While learning how to drive, I was constantly afraid of the other drivers. At a junction, my movements were sometimes delayed because I was too preoccupied with what the other road users were going to do or not do, whether they were turning or not, and generally whether they would obey the road rules or not. There was a moment where, because I was watching the other drivers, I forgot that I was the one that had the right to move and I stalled hence holding up everyone at the junction.
In that moment my instructor told me,
“Stop looking at what the others are going to do and drive your own car. Let them drive theirs.”
Isn’t that how it sometimes is with us in daily life when we forget to drive our own cars and are busy looking out of our windows to find out what move others will make? We forget that each of our journeys is unique.
To further use the analogy of driving, one is required to drive at different speeds on different types of roads depending on the prevailing circumstances. If you are on a highway going upcountry, you probably won’t be driving at less than 100 km/h unless there are special reasons along the way for you to slow down. Different times in life will require you to move at different speeds. Sometimes you’ll need to pick up your speed and other times you’ll need to drop it. Sometimes, you’ll actually need to pause at a pit stop and take a rest to get your car serviced, refueled and get yourself refreshed. However, you won’t be able to move at the right speed for you, if you are too concerned about how others are driving, where they are driving to and what moves they will make next. Do not try to overtake others simply for the sake of being ahead.
The beauty about life is that everyone is in a race of his or her own. It is true that we live in a context of community and very often measure ourselves with relation to others to get a sense of how well we are doing. However, our contexts should not become the defining factor that helps us measure success or progress. Our own individual journeys need to stay true to themselves first.
I was at an annual day of prayer yesterday at my church and one of the speakers shared her career journey. She made some drastic decisions along the way that made her shift from a very financially lucrative job to one that wasn’t as financially rewarding at that time. It was very hard for many people around her to understand why she did what she did. She made a very good point by saying that she needed to stay focused on being in her own lane instead of competing with her peers who had different journeys.
“In my lane, the only person who can outcompete me is me,” she said.
It was a truly profound statement that rings truth.
Regardless of the area of life you are dealing with, whether a career, relationship or business, focus on your own race.
Some of the benefits of doing this are you have no pressure to impress other people and therefore you can actively get better within your own lane. This should not justify laziness or complacency simply because you are working at your own terms. One must have standards and expectations of greatness and significance for your race to be worthwhile. I wrote this below on my facebook wall last week,
“We are all dreamers. We do the world a disservice by calling a selected few people dreamers. Somewhere deep inside each of us, we want more but that “more” will never be unlocked if we don’t believe it is there. We need to tap into that “more” by opening our minds and hearts to dreaming and dreaming big. That will give us the freedom and drive to seek ways to achieve those dreams.”
So, dream big, act on your dreams and stay focused on your lane.
Have a blessed week.
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