Are You Viewing Life from a Dirty Windshield?
Human dynamics are complicated, but predictable. There can be many layers to relationships and multiple reasons why people do what they do or how they behave. A person’s history and experiences can be a predictor of their future.
When I experience conflict with someone, I always to try to remove myself from the emotion of the moment and examine why a person is behaving in a certain way. When I get frustrated with someone, I often have to ask myself, “Why is that person bothering me and is it more about something going on in my own life?”
I love road trips. I enjoy exploring the back-roads of an area and enjoy finding hidden gems in a community and experiencing something new and unique while I’m traveling. I find that the further I explore the old country roads in an area, the dirtier my windshield gets and the more I struggle to get a clear view of the road ahead of me and my surroundings. Unless I clean my windshield, my views become distorted and I become frustrated. Once my windshield is clean, my trip becomes pleasant again and I can enjoy the scenery.
My life is a journey, a series of trips and stumbles down unknown paths as I explore my own potential and calling. Sometimes the paths I choose are risky and bumpy and like the dust and grit thrown onto my windshield as I drive down a country road, my life experiences kicks up its own version of dirt and grit that often obscures and alters my view of the world.
If I don’t watch myself, I can become frustrated, cynical, and allow myself to make hasty decisions based on my limited views on life behind my dirty windshield. It’s only when I pause for a moment and clean up my paradigm and allow myself room to breathe that I can truly make good decisions. It’s when I pause to clean my “windshield” that I gain a clearer perspective on my life and I can truly begin living it.
Here are four ideas to ensure you are keeping your “windshield” clean:
- Don’t make big decisions when you’re tired. My head is clearest in the morning. That’s when I have the most energy and the cleanest perspective of life. I hold off all my major decisions until then.
- Don’t make final decisions without the advice of others. I have a few close friends and family members in my life that I always counsel before making a big decision. They often point out things about my decisions that I didn’t consider and help me gain a perspective that I hadn’t noticed before I approached them about the issue.
- Embrace the gray. The older I get the more I realize that very few things regarding human interaction is black and white. There is simply too many moving parts within relationships to rest on any single paradigm. I must allow my thinking to remain flexible and embrace change when it comes to human emotions. People change their minds and that’s okay.
- Don’t take emotions personal. It’s easy to internalize a person’s reaction to us. It’s easy to take it personally when someone lashes out or responds in a way we didn’t expect. I’ve learned over the years to remove the emotion from the human equation as it involves more about what’s going on inside someone’s soul and is most likely disconnected from the current situation. We are emotional beings and we lash out, that’s part of the human experience and should never be taken as a personal attack on us.
Life demands a lot from us and can get a bit overwhelming. Never forget to clean your “windshield” so you can gain a better perspective of your journey. What’s frustrating you in your life right now? Is it time to clean your “windshield”?