On Trusting Your Gut - Armstrong Tire

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Tuffy's Tips

On Trusting Your Gut

Every Friday, Tuffy fields a question that benefits from his worldly wisdom as #TheMostInterestingRhinoInTheWorld.

This week’s question is: “Hey Tuffy, I am struggling to make a decision about what color to paint my latest car build. My original decision was to go with a Steve McQueen-Bullitt-Mustang-green because I’ve loved the car since I was a little boy, but the more I talk to people, the more I’m convinced that the yellow that was used on the Lamborghini Countach is the right way to go. What should I do?”

Tuffy’s answer: “My good man, first of all, congrats on finishing your build. As the kids like to say – “pics, or it didn’t happen”, so send some my way when you get a chance. Your dilemma has given me the opportunity to use a phrase I learned many years ago, but which I rarely ever get to use in the automotive part of my world. There’s this thing called “analysis paralysis”, which is exactly what you’re facing at the moment. What it means is this – when you spend too much time thinking about something, you end up thinking about more things to think about, and in the end, you end up not making a decision because there’s no way you can justify every single one of the choices you make for all the things you think about.

I know that’s a earful, so let me tell you a story about my Uncle Rob which will help illustrate the point. I went to visit him for the weekend while I was in high school, because Uncle Rob loved tools, and well, so do I, and it was always fun to hang out with him and talk shop while we worked on one of the myriad projects that he had going on at any given time. We woke up bright and early that Saturday morning, because it was the annual Breakfast Buffet Bonanza at the local diner, Greedy Gertie’s Grub (I don’t know why they had such a propensity for alliteration, but it was quite charming). For a one hour period from 6am to 7am, you could eat as much as you wanted from the buffet line for only $1.99, and to a famished teen and his equally hungry uncle, this was a great thing. We were at the front door by 5.30am, and second in line. When the doors opened, we rushed in, got seated, and made a beeline for the buffet line. I wasn’t strategic at all in loading up my plate, just throwing whatever I could fit on it, then wolfing it down and repeating the process. Uncle Rob, on the other hand, had a tendency to like to plan things out a little more. He made a living as a quality control auditor, so he was very particular about everything, and that extended to his choice of food from the buffet line. After I’d made 5 trips to the buffet line and started to feel the effects of all that food, I took a short break at our table, then realized that I hadn’t seen Uncle Rob at the table at all. I looked around, and realized that he was still at the buffet line! I approached him and asked him what was going on. He replied, “Tuffy, I can’t make up my mind. I wanted to start off with something savory before indulging in something sweet, but I didn’t know if it was okay to mix the two, so I decided to go all savory first before going sweet. Then I had trouble deciding if I should go with some pastries or the scrambled eggs, and if it would be alright to eat bacon with the pastries, because I love bacon so much and it goes well with the maple buns, but bacon and pastries sounds weird, and eggs and bacon sound like a better pairing, but then there was the lox, which I love, and if I mixed bacon and pastries, I couldn’t eat the lox, but if I’d gotten the eggs and bacon and lox, that would be alright, but I really love the maple flavor on the buns”.

I tuned out completely after this, and finally asked him this simple question – “When you imagined coming here for breakfast last night, what did you envision your plate being full of?” His immediate response, “pancakes with maple syrup and a side of bacon”. And that’s exactly what he got and kept filling his plate with.
Sometimes we’re presented with so many choices and options that we feel that we have to evaluate every single one of them, even though deep down inside, we already know what we want. Second guessing ourselves is simply part of human nature, but it causes us more grief than it provides us with pleasure. I think you already know the answer to your conundrum, but feel that you have to entertain other options because everyone else expects you to. I encourage you to go with your gut, my friend, because it knows you best, and I look forward to seeing that gorgeous green machine sometime.

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About Tuffy

TUFFY the Rhino is more than just the Armstrong Tire mascot. On the surface, TUFFY appears to be a tough, hardened character, and arguably there is “none tougher.” In fact, he’s really a softie at heart, charming folks wherever he goes – a gentleman, for sure, but one who would equally be at home blazing frontiers as he would be dancing the waltz at a grand soirée. Often referred to as “The most interesting rhino in the world,” TUFFY has traveled the world and made many appearances representing Armstrong Tire, from advertisements co-starring stars like Lucille Ball to being featured on many eBay listings. However, he remains a simple, Midwestern rhino at heart, one that’s rooted in empathy, humility, and family values.

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