Pay Attention To Your Signs! (Or else...)

 Image via  newyorkparkingticket.com . Very similar to the one I misread.

Image via newyorkparkingticket.com. Very similar to the one I misread.

Last weekend I drove to New York to visit some friends and family, as I often do for a nice break. What started out as a potentially fun-filled weekend ended with some not so fun elements, including tons of traffic, a fistfight, coping with Daylight Saving Time, and more. The biggest hurdle of all, though, involved my car.

After leaving a club at 4AM, I offered to drop some friends off to save them the trouble of getting a cab. The problem began when I returned to the awesome parking spot I found down the block and my car was nowhere to be found.

Yep, my car had been towed.

After a quick chat with some people on the street, I called a number they gave me and five minutes later found out where my car was, and how much it was going to cost to get it back.

Needless to say, I wasn't a happy camper, but what could I do? The parking signs were there, however cryptic they might have been, and I didn't read them carefully. There was a lesson to be learned through all of this, though.

When we go through life, we are presented with loads of signs, whether we recognize them or not. In our careers, our health, our relationships, our personal finances, or the many other parts of our lives, we are always receiving information and warnings on what's to come if we don't adjust and change course. 

These signs, even if they are painful to obey, are there to protect against ultimate failure. It might be your health starting to weaken, indicating that it's time to take it easy before things get really bad. It could be your relationships with your family that are struggling, requiring immediate attention before they completely fall apart. It might be your passion towards your current job waning, telling you that it's time to start looking elsewhere before you're laid off for not being one of the top performers.

Following these signs can be difficult, just as finding a legal parking spot in Manhattan might take an extra 15 minutes of frustrating circling. But what's the alternative? Wait until it's too late and suffer a major health episode, or lose our job, or pay $300 in parking fees? Personally, I'll take circling any day.

So after making my way to the tow lot, paying ridiculous fees (including paying a fee to pay a fee), and finding my way back home, I just had one thought going through my head:

"Next time, Ryan, let's read the signs a little more carefully."

What are some of the signs you see in your life? Are you paying attention to them? Share in the comments.

- Ryan