I have a good fried that I saw briefly this weekend… He loves cars…. He is one of a number of close friends that love cars and have always joked on my choice of cars… Until recently…
He loves my brand new M Series Sport BMW and wanted to see it… So I obliged… WHilst perusing my car, as the urban philosopher he is, he also explained to me an observation of his as we drove by the sea front near to where we live.
With him doing a lot of driving, he started noticing the skid marks on long stretches of road, in particular on our motorways.Â On some of the longer country roads, he noticed that there was often nothing for miles except telephone poles hundreds of metres apart and all the skid marks pointed to the telephone poles.
He proceeded to tell me about some advanced drivers course he attended and how he recalled a lesson he once learned from a police driving trainHe was told toÂ â€œlook where you want to go. Donâ€™t focus on what you want to avoid.â€
So he summised that if you look at the telephone pole, you will steer towards it.
We all knew that though, right?
Seeing as we were having one of those conversations, of course I had to draw some parallels… In life, if something goes wrong and instead of focusing on what we want, we focus on what we donâ€™t want or fear â€œwhat a nightmare this is!â€ â€œThings are so awful!â€ Etc… Turning the focus away from what we fear and towards where we want to go takes practice.
We had a bit of a laugh at how old we sounded… I am guessing loads of you reading this will be considering this npotion rather old hat. I know it is one of those things I picked up at some of the very first and earliest of personal development seminars I attended. Despite this, loads of us, have been steering towards telephone poles for a long time.
The key here in my opinion and experience is not to think about the distant future… This about focusing on where we want to go right now. If the car starts to go out of control, focusing on the drive to the beach we have planned for next month wonâ€™t help us avoid the telephone pole, will it?
Dreaming of the future, while very enjoyable, is not steering our course in the present. By paying attention to where we want to go now, we are able to heighten our awareness of what is happening to us while we steer. This gives us critical information. If the car is skidding off the road, wishing that we were on the beach watching the waves wonâ€™t help us. Our ability to steer between the poles is increased by our willingness to be aware of right where we are. What is the feeling of our hands on the steering wheel? What is that vibration of the brake pedal under our feet? Are the brakes locking up?
My friend is right, as difficult as it feels some times, if we donâ€™t aim where we want to go, we make it unlikely we will ever get there.