BeStreet63: Slowing Down For A Few Life Lessons
This BeStreet63 entry tackles the values behind working on a project car - and how they apply to daily life
Imagine yourself getting into your car, be it for work, for school, or the hottest date of your life. No matter the time you leave, you take just the briefest of moments to appreciate your build, maybe admire the beauty of the steering wheel you just installed or the subtle change of trim to bring it up to your spec or taste. As you turn the ignition however, you’re greeted with a worrying mixture of a high-pitched whine, a sputter, and the terrifying sound of silence. What thoughts go through your head in those seconds after the alarm and confusion wear off?
Being a gearhead, you would most probably have your line up of usual suspects, maybe that fuel pump you’ve been meaning to change out, bad ignition coils, battery issues, several other reasons that your baby just won’t cooperate that day. The point is, you were able to almost instinctively come up with five or more trouble spots at the drop of a hat where others would just balk and scratch their heads while waiting for the towing company.
This skill isn’t something innate, it is something learned through countless hours of research, tinkering, and good old trial and error. To put it simply, it’s familiarity; knowing your build inside and out, taking the time to plan out the execution in pursuit of your end goal, from how it looks to how it performs. Now, in a time where we are confined to our homes and away from the garage, is this principle exclusive to car builds? Is it even possible to take things slow in today’s results-driven world where the deadline is king?
Many may forget that “slow” may also mean deliberate and with purpose. Slow in this sense isn’t carrying on whimsically or leisurely but rather meticulously and geared towards mastery. In my humble experience, a build based on a well thought out plan with attention to detail will always trump recklessly slapping on parts just to conform to popular taste (which, more often than not, results in the lack of said taste). Having a goal for your build, even a general idea that you tweak as you go along, is always key to its success. We laymen simply cannot, in the words of Tony Stark: “run before you can walk”; for us, true success starts with trust in the process.
Applying this premise to the non-automotive aspect of our lives, taking things slow at certain points doesn’t mean we’re taking it easy, quite the opposite in fact. We all have dreams and goals that we want to reach and if easing off the gas means we are able to better understand the path we’re on, anticipate and possibly avoid or better negotiate problem areas, then our journey would smoother, and when the journey is smoother, we get there faster.
Mastery or success in anything would mean failing more times than any beginner has tried. Be it your car build, your career, your studies, or any venture you see yourself inclined to pursue, everything worth it takes time and effort. As experienced by those who have built their own project cars before us, nothing but the best will do. So what difference is there between the car you’re building, the career you’re making, and the life you’re living?
Words by Miguel Pillas