Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug!"

I like the above saying since it characterizes life well - that some days might be bad, but the next day might be a good one. The saying is as much about perserverance as anything else - about not to give up no matter how hard life seems to try to knock you down at times. Be smart, keep plugging away, and see that connecting is always a good move.

Have you ever been driving in the slow lane, you are in a hurry and the traffic all seems to be passing you up. Finally, after you get tired of being left behind, you change lanes, only to then see that your prior lane is now moving faster and ... once again you are in the slow lane. Some of those times, I even change back - only to find out - yes, I am in the slow lane AGAIN. AARG! Sometimes in the back of my head I start thinking, "why is the world against me on this!" Finally, I will try to just let go of the situation, and simply say to myself, "well, I will get here when I get there, I guess!"

The people who ultimately succeed are not the people who always succeed, but are people who can learn from failure or struggles, know when to hold them, know when to throw them, know when to walk away, and know when to run! Granted, an old line from Kenny Rogers, but still a good one.

Many of you might have seen the movie, Sliding Doors, with Gwyneth Paltrow. The thing I liked about the movie is how it went through the nearly parallel lives of one woman in two scenarios - what would happen if you hadn't caught that train and each event impacted the next. In one of the lives, Paltrow's character seems to always be getting the hard times, while the other geting the better ones, sometimes they shift. At the end, the character who seems to have had the best time - ends the worse.

Going back to that slow lane scenario, what if there is a cop ahead and ... if you had decided to speed in the "fast lane" and then you got a ticket! I have had times when I was getting slowed down and somewhat frustrated by it -- only to find out it was because ... yes, there was cop ahead. "Man, glad I didn't try to go into the fast lane that day!"

Maybe if you had ended up in the fast lane, you would have been in the middle of a huge accident. On one occasion on I-35 here in Austin I was going north in mid-afternoon pre-rush, when the cars are packed, but they are still hauling - and a 10 car pileup occurred literally seconds before I came along. I almost wasn't able to dodge through the scene since I was on it at 60 mph ... except the exit lane was right there and I was able to swing out to avoid hitting anything. As I went through, most cars involved where pretty badly crushed. The lane slower by seconds may have been in fact the lucky lane that day!

Part of connecting to the world is that you will put yourself into more situations where you can seem to fail or simply not connect well on particular days. It can be a day where everyone seems to be "against" you, and it can even shake the best people's confidence. Just tell yourself repeatedly, "sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug!" Be smart, keep plugging away, trying to improve where you can, and don't give up on yourself or your opportunities - but learn wisely from them. Often life will have a way of turning things to your advantage, if it has not already been looking out for you by putting you momentarily in the slow lane!

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