Tonight I was driving to Grandma’s house for a family birthday celebration. Instead of my ancient but super-trusty Toyota 4Runner, I had the whole of my little family strapped into the family “sports car”, a not-quite-as-ancient Mazda wagon. My poor wife was clinging to the door in white-knuckled terror, muttering something or other about “why do you drive so fast?”.
I grew up as a fan of driving. My dad would always teach me things about “smoothing out the corners” and that the keys to great driving are observing, anticipating, and always calculating to keep the vehicle in the most controllable state. I have always practiced these things, and they have served me well.
So, I have become a big fan of a little racing game on my iPhone. Real Racing 2 rocks. (Profile: nateman76 – current rank: 673 out of over 35,000). The reason I love it… it’s actually like driving in reality. I know that may sound like a stretch, but it’s the closest thing I’ve found. With that in mind, here are a few things I’ve learned about life.
Success takes practice. Seriously. You will never ever be good at things you don’t do on a regular basis. Whether it’s praying, practicing an instrument, exercising, running a business, you can not succeed with out doing it a LOT.
Skill is no excuse for being a d**k. Maybe you are faster than everybody else on the track. Maybe you understand the business you are working for better than the owner. Maybe you know that walking on a balance beam really is no big deal. DON’T RUN OVER THE NUBES!
If you get pushed over by a d**k, (or life for that matter) dig yourself out of the sand-pit, and get back on the track! Some of my best lap-times have come after a nasty wipe out where everyone took a swipe at me on the way past. Besides, you don’t collect ANY points if you don’t finish! You get the metaphor…
Keep your eyes on the mark. Every time I get distracted by something someone else is doing, I blow a turn and end up in trouble. Yeah, you’ve gotta be watching out for novices in front of you, and bullies coming up from behind. The best strategy for all of the above is to keep your goals clear, focus on the path, don’t let fear get a grip on you, and GO, GO, GO!
No matter how good you are, someone is always going to be better. Period.
No matter how good you are, you will make a mistake on occasion and blow it big time! More than once I have had my doors blown off by the top ranked racers, only to catch them two turns later because they missed a curve, or hit the brakes too late. The only thing you can do when this happens is to get back in the game.
Sometimes you are wasting your energy, and the best option is to try again some other time. In spite of my rallying cry to get back on track, occasionally getting back on track means hitting the eject button and starting over. If some tool-bag insists on pushing you off the track every chance they get, sometimes it’s ok to go find another track. It’s better to do that than to get mad and take it out on the new kids.
It’s funny how much you can learn about life from living vicariously! Thanks for listening.