by Liz Jansen
Enjoy this excerpt from Life Lessons from Motorcycles, 75 Tips for Mastering Your Controls. Download the entire ebook for free.
These five principles form the groundwork for mastering the thoughts and beliefs that control your actions. If these are part of your practice, the tips that follow in the rest of this book will fall into place more easily, and wise decision-making will become that much simpler.
- Know yourself. Imagine trying to ride a motorcycle and not knowing how to manage it or what inputs make it perform the way it does. Yet many people go through life unaware of what influences their behavior and how they influence others. Increasing your self-awareness helps you identify thoughts and emotions that control your confidence, your effectiveness, and, ultimately, your sense of fulfillment and joy.
- Trust yourself. Keeping your hand on the throttle gets you off the starting line, maintains momentum, and propels you through the rough spots. Lose your nerve or second guess yourself and you’ll lose your balance. Confidence is every bit as important as having the technical skills, and both are built through regular practice. Build it through practice, by trusting your intuition and following through on its guidance, even when it’s uncomfortable.
- Be vigilant. Every journey is filled with choices. How you respond affects your experience in getting to your destination. Road conditions, weather, and traffic all have the potential to upset even the most carefully laid plans. Often, road signs alert you to take caution. Life signs can be less obvious, but they’re there. Watch for them, and use them to guide your decision-making.
- Use your power appropriately. It takes knowledge, practice, and skill to know how to apply your motorcycle’s power fittingly, just as it does with any life skill. Not doing so can bog you down, have you working too hard, and see you flirting with burnout.
- Understand your available power. Like a motorcycle engine, you have far more available power than you’ll ever use. All you have to do is call on it.
While you don’t come with throttle, clutch, or brakes, there are direct parallels and lessons on how to manage your power from motorcycle riding. Get to know what controls your thoughts, emotions, and actions through reflection, meditation, and time alone. Recognizing your patterns is a big part of making better choices. Then it’s up to you to practice these insights and this wisdom on a regular basis. Better choices become routine and make your responses to personal or work situations the best choices for you.