I still remember the first day with my driver’s license. I had the ability to go anywhere. Okay, I had to ask for the car. And I had to follow the restrictions on the license. And I had to follow the family’s rules. But I had the ability to choose my road.
Soon, as I got better at driving, I spent more time in the driver’s seat. But now everyone in the back seat had opinions and comments about where we were going, how fast, how slow, which road – I had a car full of back seat drivers.
I was struck how this event is much like owning our lives. Until we are old enough, our parents drive (direct) us. Then we get permission to drive but we still get direction and commentary from the back seat. For many people, their parents, society, faiths, political parties and friends still control how and where they drive – in life. They do not drive their own lives.
I speak to people around the country about driving their own lives – about living life like it matters by living their best lives. Here is some of what they say about why they don’t:
- It is too much work; it is easier to just go with the flow.
- My parents would never let me have the life I want.
- What I love won’t make me rich or popular.
- How am I supposed to know what is right for me or what I am supposed to do with my life?
- It’s too much to think about.
What stops you from being your life’s driver?
You have what it takes to drive – you have talents, strengths and passions – all the right stuff to drive your life. It may take you on a different road than the ones your family and friends are on. It may take you on a road that is different than what these same people want for you. But as the driver, you decide the direction, the route, the speed and the road. That afterall, is the driver’s responsibility.
Now, it is fair to get guidance as you plan this route. Listen and talk to as many people as you can to see what options you have. I like my GPS. When I enter in a location I intend to go, it gives me options of which route I would like to take. It doesn’t give me just one answer – it, like life, gives me choices. And I have to think my way through the options, get guidance from others, then choose the best one for me. And if I take the wrong turn, it reminds me to get back in control by that one powerful word – “recalculating” – looking for another way to get me back on my road. Brilliant.
So, what reasons stop you from being your life’s driver? Are you still being driven around by others, letting them make the decisions where to go and how to get there? Move to the drivers seat, own your road, your direction and your pace. Know yourself and know your world. Then you’ll be able to find your unique road be your life’s driver.