Check your rear view mirror

by Jack Warren, host of the Top Coach podcast

I love my truck for many reasons. First and foremost, I prayed for this truck. Secondly, it reminds me of where I came from and the road I’ve traveled — which (mostly) leads to humility, contentment, and gratitude.

My wife often asks me, “Why don’t you get a newer truck?” I always point out that it does the job and it’s paid for. The fact is, being the notorious cheapskate I am, that pretty much says it all. But it goes deeper than that. Each time I get in that truck, I’m reminded that God answers prayer. I prayed for that truck. It was exactly what I needed.

Additionally, that truck reminds me of the road I’ve traveled. I had dinner once with a man that I knew was extremely successful in the business world. At one point the conversation turned to the watch on his wrist. I noted that his watch reminded me of the gold colored Timex that my grandfather had worn for decades. He told me that he first bought this watch when he dropped out of college and ventured out on his own. He says that he probably didn’t pay more than $20 for it, noting that although it’s not the only watch he owns, it is the only watch he wears. He says that each time he looks at the watch he’s reminded of what is was like to really struggle and to overcome. The watch, he says with a big smile, has been with him through it all.

Although my truck has not been with me that long, it does serve as a constant reminder to be satisfied with what I have. As the Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Philippians, one ought always be content, no matter the circumstances. Do you know where Paul was when he wrote that? Prison.

Just a note here: don’t confuse being content with being satisfied. One ought always be content. However, in your striving, satisfaction typically sits somewhere down the road.

My truck serves as a bit of a rear view mirror for me, reminding me of where I’ve been — where I came from. What is it for you? What do you do to keep yourself grounded? Living in the past is not a good strategy in most cases. Being mindful of where you came from, however, is a great way to help frame where it is you are now and to help you achieve a certain level of contentment, perspective, humility, and gratitude.


Jack is available to speak to your team or organization or at your next function. He also provides individual and organizational coaching and consulting. You can get more information on these services at Jack’s professional services site, JackWWarren.com.

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