Lamborghini Dreams: Emblems of Success

Print This Post Print This Post August 1, 2008 on 7:47 pm | In Emotional, Failure, Financial, Fulfillment, Physical, Social, Spiritual, Success, Truth | Comments Off on Lamborghini Dreams: Emblems of Success
Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

This past weekend I sold my Lamborghini Countach replica (pictured above), and in reflecting on my motives for wanting to sell it I realized that those motives are closely linked to the insights that led me to modify my approach towards weight loss and improving my physique.  One of the seeming mysteries of life is the way that insights and events in one aspect of your life can influence seemingly unconnected aspects.  Or is this really a mystery?  Although we tend to think of life in terms of categories – emotional, physical, relational, financial, spiritual, and so on – the reality is that these categories are simply convenient labels for specific aspects of the integrated whole that comprises our life.  Because life in a very fundamental sense is an integrated whole, perhaps it would be even more surprising and mysterious if changes in one aspect of my life did not impact the other aspects.

In any event, having just outlined some of the changes that have occurred in my approach to physical fitness and health let me draw some of the parallels with my decision to sell my Lamborghini.  To begin with let me state that for me the Lamborghini Countach is the ultimate sports car in terms of its style and appearance – indeed this is why I purchased it in the first place.  For pure looks the Countach is hard to beat, and anytime I was out and about in this car it always gathered a crowd.  The admirers generally fell into one of two categories: people that had never seen a car anything like this before and liked what they saw, and people who had admired the Countach since they were young and considered it their ultimate dream car.  I can say from having had the experience of owning and driving this car around Houston I have had at least a glimpse of what celebrity must feel like.  It was not at all unusual for me to pull up at a traffic light and have people roll down their windows so they could take pictures of my car with their cell phones or their digital cameras!

So in terms of surface appearances, this car was all I could ask for.  But as I mentioned above, this car is actually a Lamborghini replica – not a genuine Lamborghini Countach.  The genuine article would cost a minimum of $100,000 and can easily be considerably more than than depending on the condition of the vehicle.  My car was fiberglass replica mounted on a Pontiac Fiero chassis (modified to match the wheelbase of the Lamborghini).  As such most of the “guts” of this vehicle – in other words, its underlying structure – are actually from a 1985 Fiero.  Because the fiberglass body makes the car very light, the original transverse mounted Pontiac V-6 actually makes this car fairly responsive – although it obviously nowhere near as fast or maneuverable as the authentic V-12 Lamborghini.  The advantage of the replica (above and beyond the reduced price tag) is that it is affordable to insure and drive, and unless you are very familiar with original vehicle it is very difficult to distinguish from the real McCoy.

Although the chassis, engine, and transmission are all standard Pontiac components, pretty much everything else is custom manufactured and therefore very difficult to find and expensive to purchase when something goes wrong.  For example, I had to replace one of the hinges on the trademark scissor-style doors and that little episode took almost a year to complete as I searched in vain for the necessary parts and eventually had to have a custom hinge fabricated!

Lamborghini - Scissor Doors

Lamborghini - Scissor Doors

So although this car looked great, it did not perform to anything even close to the original Lamborghini, but it was very much like the authentic Lamborghini in that maintenance and repairs tended to be very expensive and time consuming.  Driving this car did give me a good feel for some of the sacrifices that need to be made in order to support its stylish lines.  The most obvious of these is limited visibility.  Rear visibility is extremely limited due to the minuscule size of the rear window, so much so that the side mirrors truly are your best friend when driving in heavy traffic.  One problem with my replica was that these side mirrors could only be adjusted by hand, and since the windows did not roll down this posed quite a challenge if a mirror went out of alignment while driving!  My friends used to joke that there was no need to worry about this limitation, since the motto of anyone driving a car that looks like this one should be “what is behind me is unimportant!”

Now the parallels between the nature of this replica car – great surface appearances, but less than an ideal underlying structure – and my discussion about improving my physique are obvious and don’t need to be spelled out.  But as I have been trying to do in other aspects of my life, let’s dig a little deeper and see what really lies beneath the surface – for it says a lot about the transformation that Spirit is helping me to manifest in my life.  The fact that the surface appearance of this vehicle masked a less than spectacular underlying structure is just the tip of the iceberg.

What Lies Beneath the Surface

What Lies Beneath the Surface

My desire to sell this car was germinated over a year ago, when I earnestly began to examine my life in light of what seemed to be missing – a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  Despite having “status” and a fancy job title, plenty of money, toys and diversions (like my “Lambo”), it was clear that something fundamental was missing in my life.  It turns out that that “something” was a relationship with Spirit – with God.  As I shifted my focus from the material to the spiritual, I naturally began to examine the underlying structures and premises that had defined my life up to that point.  I did not like what I saw.

Most of my life was organized around the principle of success, and unfortunately my definition of success at the time was profoundly influenced by our consumer oriented society.  Success was essentially equivalent to monetary wealth and the associated attributes – large and expensive houses, fancy cars, and so on – and in this sense my Lamborghini replica was one the emblems of my success.  It was a visible, public indication that I was a “successful” person – never mind the fact that underneath that surface appearance I was really asking myself: it this all there is?  Is the purpose of life to simply get better, higher paying jobs so you can buy more stuff so you can impress the people around you?  And who was I trying to impress anyways?

As I worked on really understanding and untangling those structures – mainly through my work with the SpiritWeavers group, but also based on some of the internal work I had been doing following Robert Fritz’s Your Life As Art workshop – it became clear that a central component of my self-definition was framed in terms of failure and success.  It also became clear that this aspect of self-definition was completely bogus.  As I noted in my previous post on Embracing Setbacks: Harnessing the Power of Failure, from a spiritual perspective my intrinsic value and worth as a person is in no way linked to my success or failure.  Owning and driving a Lamborghini – even an authentic Lamborghini – does not make me a better person than someone who drives a Hyundai!  What really lay beneath the surface was a profound, almost overwhelming sense of my own unworthiness and lack of intrinsic value – and the role of my emblems of success was to disguise and hide that sense of inadequacy.

Just where that sense of inadequacy came from I really don’t know.  All I can affirm is that it was deep seated and led to a life strategy of earning and proving my self-worth by succeeding – in school, in my career, and in my finances.  Although this strategy did not lead to genuine sense of fulfillment, it managed to keep me distracted and busy enough to get me through most of my adult life up until a few years ago in a relatively happy state.  However, the was always a nagging sense of incompleteness lurking beneath the surface, and it was this sense of “something missing” that led me to start pursuing other avenues for personal growth and fulfillment.  Not surprisingly, that pursuit led me to my current explorations of spirituality and a deep re-examination of my life purpose and priorities.

And so now it is time to bid a fond farewell to my Lamborghini Dreams and to fully embrace the adventure of exploring what lies beneath the surface!

Farewell to Lamborghini Dreams

Farewell to Lamborghini Dreams

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