I got my first car in the ’80s while I was in high school. It was a 1971 Plymouth Satellite Custom that I bought from one of my mother’s co-workers for $600. It was a little over 10 years old and a gigantic tank of a car. The color was even an appropriate “army green”. At some point the car stopped working correctly — the starter went bad. When I’d turn the key all I would hear was a click-click-click-clicking sound. Everything else was fine — the lights came on and the other electrical systems worked — the engine just wouldn’t turn over.
I didn’t have the money to fix it at the time and a friend of mine — one of those “car friends” who knows everything about vehicles (we all have one of these friends, and if you don’t… you probably are the car friend!) told me that if I crawled under the car and tapped the starter with a hammer, I might be able to knock the bad part of the starter gear enough so that it would mesh with the engine flywheel to get the starter motor spinning and allow the engine to start.
Now, I’m not the car guy as I explained earlier, so what I heard was “crawl under the car, bang on the starter with a hammer, and then try starting the car again”.
And it worked.
So instead of saving money to get the starter repaired, I just kept a hammer in the car and if I heard the clicking noise I’d bang on the starter and get back in the car and try turning the key again until the engine started. As the starter got worse, it took more tries to get the gears to connect, but it was a great solution while it worked.
Has Your Starter Gone Bad?
Instead of jumping into a new project with your engine running on excitement and enthusiasm, is your engine simply not engaging? Everything else in your life seems fine, but starting up new projects simply isn’t clicking with you.
The solution isn’t to bang on yourself with a hammer until you feel more motivated — even with the car it was a temporary solution at best. What you need to do is get your gears back in sync and your energy meshing with your projects again.
Revisit the reasons why you wanted to start the project in the first place. Who were you hoping to benefit? What changes were you hoping to make in the world.
Next, think about the outcomes you were hoping to achieve. Was the purpose of the project to generate revenue? Build your personal brand? Make an impact on potential clients?
If your starter is beginning to go bad and it’s getting harder and harder to get your motivation motor running every time you need to rev-up for a new project, go back to the beginning and review all the important points for developing the project in the first place. Perhaps one of the original reasons you wanted to work on the project no longer engages with the gears of your current goals and you need to reconsider the project entirely.
It’s certainly better than forcing yourself to work on projects that you are no longer interested in and no longer furthering your long term goals.
Abandoning the project or allowing another person who is more excited about the project to take the wheel is certainly more productive than hammering your head against the wall.