I, like any other working-class citizen, look forward to Fridays. Today, work ended early and I jumped on my motorcycle to begin the therapeutic ride home. I merge onto the interstate and other drivers in the same mindset as me are filling the lanes. No traffic jams yet. Everyone is in a rush to get started on their weekend plans.
A few miles later I merge my way to left lane of the highway, ready to jump into the HOV lane as soon as it opens up. Thank you California, for having some sense in allowing motorcycles to use that handy feature. Cars are beginning to crowd the left lanes like normal, thinking that everyone goes faster if they are in the left lane. The number of people who have the same idea slows the traffic down to 75mph, still 10mph above the posted speed limit.
Five seconds after I cancel my turn signal for my merge into the left lane, a grey Mazda 3 appears in my right mirror, speeding up to pass. As she drives by, middle finger high in the air, she flies by me and the cars ahead of me for reasons I can only speculate. Merging into the HOV lane, I see the Mazda’s brake lights come on, now in one of the right lanes, as a traffic jam begins to form. I think about waving as I drive past but think better of it. Traffic in the left lanes continues to flow.
I understand that the Mazda was likely frustrated with the conglomeration of other cars. They simply were not in as big of a rush as what she was, myself included. She was in an obvious rush to get to wherever she was going in order to do whatever it was she wanted to do. So much so that she felt it necessary to wave the profane gesture while speeding by angrily as if to make a point. As she rushed through traffic, she was blinded to the fact that they were only in her way because she was rushing.
There are no benefits to rushing. You never get there any faster and/or you end up making a mistake along the way that costs you even more time. This can applies in traffic, at work, in relationships, and in life.
When you rush, the focus is only on the desired end state and never on the path towards achieving it. Obstacles go hidden or unnoticed. When an obstacle is encountered, the entire assembly line shuts down. The train-wreck occurs and you are the one that suffers silently in your anger.
Are you ever really in that big of a hurry? The big project at work is on a deadline, but if you hurry the reviewing process will come back to haunt you. Weaving in and out of traffic after you get off of work gains you five minutes back from the thirty that you had to stay late because your boss decided to strike up a conversation. That is only if you remember to slow down for the cop that usually hides behind the blind corner to avoid a speeding ticket.
Not rushing does not mean being idle. To be idle means standing still, not doing anything or going anywhere. Rushing is like trying to run downhill. How fast will you try and go before you trip and fall the rest of the way down? If you are always rushing towards something, you will never enjoy the present. If something gets in your way, don’t hit it like a bird trying to fly through a window.