Sunday, January 11, 2009

Driving Well #4 - and the last.

I have two thoughts following my comments on Driving Well.

FIRST. It is important to learn, practice, and apply good driving skills.

We all drive many miles. We drive in potentially dangerous situations, it can’t be avoided. We will use the good skills we’ve learned in tough situations only if we have thought about and practiced them enough that we apply them without thinking when a difficult situation happens.

For those reasons it is probably very important to give young people every opportunity to drive when a parent is present (after getting a license of course). And for all of us to think about and practice good skills so they become a habit

The simple things I’ve written about in Driving Skills #1,#2, and #3 have proven to be very helpful for me. It is very satisfying to feel confident and in control when things get tight and I find myself automatically looking ahead for a white line in the road, and feeling my mind and body take control of the car to keep it in its proper place. It is a very good feeling to see or "feel" the passengers in the car I am driving relax and feel calm as I drive. It’s unsettling, and my fault as the driver, to have a passenger to my right “putting on the brakes” or gripping the door handle when we approach a curve or a car up ahead.

My advice: Learn good skills, practice them every time you drive. It will bless your life, and maybe even save it someday.

SECOND. Life is a lot like driving a vehicle.

I wrote that if you look ahead at the white line your mind and body seem to automatically take control of the car in a safe and secure manner. So it is at school, at work, at home, at church, and at play. If we will look at the white line that marks the path we’ve decided to follow, out there as far as we can see, and learn, practice, and apply the skills needed to follow it, our mind and body will help us in miraculous ways to stay safely on course when the going gets tough, when we have important decisions to make, or when we are tempted to stray from that path.

If we develop by constant practice the habit of (driving), acting, behaving, working, playing, or worshiping as though someone we respect and love is (sitting in the back seat) about 3 feet back of us and 3 feet to the right, we will be prepared when the going gets tough to stay in control, to apply the skills we’ve practiced all this time, and we’ll find ourselves safe and secure, and not hurting ourselves or the ones we love.

My advice: Practice every day. Think, meditate, and plan how to act in situations that might happen with friends, family, others. Decide now what to do if a possible situation should happen. Decide now what to say if someone approaches you with something you don’t want. Decide how to escape from an embarrassing or compromising situation when suddenly you feel trapped. You might say “I think I'll do better after I've had some experience” or “that was new to me”, or the like. Neal A. Maxwell said, “The only way to get experience is to – get it.” Imagining, thinking deeply, planning, and preparing are ways to have experience, and to prepare, so that we will do well the first time, and every time.

I'm your Great Grampa, your Grampa or your Dad - and I recommend it.