LLKA (Life Lane Keep Assist)

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(Icon Created by Richard Nixon from the Noun Project)

Our cars have become technology powerhouses. Cars remind you where they parked, describe alternative routes to upcoming traffic, make noise when you get too close to the curb, brake to prevent collision, and my new favorite: keep you in your lane.

These cars scan the road ahead. If you start to veer our of your lane, the car is there to help by gently nudging the wheel to keep you in your lane.

Small gentle nudges to keep you safe.

Small gentle nudges to provide direction when you get a little distracted and start to drift.

Imagine if this technology was available for us.

I can see the commercial.

Cue the dramatic music, and cut to video of busy, distracted living, while people race down winding roads.

[A voice begins]

Do you get distracted from your larger picture life goals? Do you spend time thinking about what you could have done, or should have done, instead of working on that thing right in front of you? Have you felt the pull of comparison to others and the resulting and life-stalling envy?

Welcome to the Life Lane Keep Assist.

The new Life Lane Keep Assist is designed to keep you in your lane.

Life Lane Keep Assist is a friendly nudge when the distractions or comparisons in life tempt you to compare your self with others, forget that you have value, and veer away from your own journey.

Life Lane Keep Assist works with you and your mind, head, and heart to turn to back to what is important in your life. It starts with a small nudge, builds to a larger push if needed.

[The cameras pan to a few individuals for one-on-one testimonials.]

“There I was, going though life while comparing my journey to others. It was discouraging, but with Life Lane Keep Assist, I began to live in my own lane. At first it was hard, I kept wanted to go back, but the small nudges and re-directions provided a much needed focus.”

“It was hard to focus. There were so many demands and needs, I was trying to do it all. I didn’t know how to say no. Thank you Life Lane Keep Assist for helping me steer away from the unimportant, and focus on how to make a real difference.”

“Before Life Lane Keep Assist I got way to involved in other people’s lives and created unnecessary conflict. Life Lane Keep Assist helped me from putting myself in the middle of conflict that wasn’t even mine to begin with.”

Life Lane Keep Assist – Available to help in your life journey today.

[Music Fades and screen goes blank]

Until Life Lane Keep Assist is standard equipment in our lives, we will have to just remind ourselves when we start to drift into the wrong lane. When we get out of our own lane, our own journey, our own lives, maybe it is just a simple nudge that can help us get back.

Guess…with positive intent

Yesterday we had one of those conversations.

The kind of conversation that matters.

The kind of conversation that means something.

We talked about marriage and when you just take the leap.

We talked about kids and parenting.

We talked about struggling when you are young, in the middle, and when you are older.

We talked about roles in life.

We talked about jobs and insurance.

We talked about finances and trying to create and stick to a direction.

We talked about good advice we get from others.

We talked about bad advice we get from others.

We talked about making plans.

We talked about trying to make everything perfect.

We talked about waiting to act.

Road Map

We talked about how in life there isn’t some clearly defined road map. And depending on your circumstances or life story it is easy to feel completely lost without a good example of how to move forward.

We don’t have all the answers.

We are not always sure which way to go.

We are not given a map in life.

We have to guess.

We decided that the best advice is guess with positive intent.

We decided to define a “guess with positive intent” as evaluating options, and taking your best shot at the time, but with the intention of doing something good, positive, and meaningful. This doesn’t mean that we will always get it right, but this option moves us forward without having to be perfect, but our desire is to do something well and meaningful. If it was not the “perfect” choice, you make the next guess with positive intent, and keep trying.

How do you become a good parent? No idea. Try stuff. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you know when to get married? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you know which career path to take? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you make a relationship last? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you decide when to switch careers, or try something new? No idea. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

How do you [insert your question or dilemma here].

Our advice. Guess. But guess with positive intent.

 

The Illogical Path

We get jobs. We work in a particular field.

We move on, either by our choice or others.

We are faced with a choice.

We can follow the logical path. Stay in or close to our field. Connect with our network. Find something similar.

Or

We can follow the illogical path. Try something radical. Move outside of comfort. Apply the lessons and skills from one industry to another. Go work for ourselves.

During a recent breakfast discussion, as I listened to the plan for the new career, the new job, the new approach, and most of it was on the logical path.

They know people, they have experience, so they keep following the logical path.

