“The farther you look ahead, the more centred you are.”
This is something I think of every time I drive Geoff’s truck. I can’t remember if it was in my young driver’s course when I was 16, or if it was one of the billion random facts I picked up somewhere and it stuck. But it’s actually true. When you’re driving, the farther you look ahead of you, the more centred you are in your lane. It went along with a factoid about how people who drive in the country are usually better at staying in between the mustard and the mayo because their roads tend to be longer with higher speed limits so they can see farther, and like most things in life where you look, you go. I’ve tried this numerous times over the years and I promise it delivers. When I have to drive Geoff’s truck in the middle lane of three through downtown Victoria, it helps me ensure that I’m not riding over into one lane or the other. And the last couple times I’ve done it, I realized how applicable it is to life. Hence why the spelling in the title is “further” and not “farther”. Spelling it with an a signifies physical distance, whereas using the u signifies metaphorical or figurative distance. And even though I’ve now taught you that the farther you look, the better your position physically, I’m going to delve into a ramble about the metaphorical correlation.
You see tons of memes and articles on positive thinking, and how what you think you become. How focusing on negative brings about negative, and positive thinking promotes positive interactions and experiences. This is true, because whatever you choose to spend your energy on becomes the main focal point. If you’re in a really bad headspace and you can only seem to think about all the bad things going on, or how you should/would/could have done something differently life would be so much better, etc. Ultimately you train yourself to look for more evidence that supports your theory. So you see the little irritants that may just be ignored on a normal day, and on those brutal days where you’re engulfed in your black mood they turn into bigger things which can’t be ignored. They fuel that fire, and continue to create and nurture that negative environment in your head. When it rains, it pours. I think that’s because you let the skies open up instead of catching glimpses of the sun showers and trying to find a little bright in the gloom. Geoff’s mama calls sun showers “liquid sun” which I absolutely adore. It’s such a witty, fantastical phrase and I’m adopting it. Back to the real meaning here though, I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to have shitty days and just ride them out however they feel like. Sometimes you need to have a day of pure pity party so you can wake up feeling unburdened, with fresh eyes and a fresh mind frame. But if that one day turns into a week, and then a month, and maybe longer, it becomes the norm. And that’s when things can get ugly. If you’re only seeing the bad, and never the good, you’re doomed to be stuck living a lacklustre life for however long you let that period persist.
*Mini disclaimer: If you suffer from depression or anxiety, don’t take this as an attack. Please don’t read too deeply into it and think that I believe it’s purely a choice and you can just flip a switch and envision yourself into a better place. Refer to “Dark Side of the Moon” if you’re sceptical. Sometimes it takes different approaches to get out of those dark head spaces, but I’m saying that in general, what you allow your mind to adapt to, it will. And if you’re only looking short term, they aren’t going to get much better. If you’re not proactive in your endeavor to get good it isn’t going to just happen. And this is nothing to do with medical/mental hinderances, this is purely for the average Joe. *
If anyone reading this has driven a motorcycle, you’ll already know that your bike goes where you look. I had SUCH a hard time in my course because I didn’t trust the bike so I was constantly looking down, which led to having to put my foot down and the bike wobbling and threatening to tip over. I had to just forget my instincts to be a control freak, trust that the bike was doing what it was designed for, and just look up and ahead and to where I wanted it to go. And without fail, to this day when I drive a bike it does what it should, I go where I look and I stay sunny side up and happy as a pig in shit flying free on two wheels. This also relates to my driving-turned-life-theory. If you keep an eye on where you want to end up, chances are you’ll get there. If you have a goal and keep it in sight, your chances of reaching it are pretty damned good. But if you’re constantly looking down and doubting your path, 9 times out of 10 you’re gonna be wobble and drop.
*I began writing this post in October of last year. I never bothered finishing it because usually when I write a post it’s a stream of conscience and it’s hard for me to pick back up where I left off cohesively. But I like where I was going with this post so I’m gonna leave it as is. The point I think I was trying to make is that you need to keep looking forward. There will be things that land in your path that are out of your control, but overall if you can spend most of your energy trying to move forward you’re gonna be just fine. It’s crazy how much your mindset affects your life, just try to keep it on the sunnier side more often than not and you’re apt to notice less rainy days 🌞✨ *