Tuesday 31 October 2017

What Getting Stuck In the Snow Taught Me About Making Change in My Life

I think by the end of this article, it will be pretty evident that I'm a Canadian.  Everybody in the Great White North (east of Abbottsford BC) will identify with this analogy, but for those of you who do not interact with snow for 40% of the year, here's a humorous video to give you the gist...

It's a funny video... if only because any Canadian worth her-road salt would know this is NOT how you get your car unstuck from the snow.  As a matter of fact, it turns out to be a great metaphor for how to get your life unstuck too!

So in the video, the drivers are just "flooring it"... or press the accelerator all the way to the floor hoping to get some traction.  This is an example of trying to just use sheer bull-headed power to get unstuck.  Does it work?  Sure it does once in a while, but if it DOESN"T work, then it's time to do the smart thing and try another tactic.   

Sometimes flooring it will melt the ice and snow enough to give you traction. 

But if that doesn't work, then you start to pulse the accelerator.  You want to start the car rocking gently forward and back.    Then after a few dozen rocks, you will have given yourself just enough forward momentum on one of the pulses to gently squeeze the gas-pedal and your car will drift gently forward. 

One else is good that they did in the video?  Both the "bad guys" and the "cops" got somebody else to help them.  This is one of the best way to get unstuck.  They can also augment the rocking motion mentioned above. 

You need to have the wheels pointed in the right direction... pointed away from more snow and ice, and towards clear ground.

As you steer towards this, there may be a bit of fishtailing or wheels slipping in unintended directions.  You have to know what direction you’re steering in, or you’ll just get out of your rut and end up stuck in another snow bank.

Sometimes you have to go a little bit in one direction in order to get to your ultimate goal (out of the rut and in clear ground).