So I turned 16, dragged my Dad to the drivers test, passed (on my second try – sometimes greatness needs a second chance) and walked out the doors with the world bracing for a new driving terror. I switched from riding shotgun to being in command of 4 wheels and 75 horsepower of bridled and regulated power. This was pretty cool and freaky all at the same time. Cool because I was moving up to another stage in life, growing up, becoming the master of a large hunk of metal. Freaky (although I would not have admitted it at the time) because I was now in control of something with more power than myself. Freaky because the possibility of safety and carnage now rested in my feet and hands. Freaky because I had never done this before. I actually was in a cold sweat.
As we pulled out of the parking lot and started down the road the advice and wisdom started to flow from my Dad’s heart; probably out of his desire for self-preservation. He noticed that I was jerky, tentative, almost paralyzed by all the activity around me. For years I had sat beside him in the passenger seat and never had these emotions going thru my mind; somehow by changing positions and taking the wheel I now was experiencing them.
His first instruction on this road of life: ‘keep your eyes on the road’, focus on the road in front of you David. The first rule he taught me was so simple but so profound, keep your eyes on the road. He instructed me that if I kept my eyes on the road the vehicle would follow. If I kept my eyes on the road I would see what was before me and I would be able to respond. My first and foremost instruction was to keep my eyes on the road, focus on what lay ahead. Simple. Profound.
Simple because it did not involve 16 maneuvers. Simple because it was not complicated. Simple because it was a means of survival. Simple, focus, keep your eyes on the road.
Profound because the control of the vehicle was connected with what I was looking at. Profound because so many possibilities could be reconciled by keeping my focus. Profound because all the questions I had seemed to find answers by keeping my eyes on the road. Profound, focus, keep your eyes on the road.
When we keep our eyes on the road many of the simple (and difficult) things in life are corrected and put into perspective, our survival rate greatly increases. Much of the control of our future, the questions about tomorrow, the myriad of possibilities, and concern for what happens next are seen by keeping our eyes on the road.
Maintain your focus, maintain your life.
Keeping my eyes on the road.