I live in Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Area to be exact. In my opinion it is one of the most diverse and beautiful places to live. In just a few short driving hours you can enjoy the sand and surf, the rolling hills of wine country, and the serene scene of high altitude mountains and beautiful lakes. A wonderful place to live!
However, I do have one major complaint, it is one of the worse places to find a parking space. As I frequent downtown San Francisco the street parking is metered, and you need an act of congress, a miracle of biblical proportions, the patience of Job and the luck of the Irish just to find a parking space! If you are lucky enough to find a parking space you have to “feed” the parking meter. The way we ”feed” the meters are now diversified, a credit card, mobile text payment, but of course if you prefer the more traditional method the meters only take quarters. Bottom line is we have pay to park!
While it makes perfect sense to me, to pay to go across a bridge, or to enter a turnpike, for we are paying to move, to progress, to go forward. But I have little to no understanding of paying while stopped? As I dropped the quarters in the meter, I begin to think about the price paid to park. Of course when we pursue various endeavors, there is always a price to pay when we decide to go forward; be it criticism, being misunderstood, time and energy, or the cheers and jeers from the well wishers and naysayers.
But the parking meter reminds us there is also a price to pay for being “parked.” Loss of momentum, loss of opportunity. There is a price to pay for being stagnant, and complacent. If you find yourself “parked” here are some practical ways to shift out of “park” into drive and begin moving forward again.
1. Start Right Where You Are – You may have been “parked” but right where you are: start dreaming again, start writing again, start exercising again. Start researching again, revisit the business plan, apply for the loan again, begin sharpening your skills again, revisit previous contacts, regroup and rekindle the fire. There is no better place to start than where you are parked!
2. Seek Help – Every now and then as I approach a meter I notice that there is still time left on the meter. Which means someone else had paid the price before I got there, and I am a grateful beneficiary. Whatever the endeavor someone has gone before you and has “paid the price” they have the experience, and the expertise, so seek help from those who have already been there. There is always someone who is willing to dispense their wisdom and expertise in your area. They can share their tips and firsthand experiences. Their testimonies of the thrill of victories and the agony and lessons of their defeat will prove to be priceless information for you.
3. Set A Schedule – What is scheduled gets done. Instead of “stabbing” at it here and there develop a scheduled time purely devoted to giving attention to the area or endeavor you wish to shift out of park. Guard that time! It may be short durations of time at first. But the more you delve into your “ parked” area the more time you will spend trying to accomplish in that area.
4. Secure A Productive Work Environment – Looking at television or sitting on the couch may not be the best atmosphere to foster productivity. You may even want to turn off your cell phone and all your social media outlets. Maybe at your desk, a coffee shop, the library, a quiet park, or even the kitchen table may offer less distractions as you attempt to produce your best work.
What areas are in “park” in your life? Its time to shift into drive! Your meter expired a long time ago its time to make some progress.