My wife and I are teaching our oldest daughter how to drive.
It’s a stressful experience because the second you sit in the passenger seat while your kid drives you realize a few things:
1. These roads are so narrow!
2. Why don’t we have any street lights? This town is stupid dark!
3. People drive way too fast, why are they tailgating us?
I can’t fix the first two but believe me I’ve tried. I took L.E. on the widest, brightest roads I could find, but eventually you can only learn so much driving on the same streets.
The last problem though has been eliminated. How? We found something magical.
This magic is magical because it transforms jerks into nice people.
When you throw this on the back of your car, every jerk on the road suddenly backs up.
They’re more patient with your slow speed. They’re more forgiving that your turns are wonky. They’re more understanding that you’re just learning.
It’s given my daughter such a sense of confidence because now every jerk in town isn’t riding up on her bumper desperate for her to be an expert at something she’s barely done.
Imagine if you could feel that way about your own life?
There’s a great temptation to think you should be making better progress with your goals. There’s a sense of impatience when it comes to learning something new. We want results. We don’t like feeling like an amateur. We become the jerks who demand my daughter drive faster, except in this story, the only person we’re rushing is ourselves.
We beat ourselves up when it comes to learning new things. That’s a big part of the reason people hate change. When you have to change, you have to learn and learning can feel uncomfortable. We stumble. We take terribly slow turns. We accidentally run stop signs and make bad lane changes because we don’t know all the rules of the new thing.
And then we want to quit because who likes feeling like that?
What if instead, we could all put a magnet on our lives.
“Student business owner.”
The kinder we are to ourselves during a goal, the longer we’ll stick at it and the more successful we’ll be.
If you’re a parent and you’re teaching your kid to drive, grab this magnet.
If you’re anyone else with a goal, make up your own magnet and stick it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
We’re all students.
P.S. Want to know more about this principle? Read chapter one of my latest book, “Finish.”