I have a nemesis called parallel parking. I’ve never been good at it. I’ve tried. I’ve tried it in Chicago – fail. Boston – fail. Berlin – epic fail. I think that one got me banned from that city for at least 5 years. That’s why this is such a big deal for me. To perfectly parallel park on the first try – I just had to share.
The day started like any other. I didn’t set out to conquer a personal nemesis but when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance. Which provided Observation #1: Be ready to learn something new when the opportunity presents itself. You never know when or where these opportunities will present themselves. You just have to be ready. In boxing, the idea is to stay on the balls of your feet, ready to shift direction at a moment’s notice. Mentally, we need to do that as well.
To say my friend, Jennifer Way, is a dynamic lady would be an understatement. A shuttle launch pales by comparison (and I’ve seen a few). She is a gifted teacher, orator and personal coach. In other words, girlfriend’s got it going on. I trust Jen. So when she asked, “Hey, you want to learn how to parallel park so you’ll never forget?” I was at a bit of a loss because I’ve never seen her drive. I didn’t have all the details. I was missing facts. Data. Which led me to Observation #2: You have to trust others to show you how, even without having all the details. It makes perfect sense. How many times have you read a book, watched a YouTube video, or taken a workshop? How did you know they weren’t about to send you down the wrong path? You didn’t. You placed your trust in them. And here I was, at the Farmer’s Market, about to learn a new skill with someone I already trusted. I was way ahead on points!
Jen guided me through the procedure and bam! No, I didn’t hit the car behind me. I was like, bam, in the spot. Perfection. Hence the smug look on my face in the photo. Which led me to Observation #3: Believe in yourself because others already do. Jen knew I could do it. I needed to believe I could do it. All I needed was the key to unlock the secret code. Once I had that, I was a parking fool. How many times do you not try something because you don’t believe you could. I’m here to tell you, you can. Give it a go. Surprise yourself.
After parking the car – I wanted to do it again. I was motivated. So I pulled out and did it again. It wasn’t as perfect as the first time but I was pretty close – and now I’ll never forget. This provided Observation #4: You need to practice the new skill. Remember the old joke, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice.” My wife’s dad used to say, just because something is hard for you to do doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
To sum it up, I observed four things while learning to parallel park:
Observation #1: Be ready to learn something new when the opportunity presents itself.
Observation #2: You have to trust others to show you how, even without having all the details.
Observation #3: Believe in yourself because others already do.
Observation #4: You need to practice the new skill.
Now go out there and try something new… I’ll be cheering for you. Let us know what you tried. Feel free to share in the comments below. We all want to be inspired by you.