I remember as a child riding in my Grandpa's 1956 Jeep, watching him completely wind out the engine before stepping on the clutch and grinding into second gear. He was too busy lighting his pipe to engage in shifting. Our family can recall to this day the unmistakable whine of that old Jeep engine! Grandpa had a hard time getting in gear.
I do too, sometimes. At work, it's easier to mentally plan my evening than it is to open mail or update the travel calendar or consolidate the follow-up items for my boss. I'd much rather design the backyard or plan a dinner party or shop online for new clothes. But when I am completely engaged in my work, I'm good at it and I get a lot of kudos.
Bob and I have been married for over 30 years. He and I have different interests: Personally, I'm not crazy about cars and motorcycles, and he's not into computers and technology; still, I ride with him to club outings in the Corvette, and he surfs the Internet with me. I like solitude; Bob likes companionship. I like quiet; Bob likes loud rock music. I love to eat out; Bob likes to eat at home. It would be easy to focus only on our individual preferences, but then we wouldn't enjoy the emotional connection that has developed from years and years of engaging in someone else's life.
Truly, the great success stories are of people who get in gear - be it spiritually, or professionally, or in a relationship. As long as we keep flinging that shift gear around and refuse to focus - to engage - we will just make a lot of irritating noise in life and will succeed only in wearing out our engine.