The Importance of Regular Maintenance
For Your Car AND Your Life
Earlier in the year, I bought a used car. My old car had 210,000 miles on it, I’d been driving it for 15 years, and it needed several thousand dollars worth of work. And those several thousand dollars I would have to invest would be more than the value of the car. So instead of putting that money into the old one, I got something newer and more reliable.
The car I bought is 12 years old, but in great shape. To me, it feels like a brand new car. And having and driving something newer makes me want to take care of it a little better than I did with my old car at the end of its life.
That feeling also made me think about the relationship between life and having a car — and the importance of taking care of both.
My first car was a 1966 Chevy Nova. It was beautiful like the one above. Custom paint, beautiful interior, and given my dad was a car guy, a high-performance engine. I took care of that car like you wouldn’t believe. Until I didn’t.
When it became more trouble than it was worth due to engine problems, it sat for several years collecting dust and rust.
When you don’t drive a car for a while, it can cause problems. The battery may go dead, the tires can lose their air, and the fluids in the car may go bad.
There are other problems which may occur when you try to start it again after a long period of not being used. To avoid these problems, you should do things like drain and replace the fluids and filters, check the brakes and tires, and for older cars especially, replace the spark plugs.
If a car has sat for a while or doesn’t get started regularly, it may not work. Or if it works, it may not work well.
If you don’t take care of the car with regular maintenance, it will not last long. If you don’t wash the car, the dirt can build up and ruin the paint, which makes moisture easier to get in and rust. You also have to put fuel in the car, otherwise it will run out of gas and quit working.
And all the above applies to life too.
Both the car and you are incredible machines. The engineering on a car is a thing of wonder. Your life and body are the same.
And we take both for granted.
If something goes wrong with your car, you fix it. If your car is the only source of transportation you have, you wouldn’t let it sit if there was a problem which could be fixed. You would take it to a mechanic to get the problem corrected. We give our cars regular maintenance to keep them running smooth. We put in new fluids, fill it up with the right fuel, and keep it clean both inside and out.
But many of us fail to do the same with in our lives. We take better care of our cars than we do ourselves. We fail to maintain our life like we do our cars. Our problems multiply until they become much harder to repair. And like my Chevy Nova, we sit by and watch our life rust.
We see our cars as an investment, but we don’t see our life as one.
We repair our cars when they are broke. But when we are broke, we fail to repair ourselves.
But like you can rebuild a car, you can also rebuild your life. It takes work, but the result is a thing of beauty. Like a car can break down if you don’t take care of it, so can your life.
So the next time you have a problem, show your life the same care and maintenance you would if it was your car.
Start putting the right fuels in your life. Things which excite you and make your life run better. Schedule regular maintenance for your body and mind. Whether it’s meditation, massages, a good book, a walk in the woods, or whatever makes you happy, take time for the maintenance. Fix your life problems before they get worse and break.
And remember to let off of the throttle occasionally and enjoy the ride.
Because if you want your life (and car) to last a long time and run like it’s supposed to, you have to take care of it.
Unless you treat your car like shit. Then you can ignore everything I said.
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