by Liz Jansen
With 44 years of riding and so many wonderful experiences, it’s no wonder I’ve had so many lessons. Last week I posted five, but I’ve come up with five more overarching Life Lessons that help me re-orientate my compass and get my bearings.
- Balance. This may be one of the biggest lessons I have yet to learn, although it’s hard to pick one. I have a lot to learn. A strong balanced foundation is essential if the structure above it is going to be strong. Taking on additional responsibilities, whether I choose them or the Universe delivers them to me, can create stress, anxiety, fatigue and illness. Learning to recognize the signs, drawing on alternative resources and jettisoning that which isn’t necessary, alleviates the pressure. I know that a lopsided load makes any motorcycle harder to handle, affects performance and requires more energy from the rider. In life or on the bike, it’s important to prioritize and be disciplined about what I take on.
- Skills. Like motorcycles when they’re stored for long periods, skills get rusty after periods of inactivity. Before hopping on the bike for that first ride of the season, it’s important to practice and get the feel of the controls again. Periodic skill refreshers correct bad habits I’ve picked up and prepare me for more challenging situations – and new adventures! Staying current keeps me vibrant and marketable. My world changes very quickly and if I intend to be engaged in it, continuous learning is part of the curriculum.
- Relationships. The best relationships are those that are interdependent and synergistic. A motorcycle relies on its operator for instruction and direction. Without a rider, the bike just sits there. And without a bike…..it’s a long walk. Strong business and personal relationships help me and my business thrive. I bring unique skills and attributes to any relationship, as does everyone. Honoring them is what makes relationships strong, effective and meaningful. An interdependent relationship is far more fulfilling than one where partners are independent, co-dependent or dependent.
- Awareness. While riding, I continuously scan my environment while concurrently receiving signals through my senses on road surface conditions, posted signs, traffic, weather and other potential hazards. I am gifted with additional sounds, smells and sensations I miss when traveling with a metal cage around me. These inputs, allow me to make appropriate and necessary adjustments to prepare for the road ahead. In life, other people act as my mirrors and provide feedback and sensory input. While I may not always agree, listening to their comments teaches me about myself. I make my own choices but often others see things that I don’t. They provide information that I can use to make better decisions. Ultimately, listening to my intuition after it’s processed all the other sensory inputs, is my best guide.
- Maintenance. Routine inspections and preventative maintenance reduce premature wear, enhance performance and promote safety. My body, mind and spirit are no different. They need regular care and nourishment to function optimally and allow me to flourish. It ties in with balance, and remembering to tend to the needs of all parts of my self. Not only does it make me more effective overall, it honors who I am.