If you are like any of the people I mentioned this blog topic to, you read the title and your eyebrows went right up to your hairline and you likely chuckled and said something like “…well crap.”
But bare with me for a second and really consider it.
This blog topic came to my mind one evening as I was heading into the gym. I had just parked and was exiting my car when I happened to glance at the car parked next to mine. I think I likely muttered a curse, but I know for certain that I stood peering into the car for a few minutes.
Why you may ask?
While the car itself was a newer model mid-size sedan that likely cost a pretty penny- the entire inside of the car was totally wrecked. The passenger’s side had a mountain of take-out and fast food containers.
I don’t mean mountain as a hyperbole.
I mean that there was a base-layer of trash that covered the seat, and then built up, pyramid-style, reaching almost to the head-rest. Trash was littering the floor, and when my gaze slid over to the backseat, it looked like the discard pile in the back of a Goodwill store. Clothes, purses, and briefcases were scattered across the seats, with a decorative hanger-bar, which contained hangers, but no clothing. When I pulled my fiance aside to discuss my revelation with him (and show him pictures) he pointed out that the car’s owner was likely in sales and ‘lived in their car.‘
As I walked into the gym, I had this moment where all I could think of was “What does this person look like? At first glance, can you tell that they live this way?”
It really got me thinking about how effectively we succeed at ‘adulting’ when it comes to taking care of our bodies.
So naturally, the first thing I did was Google “How to take care of your car for dummies.” I wondered if I could read through the list and find some parallels. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that I found a wealth of information!
Take a gander at some of the more interesting tidbits, and consider how it might relate to how you take care of YOURSELF as well:
1. Your Car: Clean the exterior and interior of your car monthly.
You: consider the health benefits of eating right and exercise. It’s common knowledge that exercise and healthy foods not only improve our body’s health, but also improve our mood as well. If you haven’t been washing your car on a regular basis; ask yourself: are you maintaining your body?
2. Your Car: Check your break pads every 25,000 miles, or they will wear down.
You: How often do you take the time to ‘pump the breaks’ and evaluate your life? Sometimes in our world of instant gratification and the insane pressure we experience everyday, we forget that it’s totally okay to press the pause button, and check in with yourself about the effectiveness and health of your decisions. Ask yourself: Have you checked your breaks lately? Is your life working how you want it to?
3. Your Car: Make sure your mirrors are always good to go
You: The saying hindsight is always 20/20 is both true, and more instructional than most people realize. It’s so important that we look back into our past and learn from the joys AND the hurts we experienced. While your car’s windshield shows you what’s in front of you, the rear-view mirror is equally important in safely getting you where you need to go.
Ask yourself: What have I learned about myself from my past? How have I grown as a person?
4. Your Car: Change out any bad head-light bulbs as fast as you can
You: The power of intention is SO important in our lives! If you listen to successful people in industries ranging from pop stars and athletes to heads of state and entrepreneurs; they will all tell you that what you visualize is what you actualize. Don’t just let life happen TO you by ‘staying in the dark’ and seeing what fate or chance brings your way. Make a plan and set your intentions for the life you want. Ask yourself: Am I happy staying in the dark? How does living without intention serve me? How could I change my life if I decided to make a plan for myself?
5. Your Car: Clean bird crap off your car as soon as you can
You: Look. It’s inevitable. Bad stuff is going to happen to all of us. Even with all the planning and luck on your side, occasionally it will feel like the world has chewed you up and spit you out. But the truly contented people of the world won’t let those things harden their hearts. They accept that bad things have happened and find ways to make peace with it and let it go.
Ask yourself: How are you allowing the negative experiences in your life to shape you? Have they become valuable lessons learned that have made you a stronger person? Have they created a sense of insecurity and fear about people or places?
And lastly a bonus!
Your Car: Ask an expert about car trouble if you aren’t sure yourself.
You: No one is able to help themselves 100% of the time. It’s a sign of strength to know when to ask for help. If you have been thinking that your engine (that’s a pun for your heart and mind!) isn’t running the way you’d like it to- reach out and work with a counselor who can help!