A short and thoughtful moment came to mind the other day. I recently met up with a group of drivers. The conversation was all about how one of them, a new guy on the driver training course had been doing really good in his first week, then was terrible the week after. They couldn’t understand the reasons for the sudden change in his behaviour and how those changes had come about. Another driver was talking about how he had done really well for the first twenty minutes on his driving lesson, but after slightly touching a curb went on to make two or three other mistakes straight after.
So when they found out what I did for a living, they all wanted to know what I thought the change in behaviour for the first guy could be, and why the mistakes happened with the second guy. I thought for a moment and asked them, “When you’re driving your vehicle, which direction are you going?”
A totally puzzled look came across their faces. “Forward of course!” Came the reply. “So why are you not focused in the same direction?” I asked.
If you consider the second guy for a second. He had been driving really well for twenty or so minutes then makes a slight mistake. And because he made that mistake more serious and ghastlier in his mind, he went on to make other mistakes. That’s because his mind was in the past, it was still at that place behind him where he made the first mistake.
The first guy, well he had done really well the first week, he had had an argument with someone at the end of the week, so with that playing on his mind he couldn’t focus on the task in hand the second week. Again, his mind was back in that place from when he was having the argument. He couldn’t change what happened or what was said. Its been, its done, its gone. What was the point keep going back to it and losing focus on what he was meant to be doing? Or even focus on a solution to move forward with the person he had had the argument with?
When we want to be motivated, chances are we have all the ideas in the world of what we want to do and get excited about them, then we look back and come up with all the past excuses not to get motivated. Which way do you drive your car? Forward of course. So for what purpose do we need to go backwards with our thinking?
Whichever way you look at it; you’re always going forward. We don’t drive backwards (although the way some people drive I may have to rethink that statement), we don’t walk backwards. It would look quite weird if everyone walked backwards. Imagine the chaos on the roads if we did drive in reverse gear all the time!
When you think about it, even when we reverse our vehicles our intentions are to go forward. You may be like me and reverse park in order for when you return to your vehicle, you go forward and get away safely and quicker.
I’m sure some bright spark may argue my point by coming up with “What about when we swim backwards?”. But even then, are we are not still going in the same direction as when we swim breaststroke or butterfly? Forward of course.
On a motivational picture I saw on social media, it showed a woman out running and the caption read “Why are you looking back? You’re not going that way.” That is so true. The only reason you need to be looking over your shoulder is to check for traffic or pedestrians. You have no reason to be looking back into the past to find a reason not to stay focused and motivated.
Richard Bandler gave us the quote;
“Who’s driving the bus? Most people are prisoners of their own brains. It’s as if they are chained to the last seat of the bus and someone else is driving. I want you to learn to drive your own bus.” Which is ironic given the content of this little story.
When you’re on a bus, in your car, driving your lorry, riding your bike, or just walking down to the shops, you are heading in one direction. That is simply the way we need to keep the direction of our focus and our thinking…