I drive and ride on Indian roads a lot and I believe that anyone who hasn’t, is missing a great adventure in life!
Along these journeys, came many moments of realization – moments when I’d tell myself ‘Grow up!’ … I realized that the road is such a wonderful metaphor to life (and work).
For instance –
- The time it takes to reach my destination, and whether I reach it in one piece or not, is not only about my driving ability… It’s about how narrow or wide the road is, its terrain, how many other commuters are on that road (most of who want to overtake me!), their understanding of traffic rules and so on.
At work – How fast and effectively I achieve my goals isn’t only about my skills and expertise – A lot depends on whether it’s a tried and tested (Wide road) area or is it something that’s never been done before (narrow / potholed/ unused road), how many competitors (commuters) I have, and how they perceive the situation / goal.
Note to self – Being aware of these helps reduce the surprise and the angst. I can be better planned, more patient and more likely to achieve my goal on-time and in one piece!
- My vehicle (Something that I trust to take me to my destination) will break down when I least expect it to.
At work – Laptops crash on the day of the big presentation, files get corrupted when hours have been invested in them, team members fall ill on the day I most need them to be around, Managers quit just when things are going well…! Essentially, Murphy’s law!
Note to self – It happens! Stop blaming the world, own up and do the best that I can in the situation. Don’t overcommit. Always be prepared to roll-up my sleeves, have the grit and the skill to pull more than my own weight every now and then.
- This one’s counter-intuitive, but I’ve seen it happen so many times – Accidents rarely happen because of vehicles moving at high speed! They happen because a fast moving vehicle doesn’t anticipate that there is a slow moving / stationery vehicle somewhere ahead of them. The rest is simple physics – the damage is directly proportional to the speed of the fast moving vehicle, and the size of the slow / stationery vehicle.
At work – When I’m running full steam towards my goals, I tend to get tunnel-vision. I forget that not everybody is running the same race. The things that are urgent and important for me may not be so for people around me. And then when I face a ‘block’, I end up getting angry and frustrated at them! The bigger the ‘block’, the harder it hurts!
Note to self – Study the pace of the people around. Decide on the right speed. Take people along. Ensure the people around know where I’m going and how fast. If they can’t help, at least they won’t get in my way.
- OK, one last observation on the road – The most insecure drivers are the ones who blow their horn the most. The ‘centered’ drivers rarely feel the need to honk.
Note to self – Don’t get stressed out when someone goes into a tizzy to make a point. They’re probably feeling insecure or unheard. Special Note to self – Even the most ‘centered’ people can feel insecure once in a while! Just give them a chance – they’ll come around.
One last bit – A study actually came to the conclusion that the best drivers (measured by the least number of accidents) don’t look at the vehicle just ahead of them. They look through the windscreens of the vehicles ahead to see as far as possible, and are considerate of what’s in the side/rear-view mirrors. They anticipate how these vehicles will move, and thereby control their own vehicle.
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Associate Vice President, HRM – Talent Development (L&D)
SLK Global Solution
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