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Motivational Expert

Loved Worthy Capable


Don't Pass Snowplows! It Could Save Your Business and your Life

Years ago my pregnant wife and I drove from Rigby, Idaho to Elizabeth City, North Carolina during the month of April. This path took us through Wyoming. At 3:30am we were packed and headed east. Snow was falling lightly as we traveled the highways that very dark night.

As we made great headway to our destination, we found ourselves behind a slow-moving, dreary, and boring snowplow. All I could think was how irritating it was to be on this highway going 20 mph. I checked to see if I could pass, seeing no cars on our little two-lane highway I went to pass the snowplow. Then it hit me, something within in me said "Don't pass the snowplow". I trusted my instincts. For a few minutes I sat there patiently. Then, I decided, "welp time to pass", and the same "don't pass the snowplow entered into my mind and heart". Slightly perturbed, I stayed the course, slowly and steadily.

For another 10 minutes I patiently waited, then I decided I had had enough and again "don't pass the snowplow came to my mind". This time I listened. I really listened and decided I would just wait it out. Another half hour or so, we reached the county line, the snowplow turned around, and I was free to travel a highway that had already been plowed by another snowplow. Freedom.

For a few minutes I reveled in how awesome it was to be "free" and driving so quickly. Then I realized a great truth I've never forgotten: "what kind of idiot wants to pass a snowplow o a two lane cliffside highway in the middle of the night while its snowing". In other words "the slow moving snowplow was clearing my way"

I asked a rather prominent and wise consultant recently "what was the biggest thing you learned on your journey". He though long and hard and said "it was nothing big, it was lots of little things". He then told me a of time he chose to be fired from a job instead of him having to fire others. The factory he was at was shutdown within a few months of his departure for the very thing he warned the company against. He then realized, "maybe I do know more than I think about this". That was the birth of his consulting team.

It is easy to get caught up in the moment. It is easy to be focused on the here and now, but don't pass the snowplows. Don't try and skip the steps that get you to being the kind of person you need to be. Not being stagnant does not mean you have to incessantly rush from task to task. Your success and worth are determined by your happiness and positioning, not "where you think you should be". I asked a very successful business woman years ago, "How do you hold it all together?" She chuckled and replied, "It looks like I'm holding it all together. I'm doing better than I thought then".

The point is, keep driving, keep making your way, but don't get frustrated with being slow moving, consistent effort will be what determines your success. That takes patience. That takes not passing the snowplows, because the very thing you think might be the cause of your problem, is what will clear your way.

What are your snow plows? Will you mind them, or try to cheat past them?

John Shakin

The Motivational Expert

John is a progress coach, a business coach, and a Motivational Speaker in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He can be reached on his phone at 252-207-7272 or by email at

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