Picture this - 16 year old Karen learning to handle a skid on the mud flats of Banrock Station in a beat up classic Jaguar. These are the defining moments that stay with you for life. The memories that come back and haunt you when your son rolls his car on his 18th birthday.
My gratitude for my dad's persistence in believing that there is only one driving lesson worth having when you have a 3km dirt road into the homestead. How to handle a car in a slide. There was a greater lesson than how to handle a slide however. That was how to handle unforeseen circumstances in life. Don't panic. Don't hit the break. Don't yank the wheel. Steer into the skid or apply opposite lock. Gently accelerate, and bring a change of undies; and most importantly enjoy the ride.
What if we applied those lessons to life? When life throws us into a spin - don't panic. When those tower moments hit, your world is falling apart, and you don't even know who you are anymore, what do you do? Lets have a look at this great advice on what to do when things are sliding out of control.
1. Don't Panic.
Breath! Stay present. Stay in the moment, even if those moments just need to be a few minutes at a time to get you through. Breath. Just Breath.
2. Don't hit the break
Don't give up. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don't think it's hopeless. Don't think your life is over, that all hope is lost, or that you have no control. Keep fighting it.
3. Don't yank the wheel.
Don't make any sudden decisions that you are going to regret. Don't quit your job, leave your partner, kick the dog. You are still behind the wheel. You still have options but you need to keep your cool and ride the slide.
4. Steer into the skid or apply opposite lock.
Before you are looking back at where you have been, change direction. Don't run, don't hide, but apply opposite lock. Assess. Look at your situation, what direction change do you need to make to get back on track? How can you take control of the direction you are heading in. Where in your life is this a wake up call that you were heading in the wrong direction in the first place? Identify that, and identify where you really need to be heading. Steer into the skid - meaning go within, find the answers and adjust direction as needed.
5. Gently accelerate.
So life has thrown a curve ball, the wheels are spinning, the tree's are looming, and you are heading arse before nose in a spin. What do you do? Course adjust and gently accelerate and demonstrate the courage and conviction that you are in the drivers seat of your life. You are not a victim of the elements, but the driver in the seat. Take control of the spin in whatever way you need to, to lead you to the place you are destined for.
6. Bring a change of undies
There will be casualties along the way. This may be friends, or relationships, or jobs, or identities, or even thought patterns. Bring a change of undies. Be willing to let the old shitty comfort zone go and embrace something new - maybe even with a bit of lace or bling!
7. Enjoy the ride!
This may not be what you would have originally planned, but if there was ever a wake up call to back yourself and enjoy the ride - this is it. Life is an adventure worth having. Don't take it to seriously - you have your backup undies right? You are in the drivers seat right? Enjoy the ride, you never know what excitement and adventures are just around the corner.
You know when you look through the front window and you can see what is in front of you, not what is behind you, that you are on the right track.