by Liz Jansen
Learning to use your vision to control your direction is the first lesson new motorcycle riders are taught. The same principles apply to life and for the same reason: you’re drawn to where you’re looking. Unless you know where you’re going, how can you expect to get there? It follows that it’s vital to learn and use ways to protect your vision.
Riders recognize the critical importance of protecting their vision. Your eyes are not built to take wind, bugs, dust, and stones, even at slow speeds. Protecting your vision on your life’s Road is no different. No one else can do what you’re here to do, and being proactive is the best defense against the challenges you’ll encounter along the way.
If you’re lucky enough to see these things coming at you at all, it’s only at the last second, when it’s too late to avoid them. Eye protection, whether it’s goggles or a visor, act as a barrier between your precious eyes and the hazard. Here are ways you can protect your vision in your overall life, as well as when riding.
- Articulate your vision. Lewis Carroll’s “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” quote illustrates the need for being clear on where you’re going. Setting your sights on where you’re going is the first step to succeeding.
- Focus on the present. You can create the future you want from where you are right now. The past is behind you and can’t impair your vision, but it can show you how far you’ve come.
- Watch for road construction. Because you’re out in the open, you’re vulnerable to being struck by small bits flying off construction vehicles or by gravel kicked up by other vehicles. It’s even more important to protect your vision to get through the rough patches of life’s Road. Construction eventually ends, and you’ll want full eyesight when it does.
- Check for scratches. Scratching and pitting on lenses and visors is the equivalent of carrying wounds from the past. When you accumulate too many, they become a hazard. To a rider, that means replacing the visor. In life, it means learning the lessons from the past and then letting them go.
- Clean your lenses. They protect far more than your eyes. Several years ago, I broke my shoulder because I was too stubborn to stop and clear the fog from my visor. Riding through a forest trail, I didn’t see the rut that catapulted me over the handlebars. Your eyes continuously receive input upon which you make life decisions. Make sure the information you’re basing those decisions on is factual and not distorted by unrealistic and outdated thoughts and beliefs.
- Use eye drops. Even with protection, eyes become dry while riding. A few drops of saline nourish, soothe, and comfort tired eyes. Keep your life vision healthy by taking the time to nurture body, mind, and spirit.
- Make sure the gear fits you. Everyone looks through their own lenses and will see things from their perspective. Well-intended as they may be, your vision is not their vision. Guides and teachers are necessary to help you learn. Ultimately, your inner guide has the best advice for you. If you wouldn’t wear the gear of someone much larger or smaller than you, then you shouldn’t take advice that doesn’t fit you, either.
- Stay positive. It’s easy to get discouraged and go off-track when challenges are flying at you. Surround yourself with positive people. Although they won’t see exactly what you do, that can be a benefit. They’re resources and will spot something you don’t. All you need to do is decide whether it’s relevant to your Road.
- Respond to change. Your vision will change over time. Physical changes affect your eyesight. New information can cause you to revise your personal vision. Stay open, receptive, and prepared to act.
- Be open. New opportunities appear continually out of the constant cycle of life. While they are not always meant for you, doors will open that you are meant to walk through.
Being proactive is far preferable to damage control. Wearing gear that fits you, remaining alert, and responding to change will protect your vision, no matter which road you’re traveling.
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