I was around my large family Saturday for Halloween where Grandpa cooks up his “special” chili. My uncle Mike and cousins were talking about their last few days deer hunting. My cousin Micheal had gotten stuck in his truck in a spot that we like to hunt and Chris, my other cousin, heard that he got stuck and decided to take his truck out. “My truck can’t get stuck. It is unstuckable.” he proclaimed. Lo and behold, he goes out and yes you guessed it…he got stuck. While we were standing around making fun of Chris, I remembered an incident that Dad went through.
A few years back while we were at the end of our summer vacation at Lake Tenkiller, it was time to hook the trailers up to the trucks and get them back on top of our land. Dad had a nice Dodge pickup and he always loved to show what any of his trucks could do. Well, when he went to pull the trailer up our semi washed out road, his wheels starting spinning. Dad kept trying and getting nowhere. He got frustrated…very frustrated. Then he felt embarrassed. My uncle Mike had a truck with 4WD and easily took that trailer and all the rest of our gear up top. Dad just could not believe it. The whole way home he talked about it. Our family loved to tease Dad about his Dodge truck and the next thing we knew, Dad shows up home after work with a 4WD Ford pickup. It is the truck that I drive today.
Dad used this experience as another way to teach me something. We were talking about it the next summer vacation. “Son, it just really bothered me that my tires just kept spinning and getting nowhere. I was going to do whatever it took to make sure that I would not do that again. It got me thinking too that many will go through life spinning their tires to nowhere and think that they are moving ahead.”
“Matt, don’t get stuck in life. Always make sure that you are moving forward. If you fail, at least learn from it so that you are still maturing and moving ahead. Don’t be one that realizes you are stuck and not do anything about it. If you are in a job that is a “bridge to nowhere” and you have no room to grow. Take your own time and look for a job where you can mature and grow in experience and pay. Apply for it. Once you get it, be respectful and give a minimum of two weeks notice at your other job and finish strong for them. ” Dad was a man that believed strongly that you should always respect any company that gave you a job, even if you hated it. After all, you were the one that applied :-).
“Son, in the same way, don’t get stuck in a rut with your life. Make sure that you do not get into relationships that promote mediocrity. You should be growing and challenging each other. If you end up in what seems to be an endless cycle, stop and reflect on things. If the only way to stop it is to walk away, then have the courage to do it. If you have a habit that is destroying you, have the courage to do whatever it takes to stop it. It will take courage and strength to admit that you need help or that you have failed, but know that you will be a better man for it.”
Dad loved people and believed that most had a desire to be good. If you royally screwed up, Dad would not throw you under the bus and give up on you. Quite the contrary. He would love you and if you wanted to get things right, he was the first to be there. My Dad was an ambassador of Hope. He somehow always made you feel that there was always hope for you. I pray that you have someone like that in your life. Please do not keep spinning your tires. If you are stuck in a job that no matter what you do you cannot grow, then go and find one that does. If you are an alcoholic that has failed over and over to stop, find the courage to ask for help before you really hurt someone, including yourself. If you are stuck in a destructive relationship, be strong enough and respect yourself enough to get out of it.
Last note…. the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. If this describes you, don’t waste time beating up yourself about how dumb you are. Figure out what you need to do and in the words of Nike, “Just Do It.”