It made sense. I kept listening.

“It all makes sense to me. But (pause) what if you spent 25% of the time you are planning to spend down the logical path in a different direction? What if you scheduled one-quarter of this effort down the illogical path?”

Throughout the rest of the conversation, it was fun to notice their body language and tone of voice. Whenever they spoke of something on the illogical path, they lit up. They leaned in, they were excited.

I shared a story about a close friend who is a writer. For most of their career, they found jobs writing. It was the logical path.

But the logical path, the seemingly safe choice, had its price. They were not very satisfied.

The writer friend recently followed the illogical path. They now have this weird hard-to-describe job that is cool, challenging, and new (frankly this job sounds super-spy like so I like to pretend that I am meeting with a spy when we have breakfast).

Which path are you following?

Sometimes the illogical path may be worth taking.

What is Stopping You?

The meeting concluded.

Papers and seats moved and the rustling and sliding began.

Then came the questions.

“When can you schedule another meeting?”

“How about you get us back together again at the 6, 12, and 18 month mark?”

“Can you arrange for this to happen?”

There was a pause.

A longer pause.

Scanning the room.

Eyes hungrily peering back, waiting for a reply.

“What is stopping you from getting together on your own?”

Silence.

Revelation.

Action.

Sometimes you get used to someone else driving.

Sometimes you get used to someone else setting the agenda.

Sometimes you get used to someone else scheduling that meeting or get-together.

Sometimes you get used to someone else managing that project or idea.

Sometimes you get used to…

Pause.

Longer pause.

What is stopping you?

 

What are you training for?

“What are you training for?”

A few years ago a friend posed this question when we decided to go out for a run together.

I wasn’t sure how to reply. I was just running. No plan, just running.

“Nothing really, I am just running.”

Their question stayed with me after that day. I couldn’t seem to shake it.

Later that day we talked about goal setting, and how important creating a set of goals can be to focus our lives, our activities, and our energy.

In the past year I set a goal to run a “longer than my normal” race.

A goal that would require discipline, time, and a plan.

A goal that would require activity despite the weather, feelings, or attitude.

A goal that would require moving past obstacles and fear.

That day is almost here, and the race will end. So will the training. My mind and body are looking forward to a little rest.

But, part of me doesn’t quite know what to do when the goal is complete. There is a strange sense of loss when you return to a normal routine after you have been pursuing hard after a goal. The training that once felt like a burden, is now savored because the end is near.

Maybe I just need to keep asking my friend’s question, but not limit it to running.

“What are you training for?”

Having an answer to that question for additional aspects of life may be just what we need.

 

Decisions versus Feelings

Whether running or life in general, I have noticed a pattern. Feelings can interfere with our decisions

Feelings can disrupt us.

Feelings often provide the much desired excuse to stop moving forward.

Recently I have just been observing how often I hear myself or others verbalizing how feelings have the veto power over our decisions.

Here is what I found: we say these things all the time.

“I am not sure if I will feel like running later.”

“I will let you know how I feel before I decide.”

“I don’t know if I feel up to doing 6 miles today.”

“Let’s see how we feel before we say yes.”

Who gave feelings this power over us? Who said feelings are ahead of everyone else in the line of importance? I understand that feelings are part of the mix, but when did feelings take the chair at the end of the table? The corner office? When did feelings start running the show?

After noticing this pattern during a recent conversation, I couldn’t help but bring it up.

“I heard you say multiple times that this decision is dependent on how you feel. What is preventing you from making the decision now?”

“Multiple times? Really?”

“Yup.” (I know, I know, great follow-up.)

“Well, I guess it is really fear. Fear of not being able to do it. Fear of not being successful after I put myself out there.”

Fear.

One of the most disruptive of feelings. Fear seems to be elbowing its way to the front of the feelings line.

There is a little secret to put feelings in their place.

Decisions.

Decisions to go for that run ahead of time.

Decisions to take on the project.

Decisions to take a risk.

Decisions to push yourself.

I heard a great quote about feelings:

“Feel what you feel. But do not trust them as objective reality.”

When feelings start elbowing their way to the front of the line, try making a few decisions to put them back where they belong.

P.S. Our little running team made the decision to run the other day when it was below 20 degrees and dropping almost a degree every 15 minutes.