Look farther down the road

I recently read a Q&A on quora.com, a website where people ask questions and anyone can answer. Someone asked: “What can we learn about driving a car from professional drivers?”

An insightful answer was: “My wife gave me the two-day Porsche Driving School course for an anniversary present. It was a fun experience and I learned a lot of things. 

“One lesson that stuck with me was the idea of looking where you want to go (in the distance) rather than immediately in front of you. Most drivers focus on the space 10–30 feet in front of their car where the immediate action is, but then you’re not prepared for major changes. The instructors told us to focus about 100–300 feet or more in front of where you are and drive to that moving destination. While looking into the distance, our peripheral vision will naturally pick up what is happening closer in.”

There’s a good life-lesson in this anecdote. 

In life, we’re often short-sighted. Instead of “looking farther down the road” we focus on the immediate. Activities that demand our attention (alleged emergencies) get it, and they distract us from more important thoughts, like planning our future. 

  • On a regular basis, take the time to think about the future. What do you want to do and be six months from now? Two years from now? Ten years? Spend time thinking about long-term goals instead of just negotiating short-term issues.  
  • In your conversations, notice where the conversation is and where it should go. Then steer the discussion toward that destination. 
  • Instead of getting stuck in the moment, continually think about the near-future. Even projecting 4-6 hours in the future is beneficial. 

For more on this topic, I recommend Steven Johnson’s book titled Farsighted. It is a terrific, engaging book that gives practical advice about how to “look farther down the road.”

[reminder]What do you think about this essay?[/reminder]

2 Replies to “Look farther down the road”

  1. You have to be careful though. If you look consistantly down the road you can lose the beauty that surrounds you. I guess if you are on the fast track that is good. But I like to take life in where I am. I have been a lot of places (some I did not want to go but was ordered to go there). I like to take it real slow.

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