(This blog post was originally written by Christopher North in January 2018.)
When I was learning to drive I had a bad habit of unintentionally driving directly into oncoming traffic. Thankfully I avoided most accidents. Usually I would only get a few miles without someone swerving out of my way or me having to swerve to miss a close call. I was honked at… a lot. The crazy part was that I never saw it as a problem until… One day I was driving my poor old grandmother around in her car when she yelped, grabbed the wheel in a panic and put the car abruptly back on the right side of the road screaming “my God you’re headed right for him, what the heck is the matter with you, do you want to get us killed”?!
When she calmed down she was able to observe my driving and actually explain a problem to me that probably saved one or more tragic accidents. My issue was that I was driving (or should I say drifting) towards other cars because I was so focused on NOT hitting them. I would be looking down the highway, see an oncoming car and watch it so carefully with the intent not to hit it that I would inevitably drift right toward hitting it. I realized it wasn’t just oncoming cars either. As I would drive, I would unintentionally turn nearly anything that moved into a moving target.
When my grandma finally figured out what was going on she taught me a valuable lesson. She said “Focus on where you want to go; not where you don’t want to go”. Lately I’ve been realizing how true this is in other areas of life too. Another way to say this is that “what we focus on grows”. It sounds nice but is it true for you? What are the things you do not want to grow in your life? How much of your attention do they get?
Other than the speed limit, keeping my focus off moving vehicles was the hardest driving lesson I ever had to implement. At first it was so uncomfortable to trust that those obstacles would pass safely by me without my direct intense focus. I wonder this week where else that may be true for us. What obstacles do we need to let go of and trust we’ll be alright? I also wonder what could use a bit more of our focus & attention in order for it to grow and ultimately get us to where we want to go.