Cars are cool, but in my opinion, motorcycles are way cooler. Here’s why. Cars give us too many other options from which to operate our personal and professional lives. One of the things I love to do at my Full Throttle Experience annual conference is invite someone on stage to sit on my motorcycle. Then I turn it on and ask them one question that impacts the rest of their lives forever. The answer to this question will impact you forever as well.
I ask, “What is the only gear that lights up when you turn the motorcycle on?” Then I hold the mic up to their mouth so that the audience can hear the answer. Every time, without fail, they smile and say, “Drive.” A simple yet extremely profound answer. Here’s why. A motorcycle only knows drive!
• It only knows forward.
• It only knows growth.
• It only knows advancement.
• It only knows betterment.
• It only knows future.
As soon as you turn most motorcycles on, it’s already in Drive. There’s no chance for you to go in any other direction but forward. Once you sit on the bike and kick back the kickstand (which I already taught you how to do) and shift into first gear, as soon as you roll the throttle, you’re going forward . . . powerfully and quickly. Ever notice that when a biker does have to back up for any reason, they have to do so manually? They have to back up with their legs. The moment they engage the throttle, they are going forward. Period! No exceptions! That’s exactly how each day of your life should be. Without hesitation, your default direction and default gear should be forward.
Cars are set up differently, and because most of us live life the car way, we often don’t get the results we want. So let’s talk about the other gears that cars provide, which when utilized in life often lead to mediocrity.
Most cars have four gears, and these same four gears also exist in life and business: Drive, Reverse, Neutral, and Park.
When you’re in Drive in life and business, you know it. You can just feel it.
Each day you experience forward movement, forward thinking, forward action, and forward effort. There is a momentum, focus, passion, fortitude, progress, leverage, zeal, and accomplishment that empowers your day when you’re in Drive. Here are a few ways you can tell that your life is in Drive:
• You’re working toward your goals.
• You’re feeling focused and productive every day.
• You’re working toward growing in your career and profession.
• Your financial future and assets are building and being leveraged.
• You’re nurturing the relationships that matter in your life.
• You’re trying new things that scare you.
• You’re constantly reinventing yourself and those around you.
• You’re destroying your comfort zone and living in your growth zone.
• There’s energy, high vibration, excitement, and vitality to your days.
I want you living in Drive! It’s a very powerful gear to live in each and every single day. This gear has an impact on all areas of your life.
But please allow me to warn you: just because you’re in Drive in one area of your life doesn’t mean that’s the case in other areas. People have adopted a popular phrase that I totally disagree with. Many people believe and teach, “How you do anything is how you do everything!” I could not disagree more!
You can be in Drive in your parenting and be in Park in your marriage to the very person you parent with. You can be in Drive in your career, but be in Neutral when it comes to your personal health, wellness, and vitality. So just because you’re in Drive in one area of your life doesn’t mean that you’re showing up like that everywhere. Let me ask you a question: Isn’t right now a great time to shift into a higher gear in an area of your life that’s not currently in Drive?
In a car, we use Reverse to back out of our garage and parking spaces and also to turn down streets we missed. So Reverse is useful in cars. But in life and business, Reverse can be extremely counterproductive to your living the life of your dreams. We exist within time, and time is always moving forward. The most valuable asset you possess is not your money but your time, because once your time has expired, that’s it. Your impact, legacy, and influence live on, but you physically are no longer here. We have to use our time carefully because it’s extremely valuable and irreplaceable.
If you use your time to constantly be in Reverse, that means you’re always going back into the “unchangeable” past to dwell. The majority of your conversation is about things that have already happened, events from yesterday. You know you’re in Reverse when you hold grudges, bitterness, resentment, and even disdain in your heart toward people, places, things, and events from the past. Things that you can’t change no matter how badly you may want to. You know you’re in Reverse when you struggle with practicing “presence”—meaning you can’t seem to live in today. You’re most comfortable with bringing up issues from the past and using them as a justification, excuse, crutch, or reason for why you are not where you desire to be.
Now here’s some major truth for you: most people are in Reverse and don’t even know it.
Most people don’t get over old relationships before they get into new ones. I was guilty of that in my past; then I took time to fix my issues with therapy, counseling, accountability partners, mentors, and radical self-care. Yep, I said it . . . therapy.
