Dust and Oil
By Dan Dillard
I grew up working on cars with my dad, so when I think of “flow,” I think of how oil flows through an engine in order to make it run. It requires planning and patience to align and assemble the thousands of pieces that comprise an entire engine. Of course, the engine needs oil in order to keep those moving parts working effectively. Any car owner knows that they need to regularly maintenance their car’s oil in order to keep everything lubricated and prevent overheating. Even the most high-performing racing machines need oil, and if that oil gets contaminated with dust or dirt, it will gum up, and the engine begins to falter.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been around engines my whole life, perhaps because some of my earliest memories involve oil-stained garage floors and hands blackened by grime and grit, but I’ve always thought of the components of my life as analogous to cars. As I continue to assemble my business, I think of it as an engine. Each component has to work together to run smoothly in order to travel towards a destination. Just as in business, an engine has to be calibrated, maintained, refueled, even upgraded and fine-tuned with new parts.
In life and business, there is flow. There is a balance-- an ebb and flow, a give-and-take as we navigate new roads and overcome new obstacles. If you drive through life second-guessing your decisions, those insecurities gum up your engine like dust, interrupting the flow of creativity, and your engine will run rough.
Any car lover will tell you, building a car isn’t necessarily about completing a project, or fixing a problem that prevented the engine from running. People who love to build cars are constantly trying to build their cars to be better, just like we’re always trying to build ourselves to be better. Just as a car performs smoother and more efficiently when all of its moving parts are well-oiled and in perfect alignment, we also perform better when our intentions and consciousness are in a state of flow.