People at our Mountain View office were recently fascinated by a trending YouTube video showing what is allegedly "Calgary's Worst Driver" taking a painful four and a half minutes to pull out of a pretty standard parking spot. It's a video that leaves you with more questions than answers.
BUT! What you see on the video isn't merely an incompetent driver trying to worm his or her way out of a tough spot. What you see is an enlightened guru with vital lessons to teach us about life, career, and the pursuit of efficient productivity. Read on:
Lesson 1: Plan Before You Do.
The driver kept at it for over four minutes, trying different patterns, each one more complicated than the next. We can't help but think the entire debacle could have been avoided if the driver had taken some time to think things through. Perhaps even stopping completely to step out of the vehicle and judge how close the surrounding cars were situated.
When you get into a tough spot in your career, Nike's tagline won't always work; "just doing it" won't lead to success without first thinking things through a little. What are the repercussions of your actions? Which resources will you need to access? Even better, plan out your entire year in advance.
Lesson 2: It's Okay to Ask for Help.
If you are no expert at your task at hand — whether it's driving in snow, programming code, or writing a blog post — it is incumbent upon you to seek assistance. If you don't, you could cause serious damage to your surroundings and innocent bystanders.
Humble yourself, grasshopper. Ask for advice. For example, talk to subject matter experts in a LinkedIn group. You're more likely to get out of a tough spot when you have input from those more skilled or more experienced than you. In the end, succeeding with help will hurt your pride far less than failing alone.
Lesson 3: If It's Not Fun Anymore, It May Be Time To Walk.
While perseverance is critical in the pursuit of your passions, failure to improve may be a sign that your heart just isn't in it. Our CEO Andrew Filev recently told a story about a time he had a heart-to-heart with a struggling software engineer only to discover the employee was reevaluating his career path — he wasn't enjoying it and it was leading to his substandard work.
In the case of "Calgary's Worst Driver," their struggle is probably a sign for them to move on. It may be time for the driver to invest in a bus pass.
Lesson 4: Admit Your Mistakes.
Everyone messes up sooner or later. The difference between moving on with your dignity intact and going infamously viral is how well you handle the situation. If "Calgary's Worst Driver" had stopped their car and left a note after dinging that red car, we probably never would have seen this video. Similarly, if you make a mistake and miss a vital deadline, man (or woman) up and admit it. Then ensure it doesn't happen again.
It's a small world, and your reputation as someone who dodges responsibility will follow you. If Karma doesn't find you, the internet definitely will.
Some of life's lessons can only be learned the hard way.
If you haven't seen the video yet, it's time to sit through 4 of the most painful minutes of your life:
Hindsight is 20/20, so it's important that we keep looking back to catch those learning moments. If you have any embarrassing stories that taught you a great lesson, please share them in the comments — even anonymously! It's important to pass on your newfound expertise and prevent other poor souls from making the same mistakes.