There are many similarities between driving safely on the highways and byways of life, and navigating the roads of our own spiritual journey through life. After all, that is what life is all about, it is a spiritual journey we all take in one form or another to reach our destination.
Life is all about finding our way through the labyrinth of passages and possible paths we can take as we learn valuable life lessons along the way. Life is all about finding our way back to our source and the valuable lessons we learn in the process.
During my previous life as a professional truck driver, we had certain rules and driving habits to adhere to, by following these basic principles we could lead a life time of accident-free driving which would enable us to live to a ripe old age. If we didn’t follow the rules, it would certainly lead to a hazardous journey and even possible death at an early age.
I have found these same rules can apply to life and either lead to a happy well-rounded life or one filled with disaster at every turn.
The five rules of safe driving are thus explained:
FIVE SEEING HABITS OF SAFE DRIVING
1. Aim High in Steering
The first principle, aim high in steering, means to look as far down the road as possible to uncover important traffic information so as to make appropriate driving decisions. One should look ahead to where your vehicle will be in 12-15 seconds.
Applied to life this would imply we should plan as far ahead down the road of life as possible so we can try to comprehend what problems we may encounter and prepare for them, financially, spiritually, and emotionally.
2.Get The Big Picture
Maintain the proper following distance so you can comfortably determine the true hazards around your vehicle. Don’t tailgate others. Be aware of all objects and obstacles(dogs, cats ,deer, ladders in the road , etc.) scan other vehicles to be aware of things that might fall off into your path. The road isn’t going anywhere, once you know where it is, observe things that might move into your line of travel.
Scan 1-2 city blocks ahead ½ mile on highways, expressways & country roads Scan sidewalk to sidewalk in town, fence row to fence row in the country Be aware of all areas and all things around your vehicle. Back only when necessary. When backing, double check to make sure no one or nothing is behind your vehicle, get out of the vehicle and physically check if necessary. This
can also be done while walking to your vehicle.
Applying these rules to life we learn to maintain a safe distance between us and the obstacles we may face. We need to be aware of all challenges that may come our way as far ahead of time as possible so the proper actions may be taken to lessen the effects of a possible problem, while only looking back to remember and cherish where we came from and how far we have traveled.
3.Keep Your Eyes Moving
Scan- Don’t stare. Constantly shift your eyes while driving, Active eyes keep up with changing traffic conditions.
Check all mirrors every 5-8 seconds, Scan with your eyes every 2 seconds.
Never stare at an object for more than 2 seconds, not even at Brad Pitt or Angeline Joline!
Eliminate eye holding patterns
Adjust speed to existing conditions, speed up or slow down. Driving comes first, eating , changing radio, A/C, talking on cell phone, etc, all come secondary. If you get tired, turn up the radio, turn up A/C, sing to yourself, or better yet pull over and take a break.
In life, always remain vigilant, don’t get stuck in a rut and neglect to pay proper attention to what is going on around you. The business of life comes first , keep from getting distracted.
4.Leave Yourself An Out Be prepared. Surround your vehicle with space in front and at least one side to escape conflict.
Leave a 1 car -length space cushion between you and the car in front of you at stop signs and intersections(check mirrors to make sure the person behind you is stopping, if not use up your space cushion, or change lanes if possible.)
If the person in front of you stops suddenly, stop as soon as possible, but if you have time, check your mirror to make sure the person behind you can stop before hitting you, if not use up your space cushion to give him as much room as possible. Whenever you hit someone from the rear, it is automatically your fault, a driver needs to have control of his, or her vehicle at all times.
You need to have control of your life at all times.
Use turn signals
Stay at least 2 seconds behind the car in front of you(1 car length for every 10 MPH.)
3 seconds in adverse weather
Slow down in heavy rain, your vehicle will hydroplane if you go to fast. Every vehicle is different, vehicles with wider tires will hydroplane quicker than vehicles with narrower tires.
Check other drivers and vehicles for movement, watch drivers heads for movement, remember, the wheels of a vehicle are the first thing to start moving, check them.
Always be prepared and have a plan B, many times at the last minute our plans dissolve and one needs an alternate plan of action to avoid possible disaster and heartache. If life changes and you have no escape route, it is you who will pay the consequences.
5.Make Sure They See You
Communicate in traffic with your horn, lights, and signals to establish eye contact with motorists and pedestrians. Be reasonably sure of other people’s intentions.
Make eye contact
Honk horn (twice)
Turn on/off headlights
Tap brakes several times in succession
Use turn signals.
Make sure everyone around you is aware of your actions and desires, as well as you of theirs. We can’t accomplish what we want in life if no one sees us.
We can’t negotiate the highways of life if we are unsure of what the people in our circle of influence and ourselves in particular want, need, or will do.
It certainly will not solve or prevent all our problems, however , when challenges do arise,applying the five seeing habits of safe driving to our lives can and will enable you to negotiate the highway of life with a lot less stress and disappointment.
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Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!
He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.
For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.journeysthrulife.com.
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