Shifting Gears

When I was young all my friends were fascinated with dirt bikes.  One of our friend’s Dad bought him one.  Boy, were we envious.  We would gather and watch him kick it started, peel out, and race over jumps we had constructed just to watch him fly. 

He got really good at it, a real miniature Evel Knievil.  None of the rest of our parents would let us have dirt bikes.  They were too dangerous.  One of us would surely get killed.  But, oh boy, did we try to kill ourselves with our pedal bikes trying to imitate the same jumps our friend did on his motorcycle.  I have a couple of scars to prove it.

One day our friend was feeling generous and offered to let one of us ride his prized dirt bike.  I declined, knowing that if my mother ever found out, I’d be skinned alive.  One of my braver friends accepted the challenge.  He got some brief instruction, started the motor and rode around the track, the engine whining higher and higher the faster he went.  You see, he had forgotten to shift gears.  The revving of the motor sounded higher and higher until we thought he would blow up, while my friend, the owner of the dirt bike chased after, shouting “shift up, shift up, shift up!”

Finally the kid on the dirt bike stopped and the owner charged up and knocked him off the bike and turned it off.  It had to sit for hours to cool down from being so overheated.  That’s the last time our friend was generous enough to let anyone else ride.

In life, we can forget to shift gears too.  We become involved in life and things start to grow and expand as our circle expands.  Pretty soon, we are running so fast we feel like our lives are overheating.  Too often we try to just go faster while doing the same things the way we’ve always done them.  We forget to shift up to the next higher gear so we can get more done with less effort.

Remember.  To get more done with less effort, you need to shift up to the next gear. You can’t operate the same way and expect to get more done or you’ll burn yourself up.

Consider doing things differently.  Share some of your activities with others.  Delegate more and leverage your efforts.  You have to be able to recognize when the time is right.  In business, this is the time to retool, take on more employees or update equipment to produce more efficiently. 

In other words you need to shift gears to get to the next level of activity or be content traveling just a little bit above idle.  It can’t be done any other way.

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