The Gas Tank Theory of Serving Others

The Gas Tank Theory of Serving Others
When I was in college, I had a friend who had two very annoying habits. And one day I got to experience them both at the same time (lucky me).

His first habit was that of picking up hitchhikers.

Remember, this was the early 80′s. I honestly thought to hitchhike went away in the 70′s. I was wrong!

So, one fine day we were cruising down Burnsville Parkway and my friend (who was driving) pulls over and stops for a lone hitchhiker. Much to my disappointment, the guy gets in and we drive off. (I was NOT a fan of giving rides to strangers!)

About a quarter mile later, my friend pulls over again. But this time it’s because his car died. Or, more precisely, it ran out of gas. (That was my friend’s second annoying habit.)

So, we got out and started walking. My friend and I walked toward the nearest gas station. Our new hitchhiking pal suggested we were a couple of losers (for running out of gas). He then staked out what was apparently a good spot to resume his hitchhiking and stood there with his thumb out. Apparently walking was not his preferred mode of transportation.

I remember thinking unkind thoughts about my friend that day (just for a little while).

But, now, years later, I admire his spirit of service. That he was willing to reach out and help a complete stranger says something good about my friend.

And, the “running out of gas” incident provided a memorable lesson when combined with the “picking up a hitchhiker” event.

If you want to give someone else a ride, you need to have gas in your own tank.

I think of all the hard-working and selfless people I know who do so much for others. But too often they don’t do enough for themselves. As a result, they might suffer stress (physical, financial, emotional.) And they often incur burnout on the job. Sometimes they even have to stop what they’re doing completely because of their ability to serve others literally disappears.

It’s because their “gas tank” runs empty.

And this can happen to any of us if we’re not careful.

So, in the spirit of serving, and helping those who serve, here’s My Top 10 list of ways you can keep your own “gas tank” full and maintain your ability to serve others.

1. Eat right. Eat healthy food in appropriate portions.
2. Exercise frequently.
3. Get plenty of rest.
4. Avoid traffic whenever possible.
5. Maintain a balance in all areas of your life.
6. Relax and quiet your mind on a daily basis.
7. Laugh a lot.
8. Stay organized at home and at work.
9. Spend fun time with family and friends.
10. Make sure you spend time doing what you enjoy doing.

Make it a great day!