Words Matter…

Written by mitch. Posted in Aftermarket, Blog, Consumer, Distribution, General Community, Manufacturing, Personal, Repair Community

We think in images. But, since we can’t all be Rembrandt’s (I’m more a Dali or a Picasso!), we struggle to communicate those images in pictures painted with words.

There is a chapter in the book I’m just finishing that deals with what I refer to as “D” Words.

I think “D” Words are important. So important I’ve been writing about them for a very long time. So long, they found a place in the 8-volume management series I wrote and published in 2003.

But, “D” Words can be sneaky, especially if you ‘string’ a bunch of them together. Especially, when you build an entire chapter around their importance. Which is exactly what I did in the book.

The first four “D” Words I talked about were Desire, Discipline, Determination and Drive.

I suggested these four words (among a few others) are the foundational elements of character: the very core of who we are. And, that Character – an essential “C” Word – is all about the choices we make when no one is looking. When no one is around to witness those choices.

Other than myself and a dear friend who is helping me with the final research necessary to complete the book, our son, Ryan, is the only one on the planet who has seen the manuscript.

He liked it! Really, liked it… But, he did have a question. He wanted to know why I felt compelled to string so many “D” Words, so similar in meaning together.

Like all of his comments, I took his question seriously. So seriously, I eneded up rewriting the entire chapter! I rewrote the chapter, because while similar, these words are different: different enough to make them even more meaningful when used together.

Here’s how I see those differences. But, in all honesty, I’d be really interested to learn how you see them…

Desire, simply stated, is something you want: something you would like.

Think about everyone you know… Think about the human condition… There are things we’d all would like.

We’ve all got desires of one kind or another, both personal and professional.

“I want to run a marathon! I’d like to win the Lottery… I need to take my business to over $1,000,000 or $ 2,000,000 in Sales!

The question is, what do we do with those desires. And, the sad commentary is most of us do nothing more than fantasize about them.

Most of us are satisfied to use those desires to fuel our daydreams and not much else. We’re not willing to take the ‘next step’ and Do the Work!

For Desires to be more than the stuff daydreams are made of: somewhere, somehow, someone has to sprinkle them with a little Action!

Discipline is important. Critical, in fact.

Discipline is the mental toughness it takes to do what has to be done: what needs to be done, even when you aren’t motivated to do it!

But, it also implies negative consequences associated with failure.

Discipline works best when you are motivated, of course… But, it doesn’t have to work that way!

Drive is really all about motivation: selfmotivation. As in, ‘I am driven to fix my business!’ Or, I am driven ‘to break that bad habit!’

Certainly, there are external forces that could drive you to do something. Even, something you don’t really want to do. But, for the most part, when we talk about Drive, we’re talking about the fire in your belly that compels you to do whatever has to be done.

Like most words, Determination can have more than one meaning. But, when I talk about Determination, you can be pretty sure I’m talking about firmness of purpose: about being resolute.

You can have Desire, but without Determination, Discipline and Drive you’ve got another “D” Word: Dreaming.

You can have Determination, but without Desire, Discipline and Drive, your efforts will probably remain unfocused: diffused.

You can be Disciplined, but without Determination, Drive and Desire you just might find yourself wondering, Disciplined to what end!

And, finally, you may find yourself Driven: propelled toward a certain goal or objective, but without Desire, Determination and Discipline, the chances are high your journey will take longer and cost more both physically and emotionally, than it would if all four “D” works were working in concert!

There is one more “D” Word that should be considered in a discussion of “D” Words, and that is Dedication. It just may be the most powerful of all the “D” Words, because it speaks to a critical “P” Word: Passion. Your Passion for whatever it is you are doing. Your commitment to see that task through to completion, regardless.

Regardless of the inconvenience. Regardless of the difficulties. Regardless of the obstacles. Regardless of the cost…”

Words matter… All the “D” Words mentioned above… Along with a bunch of “C” Words like Courage, Commitment, Character, Care and Concern. And, some “P” Words, like the Passion, Principled, Perception and Perfection!

They matter even more when they form the building blocks of a very special “L” Word:  a word like, Leadership!

