I got a flat tire a couple of weeks ago. No, you are not having deja vu. This is my second flat tire post in a two months because I this is a second flat tire I’ve had in a two months. Seriously. 🙁
In that post, I discovered that while I had a full spare in the trunk, I had left the jack in the garage. And then three weeks later, my brand new, full tire that had replaced the other tire completely blew out. This time I had a jack ready to go. But I didn’t have a spare tire.
See, that first flat went down right before the Christmas holidays. And I figured I could afford to go without replacing my spare for a few weeks. It was a brand new, full tire. And the holiday season is a busy one. I had plenty of time to get another spare.
Sitting on the side of the road, yet again, taught me another hard lesson: Don’t drive without a spare, don’t spend all you have, and don’t schedule every minute. Tweet This Leave some room for unexpected flat tires in your plans.
When I push myself to the limit and something goes wrong—as it eventually will—it costs a lot of time and money to recover from that problem. It costs more than creating a backup plan would have. I didn’t want to take the time to get another spare. But that would have been far faster and cheaper than waiting for the tow truck, towing to a shop, then replacing the tire actually did cost me.
Truett Cathy (found of Chick-fil-A) taught us that one key to success was being prepared to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. He always had a cash reserve for the company. He didn’t ask those of us who worked for him to put in crazy long hours—we had a physical reserve of energy. And he taught us to experiment in small settings before betting the farm on a national rollout.
Don’t make my mistake. Don’t press all the way to the edge. Leave some margins on the pages of your life. It might seem that you’re getting more done by living at 100% capacity. But in the long run, operating at 80-85% allows you to be less stressed AND get more done.