12Shifting Well—Learning How to Transition

It takes years of practice to learn how to shift a manual car effortlessly. It requires a good ear to understand when to shift, hand-eye coordination to shift to the proper gear, and the use of your left foot to push in the clutch, which allows the gears to align and slide into the right slot. Shifting well, then, is both an art and a science.

Most North Americans drive automatic vehicles these days, which do the shifting work for us, so we miss out on this experience on the road, but not in our lives. All of our relationships require us to learn how to shift and shift well. Over time, as our relational shifting skills improve, what begins as a methodical, potentially awkward, step-by-step process evolves to feel automatic as we become unconsciously competent at connecting and being present with those in our lives. Until we reach that place, this book can act as an owner's manual on how to connect well and increase influence and respect.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Imagine taking an old 1963 Corvette Stingray for a spin after years of driving an automatic. I am thinking this imaginary Corvette is a two-seat roadster, manual transmission, of course. As you start the car to allow the engine to warm ...

Get 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.