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Be careful with the keys to your car

Be careful with the keys to your car

Growing up in the Moy, I had very little interest in driving, unlike my brothers and some of my neighbours….a story for another time…

I didn’t learn to drive until I was living in London in my mid-20s and after 2 attempts to pass my test, I picked up a Peugeot 205 GS as a company car.

Learning to drive in London was a curious experience and I am not sure if all of those acquired skills, are fully transferable to the roads here in Ireland but regardless of where you learn to drive, unless you are Lewis Hamilton or Kris Meeke, the day you pass your test is as good as you get.

Lets consider a few things …

First of, all for the weeks before the test, you practice, both the physical experience of driving and then the theory.

Secondly, that practice is undertaken under the watchful eye of a parent, older brother, friend or qualified instructor.

Thirdly, those specific practice sessions relate to the fine detail – keeping exactly to the speed limit, mirror signal AND then manoeuvre.

Additionally you’re driving at an optimum speed – or at least you should be.

Then on the day of the test, under fairly extreme conditions, you drive a pre-conceived route, which you will most likely have practised again and again and again.

Once you pass, you get a set of keys and you take proper control of the car for the first time.

After that it’s all down hill.

Speed-limit signs become invisible.

What was once “mirror, signal manoeuvre.” becomes manoeuvre.

Then there are those times where we simply cannot remember large chunks of day-to-day journeys…

Ultimately you hand the keys over to your sub-conscious and will kid yourself that you have become an experienced driver, when actually what has really happened is that every day you become increasingly worse at driving and occasionally a liability on the roads.

Driving to a fully competent standard requires your fullest attention.

All of the time.

So what other important activities do you undertake which require your fullest attention?

In recent training sessions I have become aware that in general people don’t take time out for themselves and will get themselves into a flow of activity completely un-checked – essentially handing the keys over to the sub-conscious one more time.

On suggesting to one group recently the importance of taking 5 minutes out, every hour to “think” properly, the idea was met with derision and the predictable line of “we don’t have the time”

And that line can be translated to “you are not making the time”

Why hand over the keys to your sub-conscious, your most valued possession, only to keep on doing what you have always done.

Unless you are a power-seller with a 8:10 plus conversion rate, you will always need to take time out to reflect. Most likely you will not have a conversion ratio of 8:10 UNLESS you take time out.

Think about it.

It’s only 5 minutes.

You owe it to yourself.


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