3 Ways Life is like Going Through a Car Wash

Believe it or not, going through a drive-thru car wash really is a great way to reflect on life.  I didn't realize it until this morning when I took my dust encrusted black sports car in.  (In case you didn't know, it's really easy to see dust on a black car.)  While waiting in line from the driver's seat, it hit me that this (just like a box of chocolates) is a lot like life.

There is a Process to Everything
Going through the car wash, my car was sprayed with about seven different chemicals, was scrubbed by a large rotating chamois, and dried with three large blowers.  Even though technology has changed how cars are washed, the fundamental process hasn't changed: pre-rinse, lather, rinse, and dry. 

It's pretty similar with everything outside the car wash (there are some minor exceptions).  In order to get into a good college, people need good grades in high school.  In order to win sports tournaments, athletes need to train hard and practice often.  To accomplish any goal, people must put in the time and effort to achieve it.

Some processes are easier than others.  Some are shorter, more rigorous, or more stressful.  For example, there are many routes to becoming a successful entrepreneur.  Entrepreneurs can have an  MBA, have only a bachelor's degree (possibly not even in business), or a high school dropout.  They all can be successful to different degrees.  The more we understand the different processes in life, the more able we are to negotiate through them.

It Pays to Make Smart Choices
There were three car wash options to choose from: the Economy Wash $7, Regular Wash $9, and the Ultimate Wash $10.  The higher end options included polish, wax, color protecting coating, and wheel scrubbing on top of the Economy Wash.  I used to only get the Economy Wash, but that really didn't get my car clean.  It looked like someone tried to clean my car with a wet paper towel.  Most of the dust was off, but there was still a thin layer of dirt.  The last two times I decided to go on a limb and get the Ultimate Wash.  Even though it was $3 more expensive it did get my car clean.

99% of the time, we get what we pay for.  Buying a product at a cheap price usually means it has cheap quality.  As I get older and more experienced, I've become more of an advocate for buying quality and make it last as long as possible.  I've found that this method saves me money in the long run.   

Everything Needs to be Maintained
I'm proud that my car is ten years old and is still running strong like it's brand new.  It has over 214,000 miles on it and I wonder how long it'll keep going.  In order to make my car last as long as possible, I get its oil changed every 5,000 miles, bring it to a mechanic for regular maintenance, and replace parts when they wear down.

Life is not something that has a "one time fix" and everything is perfect after that; it must be constantly managed.  EVERYTHING in life must be managed and maintained.  In order to have a nice house, it must be regularly cleaned and all its appliances must be fixed whenever it breaks down.  To live a long and healthy life, we must eat healthy, exercise regularly, and regularly visit the doctor.  Our relationships with our significant others, family, and friends thrive on love and care.

Just like life, I know that my car isn't going to last forever.  I'm going to sit back, make every mile count, and enjoy the adventure.

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