Road Rage Reconsidered

You’re driving down the road, and someone darts in front of you. You can "React" to the situation the way you always have–or you can "Create" a new response. The only difference between the two words is the location of the letter "C."

What does it mean to create instead of react? When we choose to react, we are basing our response on past experiences. We are letting others to "push our buttons." When we create, we choose the buttons. We choose to have a fresh perspective.

Every moment of our lives, we decide: choose the reactions with our own minds, or let others do it for us.

Think about how you can make a difference just by the way you drive your car. Another driver cuts you off. How do you respond? View what just happened as just a bump in your daily journey–with no effect on how you experience the rest of your day. Or put your foot to the floor and lean on the horn in frustration, allowing what just happened to totally ruin your day. If you "take it out" on the other driver, you are essentially also taking it out on yourself–and your vehicle which is an extension of you.

Change the way you respond to the cause, and get a different effect. But you cannot change the effect unless you first change the way you experience the cause.

Slow Down

We can easily get caught up in the fast lane of life. But faster isn’t always better, is it? Are you aware of the Slow Food movement? How do you choose what to eat? When you get hungry on a busy day, do you buy something without thinking? That’s the "fast food" way: gobble it down unaware of what it is doing to you in the long term while you are doing the next thing on your to-do list.

Or take a moment. Breathe. Consider the possibility of a meal that can be savored bite by bite–even if it only takes 20 to 30 minutes. Get out of the car and be present at the meal. Imagine how something as simple as that could create a different type of experience in your daily life.

How about a "slow car" movement in our "fast car" culture? I’m not saying that you need to go at a snail’s pace–but drive in a state of mind so you can enjoy all the things that happen to you. Drive with the understanding that you–and the other guy who won’t let you merge on the highway–are "perfectly human" and not "perfect humans." We have that power.

Why don’t you "C" how you might respond differently in the future when something happens unexpectedly? Are you going to Create or React? The choice is always yours.

Andrew Grant is the world’s first hybrid taxi driver. He introduced his Prius taxi to the not-so-mean streets of Vancouver in 2000, and logged 200,000 miles in just 25 months. Andrew’s Prius was snatched by Toyota. The automaker wanted a chance to study the durability of the hybrid batteries and other components, which held up amazingly well. See this video for details. He’s now driving his third Prius. Andrew has taken a break from taxi-driving, and now works as a professional coach helping his clients achieve personal excellence in various fields of endeavor.