Life is a multi-laned highway
I was driving to work on I-25 and a realization hit me as I was switching lanes. I noticed that during my 25 mile drive, I’ll switch lanes several times before arriving at the destination. You probably do the same thing. So what? It can teach us a thing or two about looking at life. Let’s look at some scenarios.
End of the highway
At the very end of the highway is death for us all. From this perspective, maybe the it’s not the end of the highway we’re searching for. We’re really looking for the wonderful cities or milestones along the journey. That’s where you are exposed to new things, you educate yourself, start a family, and find a fulfilling vocation. In this view, it’s the milestones along the journey that satisfy us, not the very end.
You switch because of the slow guy in front of you
Your destination is 30 miles away and you’re driving in the 3rd lane. They guy in front of you is going 55 in a 65. You change lanes and overtake him.
This is when you’re in a job and it has become routine and no longer stimulates you (the guy ahead of you going 55). You mentally checked out. It once turned you on, but now it doesn’t. You feel a greater thirst (lane change). You can stay behind but now your pace in life is set by someone else. You’ll have to switch lanes. It either means jumping ship, or at least work on what you’re feeling strong about on your own time; waiting until the time to switch is right.
Construction blocks your path
Sometimes a part of the highway is blocked off because of construction. You have no choice but to take an exit and get on the side streets for a while. It is a temporary detour until you get back on the highway.
Things happen in life. Unexpected things occur when you don’t expect them. Just like highway construction, you cannot control certain aspects in life. The serenity prayer is beautiful in its wisdom:
Lord, give me the courage to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. — Serenity Prayer
You’ll be forced on a road less traveled. Keep in mind that it is likely temporary and you can merge back on the highway.
You’re going too fast and want to slow down
You might find yourself driving fast as hell in the left lane. Sure, you get to your destination a little faster, but there’s a big risk that you might get stopped and ticketed. The stopping itself will cost you more time than if you had driven slowly.
Too many things are happening in life. You have to take care of family, do meetings, work priorities, and take care of your own interests. It’s okay to slow down. Slow down and sit in silence. Get away to nature for a day by yourself. Prioritize peace as that is when you hear your intuition speaking. By not slowing down, you’ll be under the illusion that you’ll get to your destination faster. You might get there but at what cost? You get sick and you’re out of commission. Family time slips by because there aren’t enough hours. Random events happen because your thinking is too scattered. In the end, you’re not saving any time.
Embrace the feeling of changing lanes
I love cold showers because they invoke the feeling of uncertainty. I learn to embrace shock through them. FEEL IT. Feel that you have no control, and feel that it is okay. That feeling is then transferred to life situations where things don’t work out as you wanted them to.
Got laid off? That’s switching lanes. Broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend? That’s switching lanes. Someone close to you is sick? That’s switching lanes. Those circumstances are out of your control, but embracing the feeling of change, and consciously assuring yourself that life is all about switching lanes gives you power to move forward.