I had an encounter with a steering wheel today. That line may sound a bit dramatic, some of you drive every day, but for me there is always a bit of
drama excitement frizzling in the air when I get the keys. I got my driving licence when I was eighteen, but I didn’t get much experience behind the wheel after that. My parents don’t have a car as we live in a small town where you can actually get almost everywhere by foot. I also never got one for myself, as moving into bigger cities made me realise the chaos of finding a parking spot and the horrors of traffic jam. Oh, and one more reason – I never really had money for a car. It was not one of those things that I prioritised, I always felt ok with taking subway or a tram. Later on Uber showed up, not that I use it much, but there are plenty of alternatives for car-free life. Still, I enjoy driving from time to time, especially when I’m alone and just switching my brain off. I have also lately realised that driving can teach us many life lessons, and that’s what I want to share with you today. Here is my new found wisdom about driving and life.
Sometimes you have to slow down.
Know your speed limit. We live in very fast times, and it seems like we need to rush around non stop. In order to juggle many different tasks speed does matter, but we also need to know when to push the break. We are not machines, and although our bodies are quite powerful, if you go full speed for too long you will burn out. So, learn when to be in speed mode and when to slow down and give yourself a break.
Refuel your energy like you do with your car.
Your car can’t go without gas so you make regular stops at a gas station. We are kind of similar. We don’t consume gas, but we need to recharge with food and sleep. That is why it’s important to eat regularly and healthy and to get enough sleep. It will recharge you and you will have enough energy to face your daily challenges.
Sometimes you’ll have to go in reverse.
Moving forward is crucial in life, but from time to time we need to take a step back. By going in reverse, we may get a new perspective on things and choose which road to take. If life pushes you back, try to make the best of it and just remember – you take a few steps forward, one back and that’s just how this road called life is made.
Change speeds gradually.
Even the best car needs time to develop big speed. It can’t go from first to fourth, and neither can we. I am talking about progress here. We need to go through each speed in order to get to 100 km/h. Whatever it is that you’re interested in, remember that you can’t become a master over night. Any skill takes time to develop, together with repetition and dedication. So, start slowly and build up as you go.
Respect the traffic signs.
Traffic signs are there to warn us about the road we are taking. Our bodies are also made to send us signals about what is happening inside. If you’re low on energy – you get hungry; if you lack water – you get thirsty and it’s amazing that we’re made that way. While hunger, thirst and other ‘signals’ are there to tell us about our physical needs, our mind and our emotions can tell us about the mental and emotional needs. I think it’s sad how little we understand this side of us and how little attention we often pay to what our body, mind and soul might be telling us. If you don’t react to the signals your body is giving you, you end up sick. So, learn to listen to your body and treat it well. After all, your body is your armour in which you go through life, so learn to respect it’s limits.
For more of our life lessons visit Sunday Thoughts.