I’ve been feeling philosophical of late, probably something to do with me turning another year older. As I lurk deeper into the same old questions that I often ask myself, about life and its purpose, I find myself getting productive on days like today. Driving home from work, the skies looked unusually beautiful today. Shades of orange and purple spread through a blue and grey canvas, further till my eyes could see. Unfortunately however, I couldn’t afford to continue staring at it for long, unless I planned to join the angels in the same sky, by giving less attention to the road and more above. A beautiful evening, an unavoidable drive and a lurking curiosity about life, set me thinking, and I realized, the life lessons driving could teach me. I may not be a great driver, but I sure am good at life, imperfect, unsuccessful sometimes yet good. Opportunities to learn are always welcome, whether or not I actually do learn, is a different matter altogether. Here’s what I realized, life and driving have in common, and how I can learn and unlearn some things, through something I had been doing as a routine for ages, paying no heed to the gems it had to offer.
Keep your eyes on the road, while also being aware of what’s around.
This should come as no surprise, since it’s the golden, rather, the obvious rule of driving. The same rule applies to life as well. Keep your eyes on the road, focus on what you want and focus on getting ahead. It is important to look at the rear view mirror sometimes, to see how far you’ve come, but it shouldn’t be the focus of your journey. Look ahead and be aware of the challenges around you, so you don’t end up having a rough ride. Self awareness, may take conscious effort, but will only make your journey smoother. Whether on a path to achieve something, or in the simple act of getting through life one day at a time, keep your eyes ahead.
You have to be patient sometimes. There is just no other way!
How many times have you found yourself stuck in traffic, with absolutely no way out? How many times have you found yourself behind a new driver who goofed up in the middle of the road, and left you with no option, but to wait till he/she finds a way out and clears up the road? Losing your calm, will not make the traffic clear up sooner, or instill driving skills in the struggling driver. At times, like these, you have no option, but to stay patient and wait, wait for the solution, wait for the way. When life tests you, and you seem to have no answer, you just got to wait it out, keep calm and know that your journey doesn’t end with an obstacle. Any obstacle, is merely a pause, and has to, end.
You learn from your mistakes
When I first started driving, I would end up endowing my car with dents and scratches that I cried over. Sometimes, the damage was more serious, and ended up damaging other vehicles as well. Oh what a nightmare it used to be! Although I still have a love hate relationship with dents and accidents, I have come to realise that these mistakes have considerably reduced over time. I am cautious when I’m on the road, making sure I don’t punch another pack on my door, or a loving blow on somebody else’s car. With years of experience, I certainly do a better job now, and without actually knowing it, I learnt a great deal from my mistakes. Need I say more about how aptly this applies in life too? Don’t brood over your mistakes, instead, be grateful for all the things it taught you eventually.
You may be doing everything right, but you’ll still face obstacles, and it’s okay
You will always find idiots on the road. Sometimes, you are the idiot, sometimes someone else is. There will be times when you do everything right, but you’ll still face challenges while driving, because some idiot decided to take the wrong route, overtake from the left, or made up his mind on testing, both the horns of his car and your patience too. No matter how prepared and right you are, you’re bound to face situations and people, who’ll make the ride unpleasant. You have two choices, either to sit and feel bad about how a drive you were so well prepared for, unexpectedly became unpleasant because of some idiot, or, deal with it and move on, with the same spirit that you had before you encountered the issue. What matters in the end, is if you’ve reached where you intended to go. You may carry the unpleasantness of a hurdle, and make the journey less pleasant, or detach yourself from situations and people you have no control over, and continue with zeal. Ten out of ten times, it’s the latter that makes the drive worthwhile
When I first learned how to drive, I found myself petrified of the roads, despite having driven for a few months. I’d always end up taking someone along for company, so I wouldn’t end up dying alone. Jokes aside, I did need company all the time though, because I wasn’t sure if I had it in me, to drive without guidance. One day however, I decided to change it, and change I did. I drove all by myself, in the busiest of roads, only because I knew it was my fear that pulled me back, and I had to face it. Surprisingly, I did make it out alive and safe, and my confidence in driving sky rocketed ever since. I also find myself in tricky roads sometimes, and when there’s no other way out, I dare. If you find yourself stuck in a state for too long because you’re scared of what lies beyond, dare! Take that first step, and miracles will follow. Only if you dare!