Most of us have driven, or we have assumed the role of a passenger in a vehicle. While driving, there are plenty of signs, other motorists, and even pedestrians to pay attention to. However, one aspect of driving which is usually a constant is that of changing lanes. Just as stopping or turning left and right are common maneuvers, changing lanes is also apart of the driving experience. To change lanes is to forcibly move your vehicle from one lane to the next. There may be a myriad of reasons for changing lanes.
You may want to change lanes because of a driver that is traveling at a slower speed than you are. Or, you might see an object in the roadway up ahead – so you change lanes to avoid a collision. You might also change lanes because you recognize that you are approaching your exit or turn. Changing lanes is a decision that is premeditated with the notion that you are expecting or in need of a change in your pattern of driving.
Just as changing lanes in your driving experience is necessary, there are many moments in our lives when we must “change lanes”. Life within itself is not always a constant experience, but it is fluid and ever changing. We may have our daily routines, but at some point the monotony of daily living can and will change without warning. How do you navigate throughout the changes in life? What is it that constitutes a “changing of lanes” in your everyday journey? There are a few parallels that can be drawn from the concept of changing lanes while driving:
1. Changing lanes signifies a change in your route – When driving, we often change lanes in anticipation of an upcoming turn. A driver might change lanes well before their turn, or they may wait until the last minute. However, every driver must have the awareness of when their next turn will be. Even in our daily lives, we must anticipate looming changes (both positive and negative) and adjust accordingly. This means, we must pay attention to the path that our life is taking. Sometimes we can become complacent in our thinking and how our life is structured, that we fail to see opportunities for change and growth. For example, you may be in a situation in which your job and its stability is being challenged. This would then call for you to anticipate a change that may be quickly approaching. By applying for other positions and seeing ahead of where you are, you can change your position in order to make a turn in a safe manner. The route that we are currently traveling is not necessarily the same route we will be on for years to come. Life changes, and with life we must also change our position.
2. You must change lanes to avoid road obstructions – Sometimes, a driver will need to avoid objects or even poor road conditions in order to avoid damage to their vehicle. Discarded debris which can contain nails and other foreign objects can be hazardous to your tires or vehicle if you don’t change your position. Potholes and other types of road damage should also be avoided to maintain a vehicle that will last throughout time. In your life, you will also experience moments in which you will need to avoid obstacles within your path. It may be a toxic relationship, a bad job situation, or even coming to a place of decision as it relates to avoiding a poor or bad choice. In every pursuit of life, there will be obstacles which present themselves. However, once you see the obstacle which is designed to impede your progress, you must change your position to maintain a clear and safe passage.
3. When changing lanes it must be done safely – Every driver that wants to change to another lane, should always check their mirrors before doing so. The purpose of a mirror check is to ensure that there isn’t a vehicle in your blind spot. Otherwise, changing lanes too quickly could result in a rear collision which would be costly with the possibility of it being painful. There also comes a time in your life, when you must make a calculated decision of when to make a change. Changing your position in life may not always be practical, because it may call for you to wait until your path is clear. Moving to the next stage of your life, should be done safely and in a timely manner. Otherwise, you and those closest to you could suffer from a decision that was made in haste. It will call for you to examine the decision at hand, and decide if the timing is right or if you need to travel in the same path a bit longer. You must then come to a point in which you maneuver to the next place but at a safe and moderate speed.
4. Signify to those closest to you that you are making a change – One of the most important and even overlooked elements of changing lanes is the use of the turning signal. There are drivers that merely change lanes, without notifying others behind them of their intention. To use a turning signal is to alert other drivers of your movement so that they are not caught by surprise. Even in your own life, there are those that should be clued in on changes that may be occurring. This is not to say that you must tell every single person of your dreams, your decisions or of any impending changes. However, it can be beneficial to have someone who you are accountable to for the purposes of solidarity. What we often face can be tackled with the assistance of someone else. Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a predicament or decision alone without wise counsel.
The overall aspect of change whether while driving or in any part of your life is, it is inevitable. Just as a driver that has shown him/herself to be ready for change, we must be ready and open to change. By understanding that our lives are ever transforming we can shift from lane to lane as we continue with our journey. Each driver understands that there is a destination in mind. Rather than becoming complacent on a particular path, every discerning driver understands that at some point there is a turn and an ultimate ending. Our lives will also encompass turn after turn, and eventually an end. However, before every turn there must be a calculated decision and a safe transition to the next stage of life.