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5 Things I Learned After My Car Broke Down

5 Things I Learned After My Car Broke Down

My story starts on a country road where I was driving one gloomy Thursday afternoon. I had finished some errands in a town next to mine and was on the way back home when I heard a suspicious noise coming from under the hood of my car. Suddenly, I started slowing down and the vehicle didn’t react to me pressing the gas pedal.

Pulling over on the side of the road was the only thing to do. I was facing a car breakdown for the first time in my life. The possibility of this happening never even crossed my mind so naturally I was beyond surprised and shocked. Luckily my hometown was nearby so I called up a friend who towed me to the nearest mechanic shop.

It turned out that my engine was thrashed, and with a hefty amount of money paid, the mechanic got it running again. He warned and advised me about a few things considering my car maintenance (I admit, I was irresponsible), and told me I should take better care. This misfortune also made me think about different scenarios, for example, what if I had been on a road trip in the middle of nowhere when this happened? Or even worse, have a baby in the car?

This situation would produce a whole different set of problems and potential dangers. Ultimately this event was a learning experience, and it made more cautious and mindful when it comes to using cars. We should all be more aware of this; we don’t need to get stranded to learn to be more careful, right?

Here are some things I realized after my car broke down:

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1. Never neglect car oil changes

    This was one of my major errors, mostly due to lack of knowledge. So please learn from my mistake and change your oil regularly, according to your car manufacturer’s recommendations. Why is this important? Well, over time the oil gets dirty and runs through the engine leaving all sorts of nasty bits and sludge everywhere.

    If this keeps going on for some time, the normal functioning of the engine will be compromised by the dirt which has built up, and the oil will not be able to reach all the necessary spots. This will eventually lead to a breakdown. You also need to know which type of oil is best for your vehicle.

    Lately, many manufacturers and auto professionals have been recommending synthetic oil, because of its superior qualities compared to regular ones. It keeps the engine running smoothly and prolongs its lifespan, but you should know that it also costs a bit more. Still, purchasing the best synthetic oil will benefit you so much in the long term, that it justifies the cost.

    2. Perform regular maintenance of the car

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      Changing the oil might be the most significant thing to do for the engine, but your car is composed of many more components which also need to be looked after. For example, checking the battery, getting the tires aligned and rotated, replacing the spark plugs, etc. because, malfunctioning of a single part could prevent your vehicle from working.

      The good news here is that many of these checks you can do by yourself with just a bit of education and effort, so getting familiar with the automobile’s functions is quite useful. Unless you are a mechanic, it is also vital to take your vehicle to a general service from time to time.

      The frequency of these services is usually determined by a time period or a certain mileage (e.g. every two years or every 20,000 miles), so whichever it is, be sure to respect it.

      Since my misfortunate event occurred unexpectedly, my car was a complete mess when leaving to the mechanics’ garage. I admit it, I haven’t paid attention to car cleaning regarding maintenance, so I was pretty surprised when I saw my car got cleaned perfectly.

      Why am I telling this? Some places charge this service additionally and don’t even inform you. To prevent this, get a good car vacuum cleaner, and clean your car from time to time.

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      3. Have means of communication available at all times

        If it wasn’t for my cell phone I could have been stranded at the roadside for hours. Of course, these days it is common sense to bring your mobile everywhere you go, which is a good thing in this case, but that doesn’t leave you safe.

        An empty battery can happen to anyone so it would be smart to bring a portable battery charger or a fully charged spare phone battery which you can simply keep in the glove box of the car.

        Now, if you are venturing out into the wilderness be aware that there might not be mobile service available. In this case make sure to bring a satellite phone with you, because it can be a life saver since there will not be many strangers to ask for help in the middle of nowhere.

        4. Bring food and water everywhere you go

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          It is common to bring snacks and sandwiches if you are going on a field trip or a long drive, but I would suggest having some sort of sustenance in your car available in at all times. In the case of a breakdown who knows how long you might have to wait for help, so it’s better to be safe than sorry, hungry or thirsty.

          When it comes to drinks, the obvious choice is regular water. You can buy it in bottles, place them under the seat, and it will be there any time you need it. Another option is to get a larger container and keep it in the trunk. As far as food is concerned, going for canned products might be recommendable because they have a long shelf life and are easy to store.

          As far as food is concerned, going for canned products might be recommendable because they have a long shelf life and are easy to store.

          5. Keep a cool head

            Panic, anger and worry will never bring you any good in a situation like this. Whether you’re vehicle stops in the middle of the city or middle of the forest, the procedure you need to follow is pretty much the same. First, take a breather and accept the situation; you are where you are. Next, think of the first logical thing to do.

            Depending on your current location this step might vary, but it usually involves getting some help. Last but not least, have faith that everything is going to work out just fine. Sure some money and time might be sacrificed, but try to see the bright side, and LEARN from this experience. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

            Whether we liked it or not, mishaps occur and some things in life are just out of our control. It is your duty to be prepared for any scenario, and your chances of solving the problem faster and more easily will be increased. Try to view negative situations as a challenge and an opportunity to grow wiser, because only difficulties will give you the chance to do that. At the end of the day, at least you will have a nice story to share.

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            Dejan Kvrgic

            Blogger, Writer

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            Last Updated on October 15, 2019

            How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

            How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

            What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

            To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

            All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

            There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

            With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

            What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

            1. Think Big

              From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

              “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

              There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

              Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

              Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

              Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
              Instead be ambitious.

              2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                  From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                  “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                  All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                  If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                  However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                  If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                  In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                  To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                  4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                    From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                    “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                    There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                    Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                    His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                    He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                    Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                    Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                    If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                    5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                      From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                      “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                      This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                      It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                      If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                      Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                      6. Be a Person of Action

                        From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                        “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                        Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                        Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                        When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                        You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                        All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                        Applying this to you?

                        Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                        7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                          From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                          The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                          The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                          People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                          This is key to good leadership.

                          It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                          But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                          What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                          As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                          8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                            From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                            “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                            It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                            Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                            If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                            9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                              From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                              “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                              Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                              It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                              Keep dreaming!

                              10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                  From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                  “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                  It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                  When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                  Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                  If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                  This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                  12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                    From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                    “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                    You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                    Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                    True success comes from work.

                                    You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                    Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                    13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                      From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                      “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                      In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                      If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                      It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                      Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                      Final Thoughts

                                      What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                      Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                      More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                      Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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