Driving Lessons For The Soul


By Neha Anwar


At the ripe old age of 32, I decided to take up driving classes. I know…I know it's a little late in life to learn such a basic skill, but I guess better late than never. Interestingly, each class has actually taught me so much more than moving a metal box from A to B. It might be because age brings a lot of clarity, or I’m just overreaching.


· One of the main things that my driving instructor keeps coming back to is, that you can control your external environment, there are bad drivers everywhere and the only thing you can do to counteract this is to remain calm and access the situation without getting emotional. Unnecessary honking at other drivers will just escalate heated situations. The same goes for life, you will meet all kinds of people, and not everyone will have the best intentions. You can’t change them; however, you can change the way to react to their behaviour.


· Be aware of your shortcomings. Knowing your blind spots in life and in a car can help you in the long run. It will highlight things you can’t change but make up for. For example, if I know I have nervous tendencies, I will actively try to work on a way to mitigate this. On the other hand, had never explored my shortcoming this problem would continue to persist.


· If you make a small mistake on the road, the best thing to do is recover quickly. Forgot to put the indicator on? Don’t dwell on it, move on, and try not to repeat the mistake. Being harsh on yourself will not change the past, move on and keep moving forward.


· Practice makes perfect. Each day is an opportunity to get better. No one started off perfect in life and there is no such thing as a perfect driver. I think the same applies to life itself, any new skill we want to pick up can seem overwhelming until we take the first step. Just have faith in the process and keep going!


· Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Just like you would check the tire pressure or petrol tank of your car before you drive, remember to check in on yourself frequently. Running on fumes will only take you so far.


When you look close enough, there are answers to life even in the strangest places.