To Freedom

A few weeks ago, I was driving back from the Internet retailing expo in Birmingham and I’m in my car on the M42.

I drove under one of those huge light signs, the ones with the enormous base at the side of the road which hold up the black sign that hangs over the motorway.

The overhead light sign said ‘long delays after M42’.

I carried on, not really paying much attention to it.

A couple of miles later, I drive under another identical sign.

It took yet another two of these signs before I actually started paying attention to them.

I looked at my route and realised I was only about 6 miles away from the end of the M42. The warning signs had been giving me the information for at least the last 5 miles. So they gave me and the other road users plenty of notice.

Now the signs had got my attention, I looked at where I was on my route just in time to find a short detour to avoid the A42, which was the road after the M42.

The detour that I took was the last opportunity to get off that route. Yet out of all the cars heading in that same direction, I was the only one who took the detour.

The Insight

I’m always observing life to see what new lessons it can teach us.

On this occasion I came away with a simple but quite powerful lesson.

This lesson was that, like in life, the warning signs are always there, but only a few of us take any notice. The rest obliviously continue heading for disaster.

OK, disaster is a strong word for a slight delay on a journey but it’s better to learn the lesson from something simple than from something serious.

Self Observation

What else I personally noticed while driving was that I was drinking a can of red bull.

Granted it was sugar free but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out they are not good for you.

So while I was busy bathing in my pride for having taken notice of the traffic warning signs, I was engaging in some other potentially destructive behaviour.

The morale of this story is that we must pay as much attention to our behaviour as possible so (a) we don’t do it anymore and (b) we don’t become hypocrites.

Being aware of our behaviour ensures that we can consciously adjust it so that it supports the outcome that we want.

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