compelling results through coaching, training & organizational development

Is Your Fuel Toxic?

"A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." ~ Ben Franklin

The ‘toxic fuel’ I am referring to is what you use to carry yourself throughout life. If your car begins to make a strange noise, do you ignore it or do you have it checked out? If you ignore it then of course it will only get larger.

Suppose you ignore it and one morning the car just won’t start - then you’re thrown into crisis. You’ve got to get to work, the car won’t start, and of course money is tight this month, and perhaps the credit cards are maxed. So what are you to do? Please notice the crisis is getting larger. When the mechanic looks at the car, he finds sugar in the gas tank; no wonder the car was making a noise! Who would do such a thing to you?

YOU would do such a thing to you.

Everyday you do things to yourself, your possessions, and those around you that are toxic. I’m not only talking cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, fat and lack of exercise, yet those are certainly toxic. I am talking the things we take on, the ways we don’t say No, the worry we put ourselves through, the money we spend that we don’t have, the relationships we get into that we know are not good for us, the way we focus ‘outside ourselves’. We are always focused on getting more, being more, selling more, making the numbers, getting the job done, fixing things (people & situations) and on and on and on. We are never satisfied!

If you see yourself as a good problem solver, you will have problems dropped on your doorstep daily. Eventually the problems get larger and larger. They have to; otherwise you wouldn’t get any excitement or charge from solving them. Little problems become ‘old hat’ after a while — boring. You’re ready for a bigger and better challenge. That challenge comes in many forms — job loss or the threat of job loss, cancer, loss of a loved one or a dream, bankruptcy — these are great challenges! You can really get into the crisis management mode now……… just as soon as you get past the depression………

A crisis is toxic fuel. Is that really the way you want to live your life? What are the benefits of your living this way? No one does anything that they don’t get a ‘pay off’ from; it’s just human nature. If we don’t like it, then we stop doing it, unless we want to continue to punish ourselves.

Crisis management makes us feel like we are accomplished, in control, in charge, yet are we ever really in control? We are under the illusion we are in control just because we are busy taking action. Taking action, being busy will usually get us recognition, applause, love or maybe even a raise. We come up with lots of ‘stories’ to justify our actions so that we can stay on this treadmill.

Managing a crisis keeps us from looking within and dealing with those things that we think will be unpleasant (like being incomplete or less than). We are so identified with “what we are not” — the job, the personality, the possessions, the clubs, TV, the Internet, the titles the boyfriends. We’ re too busy to see what we’re doing with our lives.

What is your purpose in this world? Are you here only to meet the numbers? Are you here only to provide financially for your family? Think about it. Take the time to look at your actions; are you on a fast track to nowhere?

If this pattern rings true for you; my suggestion is to take the time to look at what is happening with you, to recognize the track you are on, and see if you like it.

Most people are relieved to find that when they really stay with the feeling they’re trying to avoid — look at it, feel it and then let it go (which means you don’t keep talking about it), they are freed up to move forward with a much more healthy source of fuel. Life doesn’t have to be filled with crisis management unless you want it to. It’s your choice.


Back to Articles