If you find yourself still upset over a boss who fired you ten years ago, if you’re still bitter about what your ex-spouse or ex–significant other did twenty years ago, if you find yourself not trusting people because of something someone did to you three years ago, or if you find yourself repeating the same pathology, patterns, or cycles of destructive behavior that are not advancing your life or career, then you may need to see a licensed therapist—a professional who is trained to help you actually heal from your past so that you get out of that unproductive gear of Reverse. Driving fast in Reverse may look cool in the movies, but it’s extremely dangerous and destructive in real life.
In what area of your life or career are you currently in Reverse? Always remember that when living the bike way, Reverse does not exist.
Reverse is bad, but Neutral can be even worse. When you’re in Neutral, you’re without a gear at all. You’re not attached to the transmission at all. You’re just idling. You’re not even under power at that point.
• Neutral sounds a lot like “I don’t know.”
• Neutral sounds a lot like “It doesn’t matter to me!”
• Neutral sounds a lot like “Who cares?”
• Neutral sounds a lot like “Whatever.”
Neutral is a very apathetic and low-vibration place that people often find themselves because of discouragement, disappointment, unmet expectations, and sheer exhaustion with trying.
You know you’re in Neutral when you’ve stopped trying. You may still be moving, but you’re no longer under power. As we talked about at the beginning of this book, you’re coasting. You’re kind of drifting along, like a boat that’s no longer in gear and is just going in whatever direction the tide takes it.
What’s dangerous about being in Neutral for high achievers like us is that we can mask being in Neutral very well, because we have charisma, charm, energy, personality, and success in other areas, which allows us to distract most people in the general public from our lack of superior performance.
Be very careful not to allow the challenges of life and business to make you indifferent. Because once you’re too indifferent, you’re in Neutral in that area of your life.
For example, because most people have tried so many diets and weight-loss gimmicks and tricks—most of which have not permanently worked for them—they go into Neutral in relation to their fitness and well-being. They are just kind of lackluster about engaging in maintaining a healthy body and a nutrition plan. Have you ever been there? I know I have!
Sometimes the disappointment with how our kids behave can cause us to become indifferent about parenting them anymore; we just leave them to deal with life consequences. Sometimes countless disappointments and bad experiences in trying to find and hold on to romantic love can make a person neutral about the possibilities, so they just say, “I’ll just be single the rest of my life, because there’s no good men/women out there!”
I personally don’t know anyone who’s crushing it in life and business who remains in Neutral. Being disengaged is not the answer.
Progress equals happiness —Tony Robbins
I remember a time when not regularly using my motorcycle cost me about $400. Yep, I was “busy” working in my business as an entrepreneur, so I wasn’t riding my motorcycle weekly as I normally do. One particular day, I wanted to take my puppy, Simba, on a bike ride, so we got on the bike and headed out to Epperson Lagoon in Wesley Chapel. It was a beautiful day. The ride took only ten minutes. Once we arrived, I parked my motorcycle and took Simba for a nice walk. When we got back and prepared to leave, my bike wouldn’t start. I tried everything, and it just wouldn’t start. The battery was dead. I was so upset, and what’s worse, my cell-phone battery was at about 7%. I had to think of a strategy fast. I called my insurance company and reported that I needed roadside assistance. But my battery wouldn’t last the forty-five-minute wait, so I had to call an Uber to come get me and Simba and take us back home. I got home, charged my phone, and put Simba in his crate. I then met roadside assistance back where my bike was stranded. The roadside assistance driver loaded my bike and took it to the dealership. The next day, I got a call that replacing the battery and a few other things that were wrong was going to cost me about $250 in parts and labor. In addition, because the dealership was outside the towing area, I got a bill for an extra $100 from the towing company.
A perfectly good Saturday was cut short and turned out to be super-expensive, all for one reason. A lack of use! The bike dealership told me that my entire ordeal could have been easily avoided just by making a commitment to ride my motorcycle for at least thirty minutes once a week to keep everything charged, working, and functioning properly. Keeping it parked in my garage was killing my motorcycle. The fact is, a motorcycle, a car, a boat, an airplane . . . your body, your mind, your life . . . is meant to be used, and when it’s just parked and in a state of nonuse for days, weeks, or months, it wears out.
