NASCAR. A race. Cool cars. Great drivers. All the drivers have prepared themselves and their cars to give them the best possible chance of winning. They have checked out the course to see where the trouble spots are and they have trained their pit crews to handle anything that comes up. The pit crews have to be able to fix or eliminate anything that slows the car down, giving it the best chance to win the race. Winning the race depends upon the skills of the driver and the dependability of the pit crew.
You know, scouts. Life is like NASCAR. Only, you are the cars. You have to give yourself the best possible chance of winning the race. You have to take a look at the course and decide where you are going and the best way to get there. You have to identify where the trouble spots are going to be and how to get your car past them. You have to give yourself the best possible chance of completing the race and getting to the finish line that you have set for yourself. That’s where parents come in. They give you a chance. That’s where school comes in. School gives you that chance. Teachers, Scout leaders, coaches and good friends give you that chance.
And then there is the pit crew. Again, that’s you. You are your own pit crew. You have to fix or eliminate the things that make your car go slower. That means fixing or eliminating things like your temper, your laziness, your inability or unwillingness to focus in class, your problem with authority figures, your inability or unwillingness to set goals, your negative attitude, and your friends. Friends is a big one. The wrong friends can really slow down the car. The wrong friends can insure that you won’t finish the race.
Remember, finishing the race and getting into the winners circle depends for the most part on how willing you are to fix or eliminate the things that need to be fixed or eliminated. When you lose the race, you can’t blame the things that you could have fixed. You can’t blame your friends for dragging you down. You chose them. It’s not their responsibility to keep your car in the race. It’s yours. Plenty of people will support your choices. Your parents, your teachers, your scout leaders and coaches. And there will be plenty of people there to stand and cheer when your car crosses over the finish line. But remember, they are not driving the car. You are. You’re the driver. You’re the pit crew.
Life is like a NASCAR race. The cars who win are the cars whose drivers prepare for the race. I know you’ve heard that somewhere. “Be Prepared”
© Bill Shaffer 2006