Life lessons on driving in the rain

One of the most fascinating human behaviors is something I call "The drift." 

If you've ever hydroplaned your car you know exactly what I'm talking about.

It's sneaky because you didn't DO anything to cause it. You're driving along and things are going just fine...until they're not. And if you don't handle it right, you'll spin out hard. 

When you're driving, you know it right away- especially if you've had it happen to you before. 

But in life, it can be a little harder to spot. 

Maybe you started a new habit, and you're feeling great! It could be that you're eating better, or exercising more, or doing a social media detox (highly recommended, by the way). 

Then you start to slip. Just a little. You probably don't notice because you're feeling better and everything is going so much more smoothly in your life. 

So it's ok. 

And it is ok.. 

Until it's not...

It's almost as if some quiet voice inside says, "I'm feeling so much better. I think I'll stop all the things that helped me feel this way." 

Or the voice of the trickster who says, "It'll be fine.

The key to prevent yourself from Drifting too far off course is to get really good at spotting it. Just like when you're driving...Even before you realize what's happening exactly, you know something is off. Instantly, your driver's ed (and past experience) kicks in, and you heroically avert disaster. 

That's the kind of acute awareness I'm talking about. It's not like you're looking for problems, or expecting yourself to spin out. But when it does, you've got it handled.

You know when something is off in your life . Usually, you're just too busy or distracted to do anything about it.

So you Drift...

Priorities get turned upside down. 

Life gets busy. Your attention gets scattered. Things that are not at all important in the grand scheme of things hijack your life. Before you know it, you're back in the chase, putting out fires instead of living intentionally. 

Once you've spotted it, it's actually really easy to recover. Here's how...

Step 1. SLOW DOWN. Take your foot off the pedal. If you gun it, you're not going to gain any control. You're just going to spin out even faster. 

Step 2. Steer into it. Pretending your problem doesn't exist isn't going to help. It might seem counterintuitive to sit and face the things that are stressing you out, but believe it or not, you can find peace without fixing everything.

Rather than resisting and trying to control, going with the flow helps you to reconnect faster. 

Step 3. Let it happen. Not everything happens instantly. Sometimes you need a minute to let the rubber reconnect with the road. I know we're accustomed to push-button results, but you're not a machine. You're a human being. You know what to do. Give it a minute to work.

Step 4 (optional). Pull Over. If you spun out hard, even after you regain control, you might need some space to get yourself back together. Go gently. It's all going to be ok. Sometimes you need to pull over on the side of the road and take a few extra deep breaths. 

A quick time-out can do wonders, and you're not weak for needing one. 

You're a human being. Not a machine. 

We all drift.

You could even say that the Drift is part of building great habits because you get to keep opting back in for you. 

The faster you react, the less work you'll have to do to get back in your lane. 

That's worthy goal. 

Have an amazing day! 


Nick Hansinger is The Mystic Next Door


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