Simple act of driving holds lessons to success in life! [11-06-2012]
Success in life is desirable. We always want to have it today rather than tomorrow. We live in an instant society. There is instant chat, instant coffee, instant showers. We want things now. We want success today. Tomorrow is not good enough.
A simple look at an act like driving will warn us against such instant pursuits. We start driving from gear one then gather speed (for a manual car).
The point here is that life, just like driving, has to start from a lower gear. You should be ready to start small. Allow yourself room to grow. You do not start driving a car at 100 kph. You start from zero and slowly accelerate.
Be humble enough to tread the beaten path of perseverance and patience towards success. The road to success begins as a pathway and slowly opens up to a highway.
Lesson two: Driving at night, we may only see a few metres ahead, but ultimately we arrive at our destination.
When driving at night, we primarily depend on our headlights The headlights only illuminate the immediate few metres ahead. Yet by faith we arrive at our destination miles away.
Similarly, in life, whenever we set out on a journey, be it in career or relationships or studies, we do not see the whole picture at first. It takes time and effort to know where we are headed.
The road of life is not a set mission; it is a discovery and an adventure. As we drive through the road of life, we may not see what lies ahead. This however does not deter our plan to seek to reach our destination.
Not knowing what tomorrow holds is not a disadvantage but a preparation for a pleasant surprise and revelation.
Lesson three: There is a reason the rear view mirror is smaller than the windscreen mirror.
The rear view mirror holds an absolute fascination for me as a driver. Mostly because I realise just how important it is in my driving experience.
Before you slow down, or want to change lanes, or want to enter a junction; you ought to check behind you less you break and you are hit from behind or change lanes and you hit another car that was trying to overtake.
While the side mirrors could help, being convex lens, they may not give the correct perspective of distance.
But let us examine another key part of the car— the windscreen. This screen is usually tens of times bigger than the rear view mirror. This is the screen that the driver uses to see the front.
Why is the windscreen much larger than the rear view mirror?
While the driver may from time to time refer to the back of the road through the rear view mirror, his attention is expected to be in front, where he is driving towards. The rear view mirror is but a reflection to the past.
Applied in life, we should know that while our past is important, it should not preoccupy our thoughts.
Memories and histories are good and worthwhile. From time to time, we have to reflect and celebrate our past and our histories. That is why anniversaries and holidays exist. Your past successes and failures are technically irrelevant to your future unless you let them.
That you were a celebrated sport icon back in high school does not mean that your classmates are still going to adore you when you are a failure later on in life.
We have to learn to divorce our past from our future but putting our minds on the present. You need to take note that today is the first day of the rest of your life and it does not matter what yesterday was about. Tomorrow is all a new and fresh opportunity for us to give it a shot.
Lesson four: Driving gives us equal opportunities to get ahead, correctly by overtaking. Wrongly by overlapping. So does life. Life is a race. The slow and sure get to win more than the fast and the reckless.
In driving on a highway, drivers drive different cars at different speeds. Drivers have a different sense of urgency as to what time they would like to arrive to their destination.
You may find that the car in from of you may be too slow and you feel that you would prefer to get in front of that driver. The legal way to get ahead is to overtake the car once you have certified that the traffic is clear.
If the rule is to keep left, then on a two way road, we overtake on the right. Trying to overtake on the left would probably result in you driving on the pedestrian pavement.
This is illegal and is known as overlapping. The life lesson is that we all have equal opportunities to get ahead. However, we may get ahead the right way by overtaking or the wrong way by overlapping.
You may be promoted because you have garnered an additional academic paper. This is equivalent to overtaking. Or you may be promoted because you are undermining your colleagues at work making them seem bad and in contrast you seem like an angel before the authorities. This is overlapping.
But you find that while overlapping may quickly get you to the top, only overtaking will keep you at the top. It pays to do things the right way. Overtake if you must. Do not overlap.
What you will realise is that just like in driving, racing against a particular car is not a matter of necessity. It is a matter of choice.
Lesson five: So what model of a car are you? That we are different should not be a cause to divide us. For without our diversity, how boring could we are!”
Driving on the highway, you will see various cars. They come in different models, makes and sizes.
Life is similar to a highway. On the highway there are many makes of cars just like in life there are many types of people.
Similarly people come in different shapes and sizes with diverse tastes and behaviours. As an individual you are unique just like there are different cars on the road.
Be satisfied with your own car. Similarly in life, we have to be satisfied with our own uniqueness. There are things that make you special and best suited to be you. There is only one you and trying to be someone else may prove to be a futile exercise.
If you are travelling from destination A to B, it does not matter whether you are in a Pro Box or in atop of the range Mercedes. At the end, both will arrive at the planned destination. So get on the road and drive.
Author:Mr Sissey is the Head of Secretariat &Admin, IIK . He also lectures at the College of Insurance.
Source: Nation Media Group (Business Daily)