Life throws curve balls. Whether they appear out of the blue or whether we see them coming, how we react determines how they will affect our life both short-term and long-term. While collision avoidance is our goal, individual circumstances will determine exactly how best to achieve that.
The principles taught in the collision avoidance module of the motorcycle training course, apply as much to life obstacles as they do to those on the road. When confronted with an obstacle, here are your choices.
- Do Something. Doing nothing guarantees a collision. You’ll become fixated on the problem and not be able to avoid it.We’ve all been traveling down the road at a high rate of speed and experienced the sudden appearance of brake lights in the vehicle ahead of us. Doing nothing guarantees we’ll collide. Taking some action gives us at least a chance.With many balls in the air, it can seem overwhelming at times and I’ve been known to procrastinate. Not knowing exactly how to proceed, it can be easier just to put it off. But then nothing gets done except energy gets wasted and time passes. Doing something eases that. Even small steps convey a sense of accomplishment and confidence that I will reach my goal.
- Brake. Better than nothing and effective at avoiding the collision. If your path is completely blocked, you have to stop and maintain control.As you’re decelerating, you want to judge your distance, ideally leave a buffer between you and the obstacle and stop as quickly as possible. All the while, you’re thinking of a contingency plan should you be about to be bulldozed from behind by a vehicle who either hasn’t noticed your brake lights or can’t stop as quickly as you can.
Nine years ago, I walked away from a corporate career where the role I was filling was no longer a fit for me. It was tempting to continue, especially since my marriage had also ended. But it was sucking the life out of me. I could have continued, letting anxiety, unfulfillment and boredom overtake me while I lunged straight into personal disaster.
Instead I braked, took a breather and refocused before moving on. Forty-nine years old, newly single, unemployed and with no prospects, I never felt freer. And I’ve never looked back.
- Swerve. The best choice if possible.You’re able to move easily around the obstacle, avoid the dangers of quick braking, leave the danger behind and continue on your way without losing momentum. The key here is to keep your eyes focused on where you want to go. If you become fixated on the obstacle, chances are you’ll have a collision with destiny.
When my business was still in its fledgling state, I was under the impression that I needed a business partner. Naively, I trusted the wrong people rather than my own intuition, thinking they knew more about what was best for me than I did. I experienced emotional and financial loss and found it difficult to close some doors behind me.
Had I focused on the problems, they could have consumed me. Instead, I kept moving, focusing on where I wanted to go and leaving that obstacle behind.
The next time life throws a curve ball, decide if you’re going to brake or swerve. But in any event, do something!