Destructive Down-Shifting


I used to have a Honda Passport. If ever there was an ill thought out vehicle, this was it. There were several things about it that made it quite clear that it was an after thought on the part of Honda rather than a well planned out SUV to compete in the market.

Things such as:

  • It had NO cup holders!!

  • It wasn’t actually a Honda at all. It was an Isuzu Rodeo!

  • It had NO cup holders!

  • You had to stop the vehicle and shift to four wheel drive and then back up to engage the hubs! My jeep Wrangler I had 7 years earlier could shift on the fly!!

  • The engine tapped like Sammy Davis Junior!

  • Did I mention the thing actually had NO cup holders?!

  • I actually tried every after market cup holder adaptation known to man. None of them worked.

  • But, perhaps worst of all was the way the shifter was laid out. It had no grooves to safely lock it into drive so it was possible to accidentally knock it into reverse—while doing 65 mph!!!!!

  • And it had NO cup holders!!!!

Seriously, most of these were almost comical inconveniences or troubling annoyances—all but one. The fact that this thing could accidentally be knocked into drive or reverse was enough to make even the shortest drives an exercise in Extreme sports competition! If this happen it could grind your transmission to smithereens in seconds.

It happened twice to me in the 11 years I owned the thing. In the end my transmission was hanging by a thread.


Now, that was accidental downshifting, but would you be surprised to know that there are millions who practice destructive downshifting with their lives every day?

It’s true.


Take for example the whole idea of cutting back in tough times.


A good idea—depending on what you cut.


Dropping your health club membership might be necessary to save money, however, working out makes you healthy, releases endorphins and generally makes you feel better. You should probably hold on to this one as long as you can—especially if you still go to Starbucks everyday for that extra hot white chocolate mocha that’s 650 calories of liquid death in a cup! Even if you only go 3x a week that thing is almost $4!! And that’s for the smallest size!! Three of those equals 12 dollars a week. That’s 48 dollars a month. There are a lot of health clubs you can join for less than that!


You’re scaling back—downshifting. But at what cost? I say you’re downshifting toward your own demise.


My wife is a Chiropractor and she tells me how she deals with this strange logic almost daily with people. They tell her they need to cut back on their healthcare while they talk about the latest movie they went to that weekend or while they are munching on the McDonald’s French fries they just bought!! Obviously they have money for some things. They probably do need to cut back—to downshift. But a lot of people are downshifting destructively. I guess they want to feel like they are at least doing something to alleviate the pain—to bring themselves some sort of relief. But is it?


And isn’t it crazy what we even call some of the worst things we put in out bodies?


“Comfort food.”


I guess eating an entire bag of Doritos is comforting while your at it but when you look in the mirror afterwards how would you describe that feeling?

The word ‘comforting’ doesn’t come to mind. Maybe depressing, but not comforting.


There are a million and one crazy examples with the same circular reasoning but let’s talk about something even more important. In times of stress people often claim they haven’t got time for everything—a very true observation. But when they downshift and scale back often they let go of things like Bible reading and prayer!!

But maybe keep watching their favorite shows like 24 or American Idol!!


Bad trade!