Steve Piacente
Aug 20, 2018 · 2 min read

We too often treat life as the express bus instead of the local. It’s easy to do. The seat is cozy, the view is fine, and everyone around us acts like it’s the right bus, so who are we to complain? Yet there’s that nagging feeling that pops up every so often, a sense that something’s amiss. This is the time to check your ticket.

Lao Tzu said, “If you do not change direction, you will end up where you are heading.” That’s on the money, and may be perfectly fine, so long as you’re still moving purposefully in the right direction. The bus you boarded two, four or six years ago may have been right at the time. Is it still?

Remember that you can always pull the overhead cord anywhere along the way and get off. Yes, some will complain or even wonder about you. What’s wrong with him? What does it take to satisfy her? This bus is the best!

Doesn’t matter. Try it sometime. Of course it shouldn’t be one of those jarring emergency stops where everything goes flying. Think a bit about your options. You have lots of them, even though others might disagree. Make an unplanned exit and poke around. Maybe there’s a better place for you than where this particular driver is headed.

The thing to remember is this: Someone else may be driving, but you’re behind the wheel. You get to pick your destination. If you don’t, it’s on you. Just don’t complain if you end up in a place or career or relationship that’s less than what you imagined. Even then it wouldn’t be too late. It’s just a long way back. Better to hop off sooner than later. If it turns out you were on the right bus after all, another will come along soon and you can get back on. At least then you can be sure you were the one who picked the endpoint.

Steve Piacente

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Reporter turned speechwriter turned university professor author and life coach now honing communications skills for clients in D.C. and beyond.

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