Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's your speed limit in life?

As a precursor to my story, let me start by saying that I consider myself to be somewhat of an impatient driver. I tend to become aggravated if I am stuck behind someone doing exactly the speed limit on the highway, and I usually bee-line it for the "fast lane" as soon as I merge on from the on ramp. I'm not really sure why I have this habit but I tend to believe that by getting home faster I can get more things done or relax sooner. As I was on my way home today, I immediately found myself stuck behind a 58-mile-per-hour driver that had no intention whatsoever of being home in time for dinner. (I, on the other hand, was very hungry!) So normally in situations like these, I make the quickest route around the person possible and get on my merry way and make it home in great timing with my whole evening ahead of me. Well today, I saw this as an opportunity: What if I stayed in the slow lane and didn't exceed 60 mph the entire way home? So I tried it.

I rolled my windows down, put my hair up, blasted whatever nonesense pop songs happened to be on the radio, and tried to ignoring my unwavering desire to switch lanes incessently for the entire route home. Guess what? Even at 60 mph I got home at the same time I normally would. And I was stress-free of the worry of "rushing" or "hurrying" to beat traffic. And the best part - I enjoyed the ride, the music, the wind in my hair, and the sunshine surrounding me.
Here's a thought: Slow down! Take a ride in the middle lane for a while. Look around. Enjoy it. This isn't just about driving from point A to point B - this is a life lesson. We all tend to fly through each day, making it to this meeting or running errands or hurrying to catch up on emails. What's the point? After all, aren't we missing the entire world around us if we're so focused on getting ahead and doing it in "record time?" I learned something today - as much as I love to cram as much as I possibly can into one moment, one day, one week, etc., the hassle of rushing through everything leaves me feeling unsatisfied. So what if I got home in 35 minutes instead of 40 - did I even notice the nature around me or the song on the radio? Probably not. Or how about taking on six projects when I know I can really only handle five - again, there is no benefit to rushing through the limited moments that we do have, so we may as well enjoy them.
I challenge you to avoid the fast lane tomorrow. You may be surprised what you experience. As always, share your thoughts at TheDailyChallengeBlog@gmail.com.


  1. You're dead on. This can be applied to so many things. Success is one. Think about how many people say if I just make x amount of dollars or get y I'll be happy. They hurry to get it, then they say they'll be happy if they have a or b. This is a never ending cycle. Instead, enjoy the process. There is nothing else in life but experiences. Experiences make life. Things, status, accomplishments, etc don't. People say they want a lot of money so they can do whatever they want in life. I know a lot of people with almost nothing doing what they want. Just do it!

  2. LOL! I got a big chuckle out of your post. It did make me think about how fast I drove home, which actually wasn't too bad today. Let me take the challenge tomorrow morning and see what happens!

    Here is a lesson I learned a long time ago.....if you're going to get a speeding ticket, isn't it better to get one while you are leaving work rather than get one on your drive in???