Wrenching with heart and soul

A while back, I took a motorcycle maintenance course. It was a combination of classroom seminars on basic bike mechanics and hands-on demonstrations, complete with a day in the shop to work on our own bikes. Everyone in the course wanted new knowledge and basic mechanical skills to make minor adjustments and repairs.

We were riders of different ages and different competencies, yet even the most experienced was open to discovering what lives beneath the surface. We were a curious bunch and, with our instructor nearby, we gained the confidence to take tools to our bikes.

When it comes to wrenching, the questions that haunt the newly initiated include, “If I take this apart, can I put it back together? Properly? What if I find extra bolts lying around afterward? Do I trust myself?”

And therein lies the crux of getting to the guts of anything: trust.

The first thing I wanted to do was replace a spark plug. Before that could happen, I needed to remove the engine casings, and before I could do that, I had to remove the gas tank. Once I learned how to achieve this first step (and why I needed to do certain things in a certain order to ensure success), I suddenly had access to the innermost workings of my favourite two-wheeled machine. It was enlightening to discover simple tools that worked better than the ones I had at home. The theoretical became a doable reality.

Insights to wrenching with heart and soul:

  1. Everything wonderfully brilliant starts with curiosity. Curiosity dares us to explore and to ditch perceived obstacles;
  2. The first step can be the most intimidating, yet once it’s achieved it opens doors to unlimited possibilities;
  3. What initially seemed daunting becomes possible and enjoyable through cumulative shifts, one success at a time;
  4. When you know the “why”, the “how” becomes more evident;
  5. You don’t have to struggle alone and chances are high that others share the same values;
  6.  Building trust in oneself and with others is easier, meaningful, and more pleasant when we’re mindful about using the appropriate tools (e.g., perspectives, curiosity, listening, creativity, etc);
  7. Fear of wrenching ruins life experiences because you wonder when things will start to fall apart, wear thin, or wear out;
  8. Fully experiencing the Great Ride that is Life starts with trusting yourself.

The more we choose to live with intention and curiosity, the more clear our bigger picture becomes. As I rode home afterward, with fresh spark plug and brake pads and no missing bolts, I drew in lungfuls of fresh possibilities. Wrenching with heart and soul is the polar opposite of gut-wrenching, and yields the greatest happiness.

Where is there room for trust in your life and leadership impact?