“See when you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car, and you’ve got a little bitty rearview mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past is not near as important as what’s in your future.” ~ Joel Osteen
Have you ever been told to look forward, don’t look back? While it’s important to look forward, focus on & plan for the future and to not get stuck in the past, it is important to glance in the rear view mirror to remember where you have been, what you’ve over come and to remember the lessons you have learned.
Five Ways Life is Like Driving a Car
When you get in your car you usually have a pretty good idea where you’re heading.
Typically when you get in your car you have a plan, a destination or at least a direction that you’re heading. Do you have this for your life? Have you set goals? Do you have a mission and/or vision so you know where you’re heading in life? You should have these things if you’re living an intentional life.
You have a large windshield so you have a clear view of where you’re going.
When you have your mission, vision and goals set you have a clear vision of where you’re going in your life and you can plan your path, you see obstacles when they are in sight. You have a large windshield which gives you a large view ahead and a peripheral view as well. This is true of having a plan (mission, vision, goals) for your life, if you create a detailed plan you have a large view of where you’re going.
You use your rearview mirror to see if there’s anything coming up behind you.
While driving we often glance in the rear view mirror to see if anything is behind us, to see if what we’re about to do is going to affect what’s going on in the background, to see if anyone is quickly approaching, etc. . .In life there are times you must take a quick look behind you to reflect on what happened a few hours ago, yesterday or in the recent past so you can adjust your direction or speed accordingly. Maybe you learned a lesson or gained new information that gives you reason to make a change in your plan. That is ok – make the adjustment and keep moving forward.
Sometimes you have to back up to go forward.
Have you ever been driving and maybe hit a slippery spot, slid a little off course or gotten stuck and have to back up to get back on course? Life is the same way. Sometimes you’ll head in a direction and something will throw you off course or get you stuck for a short period. Look in the rearview mirror before you back up to make sure you don’t hit the same obstacle again. If that object is still in your path, approach it differently – keep trying, you’ll make it through or around it. Take a deep breath and proceed.
Think about a time you’ve been driving and the windshield has been dirty, foggy or maybe it was raining and your wipers didn’t work. This is metaphoric for when you don’t have a clear vision for yourself. If you keep your vision clear, like keeping your windshield clean, you have an easier time getting where you want to go quicker, easier and most efficiently than if you’re unclear.
Focus on moving forward, but always take a glance in the rear view mirror to appreciate where you’ve come from, celebrate the progress you’ve made and the obstacles you’ve overcome, make sure you’re learning the lessons and keep in mind sometimes you just need to outrun the storm that is behind you.