You actually do more damage to your life through inaction and nonuse than you ever will through consistent action and daily use. Read that sentence again!
You think that as long as you’re parked, you’re fine. Nope!
When you’re in Park, your engine, battery, transmission, brakes, tires, gears, spark plugs, oil, and mechanisms get no action. And just like the muscles in our bodies, when they don’t get consistent use, they begin to atrophy.
Let me ask you some hard questions, and yes, the goal is to get into your business! That’s why you bought this book.
1. Is your romantic relationship in Park right now?
2. Is your relationship with one of your parents in Park right now?
3. Is your relationship with one of your children in Park right now?
4. Is your interpersonal leadership with yourself in Park right now?
5. Is your career growth in Park right now?
6. Is your business development in Park right now?
7. Is your spiritual growth in Park right now?
8. Is your financial portfolio or retirement plan in Park right now?
It’s time to shift into a higher gear and get out of Park. Whatever muscles you’re actively choosing not to use . . . you will lose!
We’ve talked in depth about three unproductive gears: Reverse, Neutral, and Park. One of the greatest keys to getting out of these unproductive gears is forgiveness. Forgiving yourself for your mistakes of the past and also forgiving other people who have disappointed you and let you down. Because once you can forgive, you can begin to move forward and get your life into the powerful and productive higher gear called Drive.
We all know that in 2020, our world was plagued with the COVID-19 pandemic. It caused the entire world to shift into Park because of mandatory quarantines. During that time, many people felt hopeless and helpless as we experienced unemployment, record health care spikes, and financial, racial, and political unrest like never before. However, during that time, I watched with my own eyes as some people dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic very differently.
I noticed that these driven people found ways to produce in the pandemic and pivot instead of panic. Those people found ways to thrive and, in some cases, do better during the crisis than they did before it.
For me personally, because I am a very driven person and I stay in Drive in my life personally and professionally, I was able to accomplish many amazing goals in 2020. I had tons of reason and justifications to shift into Neutral, Park, or Reverse, but I didn’t. As a result, I was able to achieve the following goals:
• Completed a certification in the Level 2 DISC Model of Human Behavior
• Completed my concealed weapon permit class
• Completed two levels of salsa and bachata classes
• Got a new dog named Simba, who’s a wonderful addition to my family
• Learned new financial principles that put my company in a better place
• Paid off debt in my business and personal life, which increased my credit score
• Got back into the gym and started drinking more water per day
• Taught my daughters more about entrepreneurship during virtual school
• Pivoted all my live speaker training programs to sold-out virtual offerings
• Pitched the concept for this book to a major publisher and landed a book deal
• Wrote the entire first draft of this book to the tune of forty thousand words
• Cultivated personal and professional relationships through Zoom meetings
• Completed my Florida boating certification class
All of this within nine months, between March and December of 2020. These are examples of some of the many results that come into your life and business when you’re determined to stay in Drive and live each day in Drive. I told you in chapter 1 that life gives you one open invitation every day in the form of a question: Will you be better today than you were yesterday? To better your best and live life to the fullest, you must stay in Drive!
1. A bike only knows forward. It only knows Drive. Surround yourself with people who not only think this way but also live this way.
2. How you do anything is not how you do everything. Focus on shifting into Drive in the areas of your life that you haven’t mastered yet.
3. Honestly assess your constant communication. If it’s focused on events, places, things, and people from the past, there’s a good chance that you’re in Reverse. Consider hiring a qualified, credentialed therapist to work with you, because healed is the new sexy!
4. If you’re constantly lackluster or nonchalant about your life or career, you’re probably in Neutral, and you’re drifting and spinning your wheels. Plug into something or someone who gives you passion, purpose, and positivity to reignite you and get you into Drive.
5. The number-one key to getting out of Park, Neutral, or Reverse is forgiveness. Begin to practice radical self-compassion by forgiving others and, most important, forgiving yourself for the mistakes and missteps of the past. Take small daily action steps to stay engaged and use the motorcycle of your life for the powerful purpose for which it was created.