The dashboard on my Yukon Denali XL (XL stands for extra long—to fit my six kids) has been displaying the message “Service Ride Control.” It’s been that way for six months now.

Yes, I’m a bit embarrassed about how slow I’ve been to service my ride control, whatever that means.

In preparation for an upcoming road trip, I finally took it in to see what was going on.

Apparently, these new-fangled cars (it’s not that new) have this thing called adaptive ride control, or something like that. Essentially, there’s an air compressor that attaches to the tires and senses the air pressure. When you’re driving and hit a rough patch, it automatically reduces tire pressure to increase traction. Lower tire pressure helps the tires absorb more of the rough terrain, allowing more of the tire to be on the ground, and creating a smoother ride. Then, once you’ve stabilized, it increases air pressure so there’s less absorption, resulting in better ride quality.

“Wow, my car does that?” was my response.

“Well, not currently,” was the reply. “Your compressor is broken, but we can replace it for $700.”

After coughing and groaning at the figure, I was left to ponder the wonderful metaphor.

Like my car, sometimes you hit a rough patch in life. When you do, you need to adapt and adjust dynamically—“on the fly,” so to speak. You need to increase your tolerance (absorb more of the blows), and don’t let yourself take the bumps too hard (or seriously). You need to adjust the pressure.

If you realize that in life, rough patches just happen, and that you can’t control when they hit, how hard they hit, or how long they last, it gives you a certain perspective. Appreciating their inevitability helps you take them in stride, not letting them hit you so hard, nor jar you off course.

Increasing your tolerance, or your ability to accept those blows, helps you keep traction so you can continue to move forward. It smooths the ride.

But then when things smooth out, you can lower your tolerances again—expect more out of yourself, push yourself harder, and be less forgiving about slip-ups. That way, when life is smoothest, you can go faster and further, getting the most leverage out of the relative ease of the terrain.

But remember, there will still be rough patches ahead. When you hit them, be ready to adapt again until you work through them.

A rigid, non-adaptive approach to life only increases the likelihood of losing control in a rough patch, and can make for a really bumpy ride.

Perhaps it’s time to service your ride control.


Share this

with someone who might need it

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on digg
Share on stumbleupon
Share on xing
Share on email
Share on pocket

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

keep reading

We are all trying to “puzzle” our way through life. As you piece together your identity, consider the people, communities, and values that impact you.

You’ve likely heard the children’s story about the ugly duckling. What difference does a change in perspective make? Read on to find out how you can relate to his experience.

You are capable of greatness. In fact, it is already within you. You just need to discover it, and then work to bring your life into alignment so that your life's mission and your life become one and the same. That's when you'll shine. That's when you'll experience full joy and fulfillment, when you're actions align to your purpose. We can help.

The night I quit my job I had a decision to make: wait, or just start. I chose to just start and held a seminar the next day. People in motion tend to stay in motion and people at rest tend to stay at rest. So whatever it is you've been waiting to do... just start!

The hardest handicaps to overcome are mental. It happens when we tell ourselves the wrong story. Change the story.

The funny, but insightful story about how we tend to destroy what is most precious to us. A video from an international speech competition.