Where are you looking?

When you are driving safely, you are looking to where you want to go.

You should not look just in front of your vehicle.  Surely you want to go farther than the 20 or 30 feet ahead of you.  The faster you travel, the further you have to look ahead.  You need more time to accumulate data and you require time to process that data into good decision making.

Nor should you be fixating on your final destination.  It may not even be in sight.  You can’t even focus entirely on a spot a full kilometre down the road - that’s foolhardy when a hazard could be just ahead of you.

You cannot be locked into tunnel vision, staring solely ahead.  Hazards may exist in the ditches or coming out of alleys at the side of the road.  Nor can you neglect your mirrors for hazards racing up behind you.

“Look where you want to go” still holds as the primary rule of safe driving.  But it’s not an absolute rule.  You need to take in data such as your speed, your direction, road signs, other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists – the sum of your environment.

“Look where you want to go” as a life’s lesson is much the same.  Recently I got all hell bent for leather on a course of action, however lunch with a friend suddenly snapped into place that I haven’t finished driving my current road yet and there is much for me to do before I’m ready to switch life’s highways.

When you’re driving, it should be somewhat obvious where you are heading.  More or less in front of you, far enough ahead to spot obstacles and hazards, not so far ahead that you are oblivious to things that are near you.  Setting your goals and choosing one’s path through life is less clear cut.  There are many directions you can choose and many goals you can set for yourself.

The choice made should, in my mind, still be somewhat obvious.  Your destination as a person needs to begin from your values.  Everyone’s core values are serious, personal and valuable beyond counting.  You need to consider what your values are and how they impact you as a person.  Although I have a good standing on what my personal cornerstones are, it’s clear that I can lose my focus and forget the things I most want to accomplish.  Lose that focus and it becomes much harder to achieve your goals.

Let me tie my thoughts into a circle.  If you truly value all life on earth, you must do what you can to care for life and ensure life is not taken without good cause.  Unless you are a plant or a bacterium, we must continue our existence by sacrificing life for our own sustenance, but life is not to be taken carelessly.  When that’s your primary value, you ought to be driving carefully, applying what you know about safe driving each and every time you get behind the wheel.  Look where you want to go.  Travel with confidence.  Stay calm when things don’t smoothly go your way.  Tenaciously practice and improve your skills and abilities.  Never stop learning.

I wouldn’t consider telling you what your core values ought to be, but I highly encourage you to think about your core values and your goals and how you intend to achieve your goals while staying true to your values.

I can’t help someone else until I’ve prepared myself.  My drive right now has to be to improve myself, but also value a bigger role which awaits me and need to simultaneously prepare myself.  I have to remain true to my cornerstones or risk losing my values.  I have to care for my health, my teeth and my jaw – the choices over how I get there are fast becoming interesting and compelling.

In the end, you need to ultimately decide for yourself which route you shall take.  We all face the choice of Robert Frost, and regardless of the road taken our choice shall make all the difference.