Just 6 days before new year, I was in Pune and I had decided to go to Mumbai. I had booked the taxi a day before. It crossed my mind at around 5.30 AM to check with the driver whether he got the message to report. By 6.45 AM the driver reported.
I was worried. What if this driver is not experienced? Is he bringing a car which is old? In that case, the possibility of breakdown is high. After hearing him over the phone there was a state change. I was immersed in a very positive and energetic state. As per Mehrabian’s rule of 7-38-55, his words and voice gave me a lot of confidence. But the 55% was yet to be witnessed.
We get into the car and I start my usual niceties in the beginning and then we ventured into familiar subjects. Over the next few hours, I started getting confidence. I saw many road signs: “ see a series of bends”, “ Do not stop in the tunnel”, “Go fast, Stop faster,””Chance takers are accident makers,” “Be Alert, Accident Hurts.” These were some of the signs for us to have a safe drive. Next thing which captured my attention was Billboards and their taglines like these three which made me think. “There are no fresh starts in life. But there are new directions”, “Driven by our passion inspired by our results”, “Choose who you become”.
I noticed that he did not get a rush of blood when cars on the left and right were zipping past him. I saw hatchbacks, Sedans, SUV ’s, MUV’s firing on all cylinders. There were some drivers crisscrossing the lanes. Three lanes were HMV/LMV / LMV overtaking. I was a little worried if I will reach on time.
I decided to change my state of mind. After the stopover for breakfast, I decided to listen to my favorite songs ( in fact my younger daughter’s playlist: Despacito, Bailando, Something just like this, Roar and Cheap Thrills ). I listened to book review of the book “One thing.” I realized what Moinuddin, my driver, did was just that “One thing.” You stay in your lane. His lane was the LMV. Moinuddin did the occasional overtakes dutifully by methodically putting the indicator. The speed-o-meter dial was stuck north at 80 KM/Hr. The analogy for me from this experience was that each one of us in life has a choice to be in one of those lanes. Our key tenant is to stay focused.
The passing billboards reminded me of my frequent travels and I remembered a great line from an interview podcast where the interviewer asks, “What do you want to have on your billboard and where do you want it to be placed”?
“There is enough space in that lane if you focus on one thing to make waves ” and that turned out to be my Billboard for 2019.