The car battery in my head

I had an interesting time this week with my car.  I’d moved into my new home and decided I need to go to the shops to get a few new things for the house.  So I got into the car, turned the key and nothing…

First thought that goes through my head: Thank goodness I wasn’t about to leave for an important event.  I don’t like being late.

When the Roadside Assistance person arrived and checked the car, it was diagnosed as having a flat battery.  This is often an easy problem to fix; you simply connect the flat car battery to a battery that has charge in it and then start the car.  Relatively simple (especially when the roadside assistance person turns up with all the necessary gear).

The next part was, interestingly, more of an inconvenience for me… I actually had to take the car for a long enough drive to recharge the battery with enough power that it would also start the next time I wanted to use it.  A five minute drive to the local shopping centre (which is what I had been planning to do) wasn’t going to cut it.  The time that would be required to drive a longer distance felt like an inconvenience..

My simple understanding of how car engines work is that two important parts are the car battery and the alternator.  As well as a battery to store the power required for a spark to start the car, you also need an alternator that runs a higher voltage than the battery to be continually recharging the battery and ensuring the battery has enough power stored in it to be able to start the car engine again in the future.  This is why if you leave the light on in your car (I won’t mention the name of anyone who did this!), or don’t use the car for a long time, you risk the battery running out of power.

The rules I learnt about my car battery:

  • To maintain the power in the battery, you have to use it.
  • If the battery becomes flat and ineffective, it needs a spark of energy from another source.  Then, as per the previous rule, you must use the battery to ensure it retains power and effectiveness.

To abide by these rules, I needed to do the inconvenient, and drive to a shopping centre significantly further than my local.  I needed to invest the time to ensure the surge of power that had just been put into the car battery was not wasted.

When I registered all this information about my car and how the engine and battery works, I also noted quickly that the way I need to treat my car battery and the power in it, is very much like the way a person needs to treat their brain and any powerful information they put in it.

It happens all the time that people read a self-development book, or attend a seminar, or do a coaching session and then… stop.  If you don’t use it, eventually the powerful information will disappear from your brain.

To ensure the surge of powerful information that was put into the brain is not wasted, you need to work it.  You need to take action.  You need to make a move and implement strategies that will ensure the information and learnings (aka power) stay in the brain, ready to be used the next time you need them.

The people who get the most out of coaching (or any other self-development information) are those who are willing to invest the time and take the agreed action to reinforce the learnings.

It may seem inconvenient to take the time required to work the information and take action, just like it was inconvenient for me to drive further than I was planning to.  But the time taken to utilise the power immediately after it is put into the battery, will ensure I am much more effective in the long run… Imagine if I didn’t work the car battery enough after putting power in it.  I’d have to call in someone external to reinject the power to the battery every time I want to use the car.  In the long run, that is a lot more time spent than the initial time invested to adequately work the battery to ensure the power injected into it remains there.

To make the most of any powerful information you receive…

Use it.

Work it.

Be willing to feel inconvenienced in the short term.

It will save you time in the long run.

Much love,


2 thoughts on “The car battery in my head

  1. A timely lesson.

    Totally agree, better to invest time maintaining and building your assets than to let them go by the way side and spend much more time and money re-igniting them back into action.

    Maybe it’s time to make a list of the things we take for granted and ensure that they are all appropriately maintained.

    Thanks Kylie :)

  2. I admire the metaphor and totally agree with the “use or lose it” of what we get out of self-development information. I got a little hung up on having to drive the car though. I’ve had a few dead batteries and, after the jump, I’ve just left the car running in the driveway for a while to charge the battery while I did other stuff. Interestingly though, I think this is also a decent metaphor for an aspect of how my own brain works. When I take in a lot of information, I usually need time to let it sit and percolate in the back of my mind. It’s only after I’ve stepped away for a bit that flashes of inspiration come to me or deep connections I missed are suddenly obvious. Thanks for making me think about it!

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