A parent goes out for a bike ride with their kid. They get to a big hill and the adult instinctively gears down as the hill gets steeper. With 24 gears on their bike, it is easier to adapt to the climb.
They notice their child who is usually way ahead, beginning to slow down. ‘Are you gearing down for the hill?’ they ask. The child responds, ‘I can’t, I only have one gear that works.’
We will all experience things in life. Some appear to have a bumpier ride than others, which of course is a matter of perspective, while others seem to breeze through with minimal disruption.
Regardless of the experience, every time we tackle something new, a new project, a new relationship, a new way of living, we get the opportunity to choose our reaction and to learn or take away a lesson (or multiple lessons).
With each new experience, we get to add another gear to our bike.
Some of these gears are added deliberately, for example, I am learning new skills, and more engaged in physical and/or mentally beneficial activities in my spare time. Other gears have been organically added along the way. I am more aware of other people’s differences and try and see things from perspectives other than my own.
When you work towards deliberately aligning your activities with your values, you are better equipped to refine the art of setting and maintaining boundaries as well.
You have heard me say that I encouraged Ben to experience everything he possibly could in life, and many of the kids reading this would agree I am always telling them the same thing. Having new experiences is a way of adding new gears.
You might ask, ‘Why is it important to continually add new gears?‘ The short answer is because there is always going to be another hill.
Life is not flat terrain, it has hills and valleys, potholes, and rough bumpy sections. None of these last forever, but some go on for longer than others. Remembering that you have traveled a rocky road before, can make the next rough section a little easier.
The more gears we add through new experiences, the more adaptable we become to change, and the more opportunities we begin to see open.
Sadly, most people don’t believe they can add, or even change gears. They don’t know how and don’t take the time to figure it out.
Not figuring this stuff out limits people’s options, horizons, opportunities, and ultimately their overall quality of life.
3 good first steps:
- Understand and accept that we need different gears for different scenarios
- Acknowledge that learning something new or doing something differently is like the beginning of a climb up a steep hill …. ugh… groan (but so worth it)
- With each new skill learned we will begin to vary our riding style to adapt to the new conditions (we are stronger than we think)
This might mean including or omitting different activities, or even people in our life.
Every time we learn a new skill or have a new experience, it’s like adding another gear to our bike. So climbing the next hill no matter how steep, will be easier.
After a while, you don’t really think about it. You become better equipped to handle whatever life throws at you and in some cases, it will come as instinctively as … riding a bike with lots of gears.
Dalya xx 💙