Trey Campbell is a leading authority on utilizing biblically-based principles to help leaders and salespeople expand their influence.

A Lesson in Attitude: When There’s No Air in the Spare

Your attitude is not determined by your situation. It’s determined by you. This is a lesson none of us can learn too young. Many people go through life never learning it. And their attitude shows it.

As I was driving down a two-way road talking with my daughter, she commented on how narrow the road was. Then we got distracted talking about the school to the right and how she had performed there in the past with her theater group.

Then, it happened!

The curb jumped out and grabbed my tire! I had a flat tire with a hole big enough I could put three fingers through. Okay, no big deal. I could quickly change it and we could be on our way. I jacked the car up, took off the flat tire, replaced it with the spare tire, and lowered the car with the little jack that always seems too small for the car. As the car lowered, the spare continued to lower as well—all the way to the rim, as it was also flat.

What to do? There was no way I was going to call my wife and tell her I hit a curb and tore the tire (too much pride). On to the gas station we marched! It was only about half a mile away. I thought they might sell a small pump I could use to air up the spare. No. No, they did not. Time for Uber. I ordered a ride to an auto parts store, which did have the pump I was seeking. Time to Uber back to the scene of the flat. Oh, wait! The Uber app locked up and would not let me put in the address I needed to go to. It’s a good thing I have friends—ones that live close and are willing to pick up two wary road warriors with a mission of restoring the use of our wheels. Well, three of them anyway.

Despite the flat and minor difficulties in getting back on the road, it was a good day. I learned long ago, we all have choices when it comes to our attitudes. I could have been flat and deflated like that tire, or I could have chosen to count my blessings and rise to the occasion. I know I am bigger than any situation that comes my way. I rose. And I will rise again when the opportunity necessitates. My attitude will get me through those situations because I choose it to. And on this day, I chose to be grateful for the other three tires that were operational, in good shape, and full of air rather than discouraged by the one that was a loss.

For the record, I do have roadside assistance. But there’s something about teaching your kid and giving her a life lesson she will always remember: there’s not always air in the spare. You will always have adversities in life that can bring you down or make you stronger. It’s your choice how you react. You’ve just got to sometimes roll with it, unless your tire is flat, of course—then you wing it!

And, you know what? Despite the negative situation, we had a really good time together.


A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
—Proverbs 17:22


Trey Campbell, [email protected]


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