Passenger or Driver – Which are you?

posted by on January 18th, 2013

…So here we are snowed in and waiting for the weather to change.

I’ve been listening to the news over the last few days both online and offline. And yes, most of it has been dominated by the snow (oh, it’s snowing out there)! The thing is almost all of the coverage of the conditions and commentary around this week has been negative.

All I have heard is people complaining and pointing fingers as to who to blame for this terrible state of affairs (God perhaps?). People have complained that the roads are not perfectly safe to drive on (actually they never are!). They complain the paths are slippery and dangerous (do they have teeth too?). They complain that the weather forecast hasn’t been accurate enough, meaning they believe in cast iron guarantees and crystal balls (that’s sad).

Sitting on a bus listening to people discuss how awful it is that the busses are late and so forth has got me thinking about why people moan. What does moaning do for us?

When we criticise someone or a situation it provides us with a temporary feeling of righteousness. We feel vindicated. We are proved to be correct and as such we deduce (albeit sometimes sub consciously) that we must be smarter than those around us.

When we moan or blame something or someone else it gets us ‘off the hook’. Being powerless means we do not have to take responsibility for our own action (or non action) and removes accountability from our shoulders (phew!). For example instead of getting our shovels out and clearing the drive and path, it’s easier for us to bang on about our rights (and our council tax).

I guess the point is that the majority of people operate like passengers on a bus. They sit passively, expecting someone else to take them to their destination. They may point fingers about how the journey is uncomfortable or moan if it’s late or taking too long. Heaven forbid they have to get out and push.

I am always delighted when I bump into people who operate as drivers. Drivers take responsibility for their journey. They decide where they are headed. They create their own map. They get out there and get on. Occasionally they pick up a hitch hiker for a while, listen to them moan, before setting them down and carrying on their own way.

So are you a passenger or a driver in life.

Do you focus on what’s wrong and unfair, or is your energy focused on what’s working and where your next stop is?

Me? I’m off to clear a path…why don’t you?

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