At 16 years old my transportation to get around town was a bicycle. The frame was green in color. My uncle gave it to me, so this hand-me-down piece of equipment was quite special.
Next to a car, a bike didn’t seem difficult to maintain. All I needed to do was wipe it down and keep air in the tires.
The wiping was easy. I thought filling the tires with air was easy, too.
I found an air hose at a local garage and filled the tires until the rubber was very tight to the touch. After gathering the hose and putting it on the hook, I swung my leg over the bike’s center bar and began peddling. In seconds,
The back tire burst.
The front tire burst.
Each sound was loud and shocking. I didn’t know what had occurred until my ever-so-stylish peddling motion ground to a halt.
I quickly looked around to see if anyone was watching. At 16, this shock would also turn into embarrassment if anyone saw what happened.
No one was looking or at least no one I could see.
I removed myself from the bike and escorted it home by foot just two blocks away.
You can get a good chuckle today thinking about what was once embarrassing. At a young age you’re building a reputation and don’t want anyone laughing at the mistakes you make as you mature.
Today, when mistakes happen and it hasn’t harmed anything or anyone, who cares? You might feel blood rush through your face, but remember that in the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal – really!
Famous and well-paid people make huge mistakes in front of millions of people. Consider sports stars who miss seemingly-easy putts during golf tournaments or football players who allow the ball to slip through their fingers. Such occurrences can cost them lots of money, and they know it. Still, they’re prepared to take that chance. That’s how you want to approach life.
You probably don’t have millions of dollars tied up in tripping on a sidewalk or dropping a bag of groceries. It’s an inconvenience but not something that cannot be fixed or recovered.
Think about all of the things you’ve accomplished and situations you’ve handled. Mastering every one of those triumphs allows you to throw embarrassment out the window. It’s an emotion you can dismiss, for good.
All that matters is focusing on recovery from whatever happens.
- You trip. Get up (brush and adjust clothing).
- Something falls. Pick it up (thank those who help you).
- Someone badmouths you. Walk away (watch your back as you exit).
All the while you keep your head and chin up even if you’re feeling down. You can sulk in privacy. Right now, you need to be strong so you recover quickly and continue creating your fabulous life.
Today, I laugh thinking about those bicycle tires bursting beneath me. What a great lesson. I wish everything today was as easy to fix. Don’t you? Well, most things are simple. Save your energy for more-pressing issues. The rest is a breeze.