Susan L. Farrell, Author

The Right Tools

dreamstime_xs_32676950My car has never been a great winter car (I live in Wisconsin).  The past couple of years, though, it has been even worse.  The final straw came mid-winter this year.  My husband and I live in the country and the driveway is long, it curves, and it is rather steep in one place.  Even so, the day that I could not get up the driveway until I got out and scraped 1/8 inch of snow off the driveway was the day I had had enough.

My tires were only a couple years old and still had very good tread.  I was beginning to think I would need to get a different vehicle (all-wheel or 4-wheel drive) until my husband had a better idea.  He suggested a set of snow tires.

I grew up in the era of rear-wheel drive cars, snow tires, and stud tires.  I was a little embarrassed that I had not thought of this myself.  Since I bought my first front-wheel drive car, when I was out of college, I had not needed snow tires.  All-season tires, combined with front-wheel drive, had worked just fine.

I bought and had four snow tires put on my car.  Something I learned when I did this was that my old tires were performance tires rather than all-season tires.  I remember when I bought the tires (from a different dealer than where I bought the snow tires) and I asked for all-season tires.  Not knowing much about tires, I didn’t notice the difference when they were put on.  Regardless, the tires explained why I was having so much trouble driving in the snow.

The snow tires have been awesome.  I can go anywhere, in any weather now.  Not only has it made driving easier and safer, it has also increased my independence.  I do not cancel plans because of bad, or even potentially bad weather, like I had been.

As with most situations in life, lessons learned here can be transferred to other aspects of life.  To accomplish something, we need the right tools.  We need to know what the right tools are.  We need to know whether we actually have the right tools or not.  If we don’t have the right tools, we need to get them, but we don’t need to get more than what we need.  And we need to know how to use those tools.

In your professional or personal life, are there tools or resources that you need?  Do you need something physical like a new computer?  Or do you need assistance from an expert, such as an accountant or web-site developer?  What are the right tools that you need to accomplish your goals?

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