the process of trying to put it together -- my electric screw gun seized up and stop working. Just like that. Kaput.
A few days later, I went to shave with my infrequently-used electric razor. I plugged it in, hit the "on" button and nada. Nothing. I have a four-day stubble and it's getting worse...
And last but not least, my PDA, which I use to stay organized, has seen fit to be unfit and is leaving me completely disorganized as I track down why it magically stopped interfacing with my computer.
I'll admit that I'm no genius, but even I can figure out that somebody's trying to tell me something. Stuff breaks for a reason. It's a sign. It means something. It means a couple of things, actually:
1. FIX WHAT AIN'T WORKING
Maybe it's simply a broken toaster. Maybe it's the failing plan that you have to do X,Y, & Z. Regardless, you have to do something about it. That is, if you want to get back to eating toast.
If you can't fix it, hire somebody who can.
If they can't fix it, get rid of it. You don't need it sitting around taking up time, space, and energy. Yep, I said energy... See, every time you pass by your broken, irreparable widget, your mind with spend some time and energy thinking about it. So, save yourself the hassle and get rid of it now.
2. TAKE CARE OF WHAT AIN'T BROKE BEFORE IT GETS THAT WAY
I'm not gonna tell you that you can beat science. After all, whether it's a razor or a screw-gun or an ecosystem, entropy's at work, constantly breaking stuff down. It's chaos, but hey, that's life!
The smart thing to do is to plan for that in the beginning. Expect that things will go wrong, will wear down.
Things, peoples, plans, ideas all benefit from regular upkeep and maintenance. And you'll benefit from them for much longer by it, too. Regular care, preventive care, is always easier, more enjoyable and less expensive than REPAIRS.
3. IT AIN'T FIXED IF IT KEEPS BREAKING
Yeah, you'd think this was pretty common-sense, but lots of people seem to miss this point:
If stuff keeps breaking, you have not fixed the real problem.
So, dig a little deeper next time and get to the real problem, whatever it is, and solve that, otherwise you'll just be right back where you started from!
By keeping these three things in mind and staying tuned to the signals you're getting from the people (and things) in your life, you can break the cycle of breakdowns and start living a happier, less stressful life. A clean break to a life free from costly and annoying breakdowns.
Jim M. Allen, The Big Life Guyâ¢, a professional success coach, has been working with clients from around the world since 1999. For more ideas, visit his website, CoachJim.com or subscribe to his free ezine, The Big Idea, by going to: www.CoachJim.com/subscribe.html
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