I remember spending a week with my Grandpa when I was in high school. While I was there he had to do some repairs to a car, an older Datsun Hatchback.
Like many car projects things weren’t going according to plan. After several attempts to get a part out he turned to me and said, ” If at first you don’t succeed…” I finished his sentence with, “Try again.” He turned, smiled, shook his head and said “Cheat!” He grabbed a long breaker bar he called a “cheater bar” and got the part out. Don’t just keep doing the same thing, find another option and don’t quit. Perhaps “cheat” wasn’t the best word to express his thought but I learned a great lesson.
I have often quoted my Grandpa when working on cars. This week I was working on replacing the door rollers for the sliding doors on my mini-van. Both rollers had been worn out and needed to be replaced. I got them both out. One was replaced in only about 15 minutes, while the other side took considerably more effort. Part of the bracket had rusted onto the pin. I just needed to get the pin out and I could replace the part and be done. After an hour I hadn’t been able to budge it. Penetrating oil hadn’t worked, heat and a hammer didn’t work, and every other attempt hadn’t worked. I called the local parts store and they didn’t have one to just replace it.
I was ready to give up and in the back of my mind I heard Grandpa, “If at first you don’t succeed, cheat!” I looked again at the part and realized that if I used a rotary tool with a cut-off wheel I could probably cut the pin free. Sure enough two minutes later the pin was out and into the new bracket and ready to be put back on the min-van.
So many times in life we are ready to call it quits. We are ready to throw in the towel and say, “it’s too much.” Don’t quit, look for another option, look for hope, look for a way to succeed. Maybe we shouldn’t say cheat, but we could say, “If at first you don’t succeed, look for a better option.”