This morning, I started my commute earlier than usual,and traffic was clear sailing.
At 6:15 AM, there are FAR fewer cars on the road than at 7:00.
It was nice not to be stuck in traffic jams,
As I entered Briley Parkway (A Highway with 55 MPH speed limit), the hair on the back of my neck stood up at high alert . . . I sensed DANGER almost immediately and didn’t yet know why.
Within a few minutes, I realized that this instinctual warning had sound merit.
I noticed that, yes, there were fewer cars on the road, BUT those few cars were taking full advantage of the open roadways by stomping the pedal to the metal.
This was a bonafide early morning NASCAR race without rules or boundaries.
These cars were driving at average speeds in the 70+ MPH, and any cars driving at slower speeds were running a real risk of being run over.
Not only were these cars traveling at excessive speeds, they were also “Careening and drifting” as they were less attentive to the road (because they had all that extra space). They were eating their breakfast, smoking, texting, applying makeup, talking on the phone . . . doing everything BUT paying attention to the road.
After the 3rd “close call” (one cut me off and would have hit me if my truck had another coat of paint), I realized that this was a “survival of the luckiest” game.
I then realized the real cause of traffic jams is . . . clear traffic.
Yep . . . without boundaries, most of the drivers were driving with reckless abandon, and the only certainty would be that 2 or more would inevitably end up in a pile.
Hmmm . . . How might this be analogous to our personal and professional lives?
When there’s little friction, we tend to get sloppy.
You would think otherwise, but think about the last time you went to a restaurant during an off-peak time . . . Service was likely slow and the food not up to par. During peak hours, all of the servers, cooks and managers are on point and at full awareness . . . and when the rush is over, there’s an onset of sloppy.
This dynamic is difficult to tackle because most us are wired to perform best under pressure . . . sans pressure, performance naturally declines.
We must first NOTICE when we enter this slide . . . then we must do something about it.
Learn the art of maintaining internal intensity when performance is important.
When you’re off the clock rest and play and sing and dance like no one is watching.
Sloppy creates gridlock!
It’s YOUR responsibility to nip this in the bud before someone gets hurt.