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  • George Karavattuveetil

Gear Up!


I have been driving stick shift cars for 40 years. I love the greater control when going into curves and even in emergencies, needing to brake quickly when the regular brakes fail. It is also nice to have multiple gears to appropriately adjust to changing road conditions, desire for acceleration and the ever present, “need for speed!”


Are there times when you feel like you only have two gears? Maybe Park and a single forward gear? How does this impact your relationships and ability to most effectively respond to life’s challenges?


Park is important for every living organism, providing an opportunity for necessary rest. Being able to purposefully put yourself into park and shut down your engine is critical for life success. This means turning off electronics, maybe trying yoga or meditation as well as breathing techniques. As you may have heard, “The rest of your nights determines the rest of your days.”


Reverse is also essential for effectively navigating life’s challenges. Granted, you will not use it as often as your other gears. However, being able to stop, understand current situations/differing perspectives and possibly reverse a position or direction is necessary for long-term success. I am always very wary of people who are not able to say, “I am sorry” and to reverse course. The fact is no one is right all the time. Do not be the person who is perceived as not being able to admit a mistake or appropriately put yourself into reverse.


Finally, forward gears! How many do you need? If you are not working with others, or do not care about how you work with others, then multiple gears are not needed. However, if you want the most effective relationships, multiple gears are necessary. Recognizing that we all operate in different speeds, either we can expect everyone else to adjust to our speed or be skilled and capable of initially adjusting to theirs. This allows for smooth communications and transfer of ideas, like relay professionals during a successful baton exchange. How easy do you make it for others to relate and exchange information with you?


Shifting gears is critical for life success. Being effective in Park, Reverse and multiple forward gears requires practice. It is necessary to build skills being in a specific gear as well as transitioning easily from one to another. Take greater control of your life and positively impact those around you.


Gear up for success!