Perspective and the Pink Bunny…

Written by mitch. Posted in Aftermarket, Blog, General Community, Personal, Uncategorized

When you’ve been involved in a life-long struggle, it’s hard to reach back and point a finger at where it all started. I know, I can’t, regardless of how hard I’ve tried.

It’s even harder when you have somehow managed to tame the beast that torments you sufficiently to prove yourself at least marginally functional. Harder still, when you manage to accomplish more than might have otherwise dreamed possible.

This is especially true when the monster is nothing more than a Pink Bunny!   

That’s right! A Pink Bunny  (OK! So, it’s more RED than Pink… You’ve got to work with what you’ve got!) that over a lifetime has proven itself nothing more than an attractive nuisance, and yet still remains irresistable!

If I was somehow able to go back in time and dredge up the old, hard cover, black and white composition notebooks and scrap papers that would reach from floor to ceiling, you would see traces of the Bunny everywhere!

Not on the pages themselves! There were never any portraits of the rabbit anywhere… The wretched little creature was much too fast and far to elusive to capture on paper! But, I’m sure that was never its intent. The Bunny’s intent was distraction: to have you look away, if only for a second. To entice your mind to wander away from the task at hand! And, throughout my educational Odyssey, that little bunny managed to do that by having me render everything from Navy Corsairs to Starfighters!

All I can say is that it’s a good thing – No! A great thing! Star Wars was released long after I was finished with school or there would be a room somewhere filled with doodles of R2-D2, X-Fighters and the Millenial Falcom!   

The truth is, that little rodent rejoiced in the stacks of Report Cards my parents had to cope with, whose Comments always began with: “Mitchell has difficulty concentrating and as a result has not worked up to his potential! It would be good if we could find a way to keep him focused and on track!”

When I started working on cars, I was forced to focus: to concentrate on an entirely different plane. What I was doing did not come naturally. It required a foundation of theory that I just didn’t have and as a result I had to lay that foundation myself, layer by layer, at every class, seminar and clinic I could find and attend. Because, the information was important to me – important to our family’s economic survival – I had to pay attention: a level of attention, I had never been willing to commit to before.

A level of commitment that forced me to ignore the Pink Bunny, even when it would sneak up, kiss me on the cheek and point to something wonderful, just outside my reach, frolicking in the world just outside my window! Something to chase, but never catch!

Something to pursue, but never acquire!

Looking back, the misery of remaining focused when all you wanted was to run free – to follow the Bunny anywhere it might wander: down any Rabbit Hole – was profound! And, yet, the same level of concentration and focus I was finally able to develop in order to become a Master Technician, were the same skills and abilities that helped me create countless seminars and workshops, thousands of monthly columns, an eight-volume Automotive Management series and an almost completed management allegory manuscript!

That doesn’t mean the Rabbit has ceased taunting me!

He’s here, sitting alongside me every day… Sitting alongside me right now, in fact!

It’s fluffy little paw pressing the Return key, opening stacks of meaningless emails and following page after page of attractive, but useless web addresses! And, it’s following the Bunny’s lead that can destroy your agenda, plan or To-Do list.

And, while I haven’t been successful when it comes to ignoring the Pink Bunny altogether,I have learned to trick the little beast into leaving me alone for at least a few moments! Long enough to stay on point… Long enough to finish at least a chunk of whatever it is I’m working on…

How? One simple word, “Later…”

I can still see the Bunny! I can still hear it! I’m still enthralled by it! And, perhaps, now, more than ever, I still want to follow it! But, when I see the Bunny waving at me, pointing the way to a long, entertaining, albeit, fruitless and foolish journey, I resist the urge to follow, wave back and say, “Not now, my friend!

I’m tied up at the moment… Can we get together a bit later!

I’ll be sure to follow you then, and when I do, we are sure to have a lot more fun together… What do you say?”

The Bunny generally says, OK! Then, wanders off, and without much of a memory, rarely returns – At least, not with the same attractive nuisance it was peddling on the previous visit! And, as a result, “Later!” has become the most effective tool, my most powerful weapon, in the war I’m constantly waging against the Pink Bunny’s unrelenting assault!