Your Limitations Are Somebody Else’s Strengths – Team Up!

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off well.

It’s hard to believe December is finally here. This has been the longest year ever, I do believe, and not just because it had one extra day in February. That was just icing on the cake. I’ve always said that when you skip a Monday at work, you get four more to make up for it. I’m not sure if that explains 2020, but I’m willing to consider all possibilities.

Normally by now we’d be getting in the holiday spirit. Houses would be decorated, trees would be up, department stores would be bustling with shoppers, holiday music would dominate the airwaves, and in the parking lots people would be giving one another the finger as they battled for the last “good” parking spot. Okay, that’s pretty much all year.

My outdoor lights have been up for a month, but we just turned them on last week. That’s not as much about preparation as a fat guy who isn’t safe on the ladder anymore, a day of decent weather, and a grandson who needed money. You play the hand you’re dealt. Besides, he’s young and bounces easier than I do. If I hit the ground, things break. Like underground pipes.

I decided one day that I needed to inspect the seals on our RV’s roof. The book says that needs to be done twice a year, and I’m all about preventive maintenance. Yes, I’m really that old. Only problem is, inspecting the seals means getting up there where you can actually see them. On a rounded fiberglass roof. Twelve feet off the ground. With an asphalt safety net. No thank you.

I’ve always been able to fix just about anything. I learned these things out of necessity. When you can’t afford a mechanic, you figure it out. With each success, I became more confident. There were setbacks. Like that time I replaced my brakes and five miles down the road the pedal went to the floor … with a Cadillac stopped in front of me. That’ll get your attention.

But I learned something from each mistake. A fraction of the air it takes to stop a semi will mess up your whole day in a hydraulic brake system. Go figure. And we won’t even talk about the time I repacked the rear wheel bearings on my VW Beetle and later that night my left-rear tire went bouncing across A1A in Key West. Oops!

My greatest challenge was acknowledging my limitations. And there was really only one. I had no fear of tearing an engine apart, but I’ve never seen the inside of a transmission because transmissions are the automotive version of Mouse Trap. I have this vision of removing a single screw and twelve springs go flying across the room. “Transmission broken?” It is now.

But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to recognize those limitations a little better. It’s not that I can’t do the job. I could climb under a car just as easily today as I did forty years ago. It’s getting back up that’s a problem. That, and this knuckle on my left hand that likes to lock up any time I bend my finger. So, I have to keep that finger perfectly straight. Don’t take it personally.

There are things we do really well, and for each of us, those things are different. Can I open a clogged drain line? Sure. Am I the best person to do it? Not in a million years. Tell me to wire a new switch, and I’m completely in my element. But when it came to brain surgery, I paid somebody else to do it. My wife pretty much insisted on that.

There’s no shame in admitting our shortcomings. Whether related to age, ability, agility, or just a general willingness to do the job, there will always be some things we do better than others. And for those things we can’t do quite as well as we’d like, there are others who can do the job with their eyes closed. At least that’s what my surgeon said.

It’s the same when it comes to our dreams. If we’re the expert on how to achieve those dreams, why are we still dreaming about it? Sometimes, we have to throw a question out there and listen to the responses. They don’t all have to make sense. They don’t even have to be something we wanted to hear. But all too often, the most insane answer is the best.

Have you ever found something you’d lost, and then proclaimed, “It was in the last place I looked!” Well, duh! But that’s pretty much true of all the things we seek. Learn where they can be found and how to get them, and it’s simply a matter of doing the work. You don’t have to be an expert. You don’t even have to hire one. All you have to do is open your mind and listen.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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