As I was driving from south central Wisconsin to Arvada, Colorado, I had hoped the 20 hour drive would be a relaxing and a break from the business I had been dealing with. After 16 hours of driving, I was exhausted when I got to North Platte, Nebraska and could barely keep my eyes open. I desperately needed to pull off at a roadside rest area and close my eyes for a few minutes. As I started to relax I heard the horn blast of an 18-wheeler truck that startled me. I was now fully awake! I saw the shadow of a women who had walked in front of the truck then stopped, frozen in place.
It’s a good thing that the truck driver was paying attention and didn’t hit her, but it scared her pretty good. I ran over and got her out of the way and walked her over to the waiting area by the restroom. She was tired and didn’t realize she had walked in front of an oncoming 18 wheeler semi-truck.
How many times in our lives do we get caught in the headlights of life and really mess things up? I have been there and have learned to be aware of my surroundings: socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Knowing the pitfalls of life can keep you out of trouble. No one is immune from disasters in life. Preventing them is key to staying out of trouble. If you feel awkward in a social setting, just mind your P’s and Q’s and watch what you say. I remember one event where I happened to meet Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits (for you younger people a well known British music group like the Beatles). As we stood there talking with him, my girlfriend at the time blurted out, “We love you Peter!” I looked at her then at him and felt so awkward! Then I said, “Well Peter, she loves you and I think you sing pretty good!” He burst out laughing as I felt my face flush red, and my girlfriend stood there grinning ear-to-ear. Looking back, I should have just kept my mouth shut. I look back today and laugh about it.
Many of us hate to admit that we have been caught in the headlights and are unaware of what’s going on around us. A client of mine wanted some ideas on how to get out of a bad relationship. We discussed what would happen if she stayed in her unhappy relationship. She went through all the possibilities of being financially destitute and losing her peace of mind. She agreed with me and assured me she would look at all of her options. She delayed making any decisions then when the moment of truth came upon her, she knew her life was going to change, she acted as though she was caught off guard. She called and told me how upset she was and wished she had listened to me and acted sooner. This was entirely preventable but her indecision got her into trouble.
Getting caught in the headlights of life is preventable. If you plan for the bumps in the road you will not get caught off guard. You may ask how can I prevent getting caught off guard. Here are a few of my suggestions.
Make a list of areas that you often find yourself being caught off guard. My list looks like this: Social, emotional, spiritual and physical.
• What is the worst that can happen to you if you’re not prepared? What is the best that can happen to you if you are prepared? This way of thinking can prevent unexpected problems, so plan ahead!
• Who causes you the most grief? Who brings you the most joy and happiness? There are times that you may need to eliminate high maintenance people out of your life and that’s OK. It will pay off in the long run. You have heard me say this before, “hang around people that are better then you are. They will set the high standards that will keep you on track.”
• Take notes about past failures. Journaling is key to helping you see the patterns that trip you up.
These are pretty simple steps to help you stay out of the headlights of unexpected issues that come your way.
Do you fail to see bad situations that come your way and need help in seeing them from afar? Do you often get caught unaware? Do you keep looking back at past mistakes trying to figure out what happened? Call Dr. Mike and he can help you with some of these problems. You call him at 303.456.0555
Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Life Coaching and Counseling Services. His services are affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your own home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype. The convenience of this type of coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching and counseling for those who live out of the Denver-metro area. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!