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Best Practices: Two Hands on the Wheel

Have you ever been driving somewhere and had the urge to look back at something?

The best vantage point is always looking ahead but as I was driving through the Cherokee National Forest this past weekend, I had the urge to look back.

The colors were unbelievably beautiful. Conditions were perfect. Visibility was clear. The sky was blue. Fall colors were beginning to turn - bright yellows and oranges and reds popped out to grab my attention.

Against my better judgment, I tried to take a few photos while I was driving. I’ll admit it was a bad idea and, luckily, my car reminded me to look forward with no harm done.

My photos are a reminder that I needed two hands on one activity – either driving or taking pictures.

I know that looking back and forth is not a “best practice” of driving but I had the irresistible urge to look backward and forward at the same time. Looking back, the scenery seemed particularly clear and colorful. I wanted to capture it. But then I’d look forward and what was ahead was just as breathtaking.

It made me think.

I was on my way back home after an intensive “life plan workshop” where we actually did look back at painful moments, moments of shame and moments of joy – we spoke about how those stories propel us forward when we allow them to.

Our life experiences can be a springboard to articulating dreams and taking action. They inform our passion. As I left Nashville and drove home, I realized that I had learned to dream bigger – look ahead - and leave some stories behind.

I work with clients in corporate and individual settings to heal the past and look forward to the future. It is rewarding to facilitate this process for others. To do it well – we have to engage in the process ourselves.

For myself, I recognize that looking backward and forward is really important.

My drive through the mountains made me reflect on our life’s journey.

  • How often do we speed through the journey?

  • How often do we look back at something beautiful (or awful) and relive that moment instead of living in the present and/or focusing forward?

I have learned that hindsight is not always 20/20 and it is important to keep our eyes on the road ahead. By the same token, if we fail to stop and pull over, we miss something along the way.

So what’s our best practice?

My recommendation is find a strategic stop that allows us to look backward and forward at the same time. Pause. Be present in the moment. Appreciate the past. Imagine the future. And then get back in the car, put two hands on the wheel and drive.

The best vantage point is always looking ahead.

It’s a beautiful drive ahead and you are exactly where you need to be on your journey.

© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact to arrange a 1:1 Coaching Session or Motivational Program.

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