Eyes Up! Look Where You Want to Go

by Liz Jansen

look where you want to goLesson One in the curriculum for learning to ride a motorcycle is learning to focus your eyes on where you want to go. That can be a very different place from where you’re headed.

We call it using your eyes to steer your bike.

After years of practice and self-discipline, it’s pretty much second nature. When I get into a tense situation, like entering a corner a little too fast or avoiding the driver ahead of me who abruptly slows down because he’s missed his exit and is about to cut over three lanes, or back up, that discipline has saved my skin. Likely my life.

It’s tempting to freeze and fixate on the guard rail rather than looking through the exit of the curve. Or focus on the tail lights rather than an escape route. Doing that dramatically affects the outcome in a negative way.

A friend of mine could hit the only tree a field because he used to fixate on it rather than all the open space around it.

Allowing fear to focus us on what we don’t want sends our energy there and we miss out on what we do want to bring into being. It can be tough with so many voices coming at us from so many directions, especially when it’s hard to know which one to believe.

I choose to look where I want to go and where my intuition and heart guide me, not at the myriad of distractions that jump out from every corner. They’re still there and it’s important to stay aware of our environment so we can realistically anticipate what to watch for.

But when it comes to choosing a destination, I’m looking at where I want to go and enjoying the journey. Besides, there’s less traffic on this road.

Where are your eyes looking?

photo credit: Neil. Moralee Stelvio. via photopin (license)

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8 comments on “Eyes Up! Look Where You Want to Go
  1. K Hickok says:

    This column is so timely! Thank you for being on the same page. I’ve been having some back issues, and I’ve slipped into the habit of focusing on what I can’t do instead of seeing what a wonderful life I have right in front of me. So what if I can’t dust? I can still sketch and do watercolors. I can sit on the floor with my granddaughters. I can grab my spousal unit for a hug.

    Life is good.

  2. you: Allowing fear to focus us on what we don’t want sends our energy there and we miss out on what we do want to bring into being.

    I love how you are talking about riding and about life. Works for me! Nice post!

  3. Lisa Thompson says:

    Liz – you are correct, until you experience it, “look where you want to go” seems very unnatural. I talk about this a lot in class. When I first started riding, I found it difficult (almost counter-productive) to look away from something I wanted to avoid. I had a few near misses. One experience fixed all that for me – I almost dumped my bike over side-ways into a big ditch while trying to navigate at a slow pace on an inclining driveway. I felt the bike start to ‘list’ to the right, glanced down at the ditch to my right (UGH!!!) and instantly felt the bike start to lean more towards the ditch. Thankfully, I immediately looked forward, gave a little more throttle & pulled out of, what could have been a VERY embarrassing moment (and possible injury). From that point on, I have never had a problem with the “look there, go there” moments. It is absolutely instinctive.

  4. Very good advice Liz. I try to pass on this same advice to new riders and sometimes experienced riders too. We can all do with a gentle reminder.

    Cheers

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