Surviving the long ride. Dealing with the junk in the road.

I love motorcycles. Pretty much all of them. While in recording school, I worked for a shop that serviced and sold used bikes. It was great. Working the sales lot required me to become familiar with everything that came in. It also required me to ride everything at least once.

Really tough job.

There was a line I heard while working there. The owner said that there are two kinds of riders, those that have been down and those that are going down. Everyone drops or wrecks eventually.

In my cockiness, I boldly announced that I had never dropped a street bike and wasn’t planning on it.

Less than a week later, while leaving the shop, I hit a heavy patch of sand. Literally, right in front of the owner, I briefly lost control coming around the corner. My back tire lost traction and I slid into the next lane. The bike never hit the ground, I rode out of it, but he was pointing at me and making obnoxious comments the rest of the day.

It made me ride a little more carefully after that.

After multiple conversations about wrecks, I found out about one of the main things that causes accidents. Something called target fixation. A rock, trash in the road, patches of sand… Whatever. There is something that needs to be avoided and isn’t. What happens is, we get focused on the thing we need to avoid. Even though we understand that it’s going to be a problem, we can’t take our eyes off of it. Inevitably, we ride directly into it.

I see this in other areas of life, as well.

We know that Big Macs are fattening and and cause heart problems. We know that smoking is killing us. We know that the stuff online is putting stuff in our brain that doesn’t need to be there. We know that the flirtatious relationship we toy with is a bad idea. But we still ride right into it. We are fixated with it. We want to avoid it. We know we need to avoid it. But we continue on.

To simply focus somewhere else is not always as easy as it sounds.

Wanting to break an addiction is very different from doing it. Wanting to eat better and exercise more is a long way from pulling out of that drive through and breaking a sweat. Justifying our actions is not the same as changing them. We want to do good, but sometimes we are just driven towards the very things that will destroy us.

I always heard that the road to hell was paved with good intentions.

Other times, the intentions aren’t even good. Sometimes we just think we can get away with it. The odds might be in our favor. Nobody is watching. One more time won’t hurt. Maybe we believe we can live with the consequences.

Sometimes we are just in so deep that we can’t see a way out. Those are the times when we need help. Friends and mentors. Other guys who can coach us or hold us accountable. Guys who care about us enough to tell us the truth. Guys willing to get in our business when they see us heading towards a fall.

Our wives are trying to do that for us, too.

Nobody is more concerned about your condition than her. Whether it comes out with gentleness or with yelling or even nagging, she expects more from you. She believes you are capable of doing better and making better decisions. Your success or failure is also hers. We have to be willing to accept the correction and concern, no matter how it shows up. The tone will always improve when she knows you are listening. She doesn’t want to see you wreck and she sure doesn’t want you taking her down with you.

At highway speeds, it doesn’t take much effort to adjust your position and go around a rock in the road. At least not when you are paying attention. At the speed of life, we still have to be concerned about the things that get in our way. We have to watch out for things that can wreck us.

Our words affect us, too.

Saying negative stuff about yourself or your life is fixing your mind on them. If we say that junk enough times, we begin to expect it.
“I can’t get ahead.”
“I will never have anything or amount to anything.”
“Nothing ever works out for me.”
“I am a failure.”
“It’s too late to change.”
“There’s nothing I can do about it.”

Those kind of words and attitudes are throwing rocks into your path. You are fixing you eyes on the junk that will take you down. You are prophesying your own demise. It has to stop. We have to put the things we want in front of us. We have to fix our gaze on the the good stuff and ride into it.

Setting our focus on that rock in the road can guarantee us hitting it. Just like focusing our eyes on the clear road inches away can get us around it. Just change your focus. Expect and believe that there is a clear path to a better ride.
“Things are getting better.”
“I am making progress.”
“Every day is better than the last.”
“This is the best day of my life.”
“I am stronger than yesterday.”
“I can do this.”

Stuff like that can begin changing your direction. Even if it’s just a small change, it still might make the difference in riding around the junk or going down. A little faith can move mountains. I assume it’s works the same, whether you are moving them into your path or out of it. Use your faith the right way.

And, as always, I highly recommend going deeper. Hit the store button up top and grab an ebook. Go get a print version of my books. go visit the marriage forum and get registered. Tell your story and get some coaches involved. Go to a marriage intensive and get a five day adventure that can save or improve almost any marriage.

Just get moving.. Forward… Around the rock.

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