The feeling of relief when people hear that, to get to their planned destination, they will be going against the traffic is immense. Moving freely on one side of the road while everything is backed up on the other can be truly liberating. Moving really slowly, or sometimes not at all, can be very TAXING and most people who regularly experience this phenomena feel burdened by it. Is the traffic congestion the problem? I somehow don’t think so! I feel it is the fact that people find it too comfortable to be doing what everyone else is doing even when it results in pain. Living in the right suburbs, living miles away from their place of work and supporting the opposite notion that by doing all of this, they have real quality of life (even if it is only between 20h00 and 06h00 each working day).
My advice is to seriously consider positioning yourself in such a way as to be able to go against the traffic more often than not. This will give you freedom of choice, you will be able to move, your progress will not be blocked by the masses, you will be able to do and achieve more with your valuable time and you will have more of that illusive thing called balance.
I need to stress that this ‘against the traffic’ thing does not only apply to actual traffic. It also applies to each and every other daily activity that becomes the social norm (OK, excluding daily ablutions!!). I have seen people standing in long queues outside a Spur when other perfectly good establishments have open tables. People sit in their cars, with engines running, waiting for a parking place close to the mall’s entrance when 10 bays away there is plenty of open space. Thousands of people attend meetings that don’t add any value to their lives but nobody will object. Millions (slight exaggeration for impact) of managers subscribe to the belief that, if they want something done properly, it is better to do it themselves and that mentoring and coaching others to do it is simply a waste of time – time that they don’t believe they have in the first place.
I recently took a drive to Riebeck Kasteel on a Saturday. It was a truly beautiful, slow and energising drive. What surprised me at a point, while enjoying the loud purr of the diesel engine above the already full-volume music, was the feeling of owning the road. Where was everyone else? A lot were watching another miserable Springbok performance. How many more Saturdays will South Africans allocate to sport on TV when we live in such a stunning country offering many other ways to be patriotic? Hopefully a lot!! The few who then choose to go against the traffic will thus have a more peaceful experience. So,
• Where is your life crowded - where is your progress hampered by the masses?
• What have you accepted as the norm?
Going against the traffic will mean doing exactly the opposite!!
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator - The Ripple Effect