We have all been told to look where we’re going. From the time we took our first steps, the people close to us have been warning us not to trip over things and bump into things. As we began playing games and sports with others, our lives have been marked by warnings to watch out for objects and people who might prove to be a hazard for us.
Signs indicating things like danger, warning and keep out serve to remind us to be constantly on the lookout for dangerous situations in which we could possibly experience harm. It is important that we don’t spend all our time simply looking out for danger. It is important that we begin to move ahead in positive directions.
An example of this change in our primary focus is illustrated in something that accompanies the process of learning to drive. Most people I know go through a phase in beginning to drive where they tend to steer toward the side of the road and then toward the center of the road.
This phenomenon happens because we tend to steer where we are looking. As beginning drivers, we tend to look too closely to where the car is at the moment. It takes deliberate focus and a lot of practice to look ahead and to the center of the lane. Only as we develop this ability are we able to make the car go where we are looking with a positive outcome.
The ability to focus ahead and to successfully go where we are looking is important in every aspect of life. At times while we are in school, it can be easy to only see where we are, not where we want to be. People can lose sight of the bigger picture, the long view, with the distractions of the present. In our work and in relationships, it is common and very easy to be looking only at the situation we are in at the moment. Our culture of social media seems to actually discourage a go where you are looking approach. This approach involves listening, reflecting and responding rather than instantly reacting to every situation.
The go where you are looking approach even works in driving. The ability to focus a good distance ahead lets us see what is developing and traffic and to adjust things like our speed and the distance from the car ahead to match the conditions in traffic. This lets us proceed smoothly and confidently in traffic and in life.
As we move forward, while we still need to look where are going to avoid the obstacles and potential hazards that are there all time, the real task is to go where are looking. The more we can keep our vision focused on our goals and objectives, the more satisfying this journey called life will be for us and the others on the journey with us. It is ultimately more satisfying to be making minor adjustments in our long view than to be constantly correcting our short sighted adjustments. Let us strive to focus on this long view and enjoy going where we are looking.If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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