Responding To Failure

Kevin Johnson Better

Is There Ever A Good Time To Lock Your Keys In The Car?

Maybe if you were headed to an awkward blind date, or perhaps simply a social gathering and you’re an introvert, so locking your keys in the car in that case was a God sent, and you’ll “reluctantly” text your friends saying “Bummer, can’t make it, locked my keys in the car” sad face emoji, crying emoji, while you’re now sipping a cup of tea while re-watching “Walter Mitty” again. However, this was not the case in my situation

I had just arrived at the gym for an extremely time sensitive workout, I had a window of opportunity with no buffer on either ends of the clock. I ran to me car, tossed my gym bag in the back of my SUV, closed the door and took off. Upon arriving at the gym, there was literally no parking spots left, except one backing up right into a tree.

Taking the only spot at the gym, I backed my car in, and stopped within inches of the tree. Now unable to open the giant hatch on the back of the expedition, I simply opened the glass window so I could grab my bag and go. Tossing my keys in the bag, then pulling it out, only to discover I had shut the trunk on one of the adjustment straps, and it was not going t come out until i opened the trunk an inch or two. In my hurry, I closed the glass, and pressed the button to open the trunk just enough to slide my bag out between the car and the tree, but the trunk would not open. Yep! I had locked myself out, keys in my bag, I don’t own spare keys, and i never set the lock code on my door after purchasing my car.

Now with the potential of my day being completely ruined, and certain frustration to ensue, I had to call my wife and hope she was available. She apparently was having an equally difficult day, having forgot her wallet at home, creating a perfect opportunity to swing by and bring me a coat hanger or something, which she then did, unfortunately it only added to my frustration as I consumed my entire window of time at failing to successfully break into my car, and now having to leave it here until an undetermined time to return and try again with some proper tools.

I could go on describing the difficulty of my day, the chaotic struggle that followed, and how I, ashamedly, allowed it to be projected on those around me. Ultimately however after watching a few videos on youtube, buying the appropriate “Slim Jim” lockout tool, and going back alter that evening for another try, I victoriously gained access to my car, and went home. How does this help you however when it comes to responding to failure?

Failure Doesn’t Define You, But Your Response To It will. Kevin Johnson

Could I have chosen a better response throughout my day, yes. Did I calm down eventually, of course. I was mostly mad because i had broken into my car with a coat hanger in 5 minutes a few months prior, but now 35 minutes of trying and no success can make a man question his man card. There are three main points I want to illustrate to help you overcome, and maybe event prevent problems like this for you, and not just locking yourself out of the car.

#1. Preventative Action

Months earlier, at a wedding I attending, I had managed to lock myself out of that same car. Thankfully there were plenty of metal hangers available on account of the bountiful supply the rental tux place gives you, and i was able to pop it open in a jiffy, but it was then that I acknowledged the truth that I need to figure out how to set up my door keypad code so this wouldn’t happen again. As you read, this didn’t happen, and I was forced to deal with my lack of prioritization later, at a less convenient time, and add useless stress to both me, and my families day.
Ask yourself, what do you know you are supposed to be doing, or you should’ve done already? Ask yourself Why you haven’t made that a priority? Pushing off moments of challenge, confrontation, or pain, only allows the issue to force itself upon you at a later time, when you are then forced to deal with it, instead of having options. Maybe it’s not too late yet for you to have options still in your health, meaning you haven’t yet crossed the threshold of being required by a doctor to eat a certain way, or else! Are you going to abuse your freedom to choose, or steward it well? If you have passed that threshold, and maybe a doctor has already given you the right act, and taken away your guilt free fast food trips and replaced it with shame and fear. The truth is, it’s far better to take the victories, and battles you face when they come, instead of putting it off for a later version of yourself to be forced to deal with then.

#2. Embrace Pain

Could you imagine a life without any pain? In all reality, if you were born without pain receptors and nerve endings in your body, it would be a miracle to survive beyond childhood. Pain, though difficult at times, is a major blessing, it helps us know when to push, and know when to stop. You will however, only grow to the level of pain you are willing to endure, and if you never push beyond the pain barrier, you won’t go to the next level. In relationships, in health, in love, you’ll only grow to the degree of pain you are willing to endure. This pain will not define you, but it can push you to greatness.

#2. Breath

Literally, unless the situation you are facing involves the potential death, or harm of a loved one, why are you allowing it to steal hours, days, weeks, and even years off of your life?! Plenty of research has been done, proving the correlation between high stress individuals and jobs, and shortened life expectancy, reduced health, and overall reduced quality of life. During my years as a Semi-Truck driver, I had to learn how to deal with the stress of traffic, road rage, everyone needing to be in front of the big truck, angry customers because i’m delivering groceries to them during their restaurants lunch hour, and the list goes on. I could’ve chosen to have a heart attack at 26 years old, or chose to take the advice of the senior most employee, who was still alive, and still relatively healthy. “You get paid by the hour Johnson. Why shorten your life by being worried about how long the day will take.” Sure, I want to get home, enjoy my family, enjoy some hobbies if possible, and enjoy my life, but the problem was, I had resolved in my mind that I could only be satisfied if, and when I was in the exact center of my ideal situation at all times. To change this way of thinking, not only empowered me to enjoy my 16 hours a day, 5-6 days a week as a paid slave, but enjoy the few hours i had with my family, the 4 hours of sleep i’d get a night, the angry customers, the bad traffic, an the road rage. I actually made myself change the way I spoke about things, stopping myself from saying even simple things like “I can’t wait for (blank)” it could be, Sumer, Fall, Halloween, a day off! Realizing that i’d never be satisfied but always wishing I was somewhere I wasn’t, and began enjoying life by taking life one minute at a time, an hour at a time, a day at a time. Like Rocky Balboa said “One step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time.”
Breath… Take a moment, and ask yourself, “Is this worth my energy? is this really worth me ruining my joy? my progress? my ability to love those around me?” 99% of the time, that answer is no.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:34