There’s a guy that everyone knows. Let’s call him Car Guy.
Car Guy is the guy who has a great car. The thing is really slick, he’s been working on it for years. Rims bigger than his neighbor’s rims. A big ol’ fin on the back. There’s a massive muffler that makes it really loud, annoying everyone for miles, but it sounds heavenly to Car Guy.
But I’ve always wondered something about Car Guy: when he’s not with his car, who is he? He’s invested everything of himself into this possession of his, so what’s left when that possession isn’t around?
Car Guy goes on a date, what does he say? “You should see my car.” Until then, he does his best to pass the time, just a regular Guy.
It was around eight years ago that I decided I never wanted to be ‘just a Guy.’ Some super-hero with lots of fancy equipment but no powers, and all my gear just out of reach. Instead, I wanted to be the gear. A Car Guy without a car is just a Guy, but a Guy who is an Awesome Guy is always an Awesome Guy, no matter what he’s driving, where he is, or what kind of date he’s on. He has super-powers, not a misplaceable, breakable, stealable, unwearable-on-dates utility belt.
You shouldn’t depend on something else to make you whole. You shouldn’t be defined by your car, your online avatar, your fancy clothes, or your slick new gadget. You should, naked and alone in the woods, be just as epic and impressive as you are when fully tricked-out with all the accoutrements of modern society.
You do this by learning. By taking in new knowledge and becoming more self-aware. Over time, you become more confident, and over more time you begin to define your personal philosophy and a strong moral code. These are the things which make a person epic in any situation. A car is just a tool, and any tool works better in the hands of someone who sees it as an accessory to their life, not as a means of making them whole.
Update: February 17, 2017
For the record, I don’t have anything against people who are really into cars. Or people who are really into anything at all. Passions are great, even when those passions require accessories.
But to be dependent on anything external is non-ideal, and that includes your car, your clothes, or even other people who feel compelled to prop you up. Stand confidently on your own two feet, and your car-related enthusiasms will benefit, along with every other aspect of your life.