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How I Ran Out of Gas

Can you ever be too focused on your goals.
Well today, I have the answer. Its a dandy.

Ive been labeled a dreamer more times than not.

But this story takes the cake, the pie and the pudding dessert.

This story illustrates how focused
one can be when one deals in the playhouse of your
imagination. Its like a horse with blinders on – but in my case the blinders
make it so the path isnt visible.

So many times you hear from success experts (self included) to not lose
sight of the big picture. To have goals. To focus on them and so on.

Well, today, I am suggesting the opposite.
Never be too focused that you take your eye
off day-to-day tasks and functions.

Let me explain.

I spent the holiday weekend
with the girls. I took them back to my parents in Akron.

Cheri and I exchanged vehicles because its much
easier to travel with three girls in a van
than a mid-sized car.

In the process of switching out certain items
in my car — I could not forget one thing; my goal card.
The small card that travels with me every where I go.
So I took it out of my car and purposefully
wedged it in the dashboard of the van.

We left about 20 minutes later after the
van was packed. I drove close to two hours. All the girls
were sleeping in the back.

I focused on my goal card about 10-14 times.
When ever I checked my speed- my eyes drifted over
to the card.

Thinking what it would be like once I achieved the goal.
The dream-like pictures in my head kept my mind busy.

So busy I had no idea what was about to happen.

I just passed a sign for a “Rest stop 1 mile”.
I was ready to ask if anyone needed a “pit stop.”

Then it happened.


At 70 mph the car lost power. No more acceleration.
And lights on the dash began flashing.
So I pulled my goal card off the dashboard covering
the gas gauge. Yes, I left that little fact out. In my car,
the gauge is on the left, not right.

The needle was below the mark “empty” mark.
As if it had been barking at me saying -
“I’ve been warning you for the last 50 miles, dummy.”

My mind raced back to before we left
and seeing the gas being on a 1/4 tank.

Since we were riding down a hill. I was hoping the car
would make it another half mile
to the rest stop. I could see it before us.

Wasnt happenin.

I pulled the car off to the left and the car sputtered out.

What now.

Even though I effed up. My mind did something
it had never done in the past. It began formulating a plan
and seeing a favorable outcome in my minds eye. Not once did I beat
myself up for the blonder I seemingly made (Or later realized was a blessing).

Perhaps, it was just a
happy accident that would lead to
a fabulous adventure with wonderful strangers.

Perhaps thats what happens with a focused mind.
You have to take the good with the bad.

Back to the action …

Once the van stopped, the first words out of my
mouth were… “Sophia, we ran out of gas.
We are going to go for a walk — just like we do on out path behind
the house — up to where the road
turns off behind that bridge. Do you see that.
Its not very far — about a 1/2 mile”

“Okay, Dad.”

“I need you to be strong Sophia.”

“Okay, Dad.”

I gathered up the other two girls in my arms and carried
them. We locked the van up and began walking
down the side berm of the expressway.

Semis flew by us throwing a force of wind so strong,
you’d lose your balance with each stride you took.

We took five steps and ….

Tune in tomorrow for part deux.

Unleash You,

Vince Palko

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