There are several body parts of our vehicles that are designed to help us drive safely. We have the rear-view mirror, the side-view mirrors, and of course the windshield, windows, and rear glass parts as well. Without these components, our drive anywhere could be very dangerous.
For our purposes, let’s focus on three main pieces of the vehicle: the windshield, rear-view mirror, and side-view mirrors. This everyday example can help us to put some of our thinking and behavior into perspective. Sometimes simple analogies can be useful to make life a little easier to process.
The windshield is the main window of the vehicle. Without the windshield, you would be subject to all-weather elements, and anything else that is in the air as we drive. The windshield is both a protective and objective part of any vehicle.
The windshield is also the window that you use the most, well at least I hope that you do. Driving and focusing on the other windows or mirrors is subject to cause an accident, so the driver is instructed to keep their hands on the steering wheel and focus on the road in front of them at all times. Many people fail their driver’s exam for this exact reason.
As we navigate our lives and all the daily aspects of our routines, such as the people we interact with, our jobs, families, and friends, we have to stay focused on moving forward. Consider these pieces of your life-like the windshield, and you have to stay focused on what is in front of you in order to remain connected to positive thinking and behaving.
More often than not, we get stuck in negative thinking patterns because we cannot let go of something that happened in our past, or we are way too concerned with the future. Learning to stay focused on the present, by keeping our hands on the steering wheel and looking forward is essential to tame our busy minds.
There is a reason that the windshield is the largest piece of glass or mirror on the vehicle. The purpose of a windshield is greater than the others. Begin to practice continuously moving forward in your life, despite all circumstances and obstacles, to promote thinking and acting in positive ways.
THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR:
The rear-view mirror is also important to help us properly navigate our vehicles. We use the rear-view mirror just about every time we get behind the wheel. This mirror has the purpose of helping us see what is behind us, and also helps us when parking and driving in reverse.
But the rear-view mirror is not as important as the windshield, and some drivers say they could actually drive without it (this, I do not recommend). If we drive our cars focusing only on the rear-view mirror, we are guaranteed to cause an accident.
Our past is like the rear-view mirror. We can see the things behind us, and although we desperately try to keep moving forward, this tricky mirror seems enticing to focus on. It is right in front of us, in our face. So, we get stuck looking behind us, instead of looking through the windshield and moving forward.
When we are stuck in the past, we are actually living in the past. We take each past negative (or even positive) event in our lives and remain so centered on it that we cannot imagine our lives any different then what it was, or what we experienced. We sabotage our futures by looking through the rear view mirror of our life.
One other thing to point out here: the rear-view mirror is tiny. It is MUCH smaller than the windshield. This is quite intentional. If the rear-view mirror was nearly as big as the windshield, this would demand the driver’s focus, which does not support safe driving. How could you drive safely and properly if you were looking at a mirror as big as a windshield?
Think about that for a minute…then think about how you may have magnified your past thoughts and actions…
THE SIDE-VIEW MIRRORS:
On to the side-view mirrors. These small mirrors are also very important for driving, but not nearly as necessary as the windshield or even the rear-view mirror. Side-view mirrors help us to see what is surrounding us, measure our distance and width, and to assist with parking.
Earlier vehicles were designed with only one side-view mirror, and some people are still able to drive quite well with one that is damaged or missing. We see it everyday. The driver is not supposed to be focused on the side angels of the vehicle. This, is not the purpose of these mirrors, or the role of the driver.
When we are looking from side-to-side in our daily lives, we are stuck in comparisons. We see the ways that other people live and quickly apply this to our current life. Then we are caught up in who has this and who doesn’t have that. Before we know it, we constantly compare and contrast everything around us.
Positive thinking and living is nearly impossible when we are analyzing everything around us, all of the time. We have to be careful to stay balanced here. Sometimes we need to assess our surroundings, take measure of our opportunities and options, but other times we need to stay in our lane and not rely so much on these tiny side-view mirrors.
The side-view mirrors can easily be a distraction. Living your life in constant comparison to everything and everyone around you is a distraction from appreciating and accepting what you have and who you are today. On the other hand, side-view mirrors can help us to determine the ways we may want to turn, and if we have the ability/skill to do so.
We can use side-view mirrors to help us strive higher, and set reasonable expectations.
Sometimes a quick analogy can help us to lighten up on our thinking and perspective. It is easy to get caught up in all of the details of our lives, whether they are in the past, present, or future. The hard part is living a determined life that is focused on positivity. However, it is possible if you intentionally work toward eliminating negative perspectives.
The next time you are driving, or riding as a passenger, consider this analogy and how it may apply to your life and current thinking pattern. Although it is a very simple perspective, beginning to think about your life in a visual capacity can help you to break down cycles of negative thinking.
Most of all, keep moving forward and do not allow the images in the other mirrors to distract you.