As I write this my city is in a virtual gridlock due to weather. We get days like this a few times every year where the snow syncs up with rush hour in such a way that the regular commute becomes a full on epic like Homer’s The Odyssey.
After a slow start, winter is rearing its head in full force. It’s too cold for salt, the roads icy, visibility sucks, there’s no traction to be found and busses are getting stuck in every direction. It can turn into a real nightmare.
As a driver, when the conditions get like this, you need to be aware of what to do if you lose control of your vehicle, because it can happen so easily.
When your car starts veering to the right against your will, your kneejerk reaction is to try and turn to the left to correct the skid. Now I don’t know too much about physics, but this always seems to make matters worse as you lose all control and you and your car can go into a full on spin.
Thinking way back to my lessons from Driver’s Ed, when your car starts skidding or sliding in one direction you are supposed to steer into the skid. In this instance this gives you more control over the vehicle even though it’s not going in the direction you planned.
It seems counter-intuitive. When something goes wrong you want to backtrack or turn in the opposite direction. Control is lost and you are trying to retain it as quickly as possible.
As it is in bad weather, so it is in life. When we face hardships or challenges, your natural reaction may be to turn away, take a hard left when your best odds are to turn into the skid and face it head on. This is much easier said than done as it goes against your instincts. It’s one thing to know the right thing to do, it can be harder to actually do it.
You want to turn back.
You want to undo what’s been done.
You want to avoid the skid.
But you should not avoid it. You should turn right into it. It’s the harder road but it’s usually the shorter road and the one gives you the best odds of making it out better on the other side.
It’s a car sliding, it’s an angry client, or maybe it’s losing your job. Maybe none of these things are you fault, maybe all of them are, that’s not important. These skids can manifest themselves in a hundred different ways but the best way to the best outcome is usually the same no matter how you apply it.
Remember when you are stuck in these conditions, you have to be not only aware of yourself but all the cars around you. Just because you know what to do, doesn’t mean that they will. You cannot control them, only your reaction to what they do.
Face your skid, your challenge, your life head on and come out on the other side safer and better off. Steer into the skid, do not avoid it or give up, it’s hard to do – which usually means it’s the right thing to do.