What is a moment that changed your life forever?
Photo: That was the engine of my first car. A “powerful” 4 banger with measly 52 horses
There are some moments in our life that just are so powerful that they help transform us who we are. They help provide stretch goals and they provide long lasting change. A blown head gasket on my first car was mine. Have you thought of what yours was?
I was 18 years old and I just had had my car for a little over 6 months and one night I came home from my job as an mechanic apprentice. The car had been my granddad’s car before I got it and was a 12 year old grocery getter. It started to stutter and back fire. I could barely get home.
In our village we had a gas station that also worked on cars. So I pulled in and kindly asked the station owner if he could take a look at my messed up engine right away. He told me that he might, but that he had a lot of work left. Then but 5 minutes later a sales rep with a new Audi pulled in and asked the same station owner if he could take a look at his car. Much to my astonishment the Audi was pulled in right away and I was told to come back the next day or two. But, but, but…. I could not believe it that I had been brushed off so easily. I needed my car fixed! How would I make it to work for the next couple of days?
It dawned on me that I should try fixing the darn thing myself. I came up with a plan how to go about fixing the engine. I got a do-it-yourself handbook and secured a dry place that had the tools I would need (the local fire company really helped me out). The deeper I got into the engine the more comfortable I felt that I had done the right thing. Finally I found the source of trouble: the head gasket was severely damaged. After getting the part at the parts store I installed it and got the car back on the road. I felt elated! Although I had to ride my trusted old moped to work for a week in the middle of winter again until I got the car back on the road, I felt like a rock star. Not only had I fixed a complicated part of the engine, but I got it done fast and really cheap.
To this day I get the fixer-upper manuals to my rides such that I can work on them if I choose to do so. The independence still feels great and I cannot tell you how much money we have saved because of it.
I am not saying that you should start fixing your own stuff. But the lesson learned here is that sometimes there are instances in life that put a choice in front of you: Do you give up and give in to the challenge, or do you confront it head on, stretch yourself, and master whatever the issue is?
I’d say go for taking the challenge. You have the chance to learn something new. The final result can totally change your outlook on life and provide a long lasting change for the better and you may end up with a new career, life partner, hobby, etc. Do not avoid the risk and take the challenge.