Monday, March 6, 2017

PMPM - Look where you want to go

Stick with me, this is relevant.

We've been watching a show that my husband found found online someplace (we only have basic cable with our internet) while I was traveling. At first I was skeptical, but he said he really liked it and couldn't wait to show it to me when I returned. He was right, and we've been hunting down old seasons and watching it for about six weeks now.

The show is called Canada's Worst Driver. It's a reality TV series where they find some of the worst drivers in the country (nominated by a friend or family member) and they all try NOT to be the last person left on the show. They get intensive driving lessons and complete in various challenges. Each week the best person graduates and gets to drive away. At the end, the final worst three try not to "lose" and get the hideous Canada's Worst Driver trophy. So it's like the reverse of the typical show.

I appreciate that it sounds kind of lame, but I actually really enjoy it. First, because the host and judges -- a couple of driving instructors, a psychologist, and an ex-highway cop -- care about the contestants and helping people drive better. Second, they actually seem interested in teaching better driving (as opposed to just mocking the sucky drivers or rewarding them for being terrible). I've actually learned interesting techniques from the show (like how to parallel park, OMG). Finally, I'm surprised at how often people say that they haven't just become better drivers, but better people -- learning responsibility, focus, emotional intelligence, stress relief techniques, etc -- from being on the show. 

Plus (speaking honestly here) there the voyeuristic enjoyment of watching these folks demolish a shiny new car on various obstacles, drive with a open container of water on the roof, etc.

One of the key driving tips that they talk about all the time on the show is to "look where you want to go." See while driving, you naturally steer toward whatever your eyes are on. So if an obstacle appears, you shouldn't fixate on it. No, you should look for the safe route around. If you are skidding toward a wall, you don't stare at it and slam on the breaks. Instead you look where you want to go and let off the gas to try to regain traction. This is important all the time, but especially so when there's a fast reaction kind of situation.

Good advice for driving, but moreover, good advice for life. In fact, I'm adding this to my list of personal maxims*. It's not about being positive or negative, optimistic or pessimistic. It's about focusing on the things you want, the places you want to get to. If you keep your eye on what you want, rather than fixating on what you don't, you will then naturally start to steer in that direction. If you then apply both the magical and practical skills I write about, you are more likely to end up there.

* Ivy's personal maxims:
1. Religion that's easy is wrong
2. I don't get offended, I get pissed off
3. Life is too short to eat shit
4. Look where you want to go

A year ago on the blog: Project Execution -- Allies

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At March 6, 2017 at 6:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elegant. I like the first three maxims, and they feel right; but the fourth is really an unexpected gem. The real elegance, of course, is in the idea of not focusing on the obstacle but the intended destination — or more specifically, look for the hole in the wall rather than bemoaning the wall. Another way of saying it, of course, is the more-Shakespearean "Once more into the breach, good friends!"

At March 8, 2017 at 9:59 AM , Blogger Ivy Bromius said...

Exactly. It's goal-focused without being unrealistically optimistic.

At May 15, 2017 at 4:29 PM , Blogger Adam Wolkoff said...

Found your blog via Rune Soup. This post was one of the first I read and it sets the high standard carried on throughout. I've got some reading to do! Very grateful.

At June 19, 2017 at 3:22 PM , Blogger Ivy Bromius said...

Hey, sorry I didn't see this earlier. Thanks so much for the kind feedback!


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