Don’t Think and Drive at the Same Time
It was 5 am in the morning. I was on time for my drive to the airport, all packed and early with plenty of time to make my flight back home. My brain started going through my own check list. What do I need to do when I get home? What did I leave unfinished in NJ? What did I miss that was on the important to do list this trip? Then, Bam! I realize I just drove right past the airport exit off I 95. This is not a small exit; it has multiple lanes and many signs for anyone who is not lost inside of their own head. Panic time. I have no idea, no map and no person sitting next to me to help make decisions on how to get back to the airport in a timely manner. So, I do the next best thing and start talking to myself. You have all done this, inside of your head or out loud.
“I can’t believe you missed that exit, what where you thinking? Now what if you miss your flight?” My rationale, calm side jumps in: “Slow down. Start looking around; just take the next exit, other people must miss that exit. There will be other signs. Stop thinking so hard and start looking around.” Now I have an external focus with a clear need to pay attention. Indeed I pick an exit that seems to go in the general direction I guess the airport might be located. There it is a small picture sign of an airplane. Now there is nothing going on in my brain except looking for pictures of airplanes and following the arrows.
Wouldn’t it me nice if all of our choices in life were so clearly marked? That we actually had physical arrows that pointed out the best choice for all important decisions. Maybe we do have more signs that help us choose and we are too busy inside our heads to look out and see them.
My thoughts for the day: Be more aware of my surroundings. Look around and notice what is going on outside of my head. Stay in the moment. Find a quiet place and time for my brain to do mental reviews.