Life is Like a Traffic Jam


Being in a traffic jam can be an extremely annoying process. It is especially irritating when you are in a rush to an important function. When you are stuck in a traffic jam, you are usually anxious, upset, quick use your horn, or yell and scream in frustration. You are often frustrated because you are defenseless and cannot control the situation. On the positive side, when you are stuck in traffic you get the chance to listen to music, an audiobook, or chat on the phone. Recently, I realized that a traffic jam offers a very important life lesson as well. For example, one morning I was taking my children to school and we were able to see a traffic jam begin to emerge. Because I was in a rush, I took a different route to avoid traffic and get my children to school on time. Surprisingly, both of my children were paying attention and my daughter asked, “are you going a new way?” I responded to her stating, “sometimes when you see a traffic jam, you have to find another way to get your destination.” In fact, after we returned to an area she was familiar with she stated, “daddy, I like the new way.”

After dropping the children off at school, the only thing I could think about is how life is like a traffic jam and we are all like cars in traffic trying to reach our destination. We are all on a road called “life” and we are trying to reach our desired location. However, when you are on this road other drivers want to cut you off, beat you to a spot, or block you from moving ahead. In fact, not only is such behavior common, it is a primary reason why life can be so stressful. Given these points, you have a personal obligation to place both hands on the steering wheel in order to take control and navigate around congestion to accomplish your goals. That is to say, when you are in a jam, here are two guiding principles to follow:

  • Stay alert. In order to see a traffic jam begin to emerge you must be aware of your surroundings. You have to watch the cars ahead of you, next to you, and behind you. As a matter fact, when you pay attention to these cars you can see them brake, slow down, and use their signal light to merge into another lane. However, if you are not paying attention you can have an accident that not only leaves you on the side of the road but also relegated to needing help to get out of your perdicument.

  • Know that there is always an alternative. To often when people are stuck in a traffic jam (or in an unfortunate situation) they believe that it is impossible to become unstuck. Today, I want to assure you that there is always an alternative route in every situation. In particular, I want to emphasize that there is always an opportunity to make a change in your life because there is more than one way to achieve success. To simply put it, you must remember that you are the sole operator of your vehicle and reaching success is determined by how and where you are willing to drive.

In short, there will never be a specific route you have to take to get from point A to point B. However, a wise person will always see when a problem begins to emerge and make the necessary adjustment(s) to stay on course to reach his or her goal(s).

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