It cost me $448.21 to replace the drive train, deraillers, cables, a tire, crankset, and brake pads, plus a few other things, plus a full service on my bike so that it would be as good as new. Only problem was, it wasn’t as good as new.

It made a noise like a Sherman tank. Dogs and squirrels and small children fled at the sound of my approach. Well, not really, but it was worrying. I thought something must be out of alignment, breaking, or not set correctly. So I went back to the bike shop. They put the bike up on the rack, checked everything, couldn’t find a noise. Off I went, hoping it would somehow, miraculously, sort itself out. It didn’t. In fact, it got worse!

Back I went, and this time, I insisted the bike fixer upper actually ride my bike to hear it for himself. He came back with a big smile on his face. “I know what the problem is,” he announced proudly, “it’s the pedals!” He meant the parts that I put my feet on to pedal. The bike is 9 years old and my average ride is 22 kilometers, so they have taken some strain over the years. I said, “Go ahead and replace them, but if that sound persists, I want my money back.”

He replaced the pedals and tested them himself, and, as he said, “It’s now as silent as the wind.”  What a relief! And he didn’t charge me for the labour to replace the pedals.

Some analogies: First, keep at the problem until you solve it, and it usually means the root of the problem (pedals, in this case), not the effect (noise.) Second, problems don’t fix themselves; they just get worse. Third, talk with an expert, unless you really are the expert.

But here’s the best analogy I came up with: The root of our problems usually lies at a spiritual level. Everything else is ripple effects. When we get our minds and hearts aligned with truth and justice, we find all sorts of things falling into place, and many good things starting to happen. We will find it easier to overcome problems, endure difficulties, and help others. We will become more powerful. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

Robin Elliott  LeverageAdvantage.com