Hey there reader! Are you a truck driver?
I’m guessing most people who read this are not (though I know for sure one person who will read this is a truck driver, so when you read this: Hi there, friend!)
Which makes sense, because this not a blog about trucks. Not even about driving.
So what is this post about then? What’s that thing truck drivers have, that you have too?
Is it the thousands of pounds of excess weight you both carry with you all day long?
Just kidding, you still look sexy.
No, I’m talking about something else entirely…
If you’re reading this blog post, you are probably passionate about improving yourself as a person.
You think about your relationships and the sort of person you want to become towards others. You think about your life and the direction you want to go in.
Oh, right… The truck drivers! I almost forgot 😉
Just like you, truck drivers also want to move in a direction (duh). And they try to do their job to the best of their ability. But there are simply some parts of themselves that they cannot see, no matter how hard they try.
Looking at this video, you can see that even though the driver is committed to drive as well as possible, there are a lot of things he cannot see right now. These are called his blind spots.
In the same way, when you’re trying to grow as a person, you often pick a direction you want to go in and then work on that for a while. But how do you decide where to go?
One of the major challenges to self-improvement is that it’s easy to focus your attention on the wrong things. Especially considering all the self-help marketing that we get flooded with on social media. It’s easy to get trapped in the belief that the one thing that will take you to the next level is optimizing your morning routine, studying the nature of the universe or cleansing your colon with coffee enemas.
These are all typical directions for “personal development dudes” to explore. And they have some value. But usually, at any point in our lives, there are much bigger improvements we can make. Improvements that require much less effort, and have a huge impact on our life and the way we treat others.
However, like the truck driver’s blind spots, these things are (often painfully) obvious to everyone around us, but invisible to ourselves.
The truck driver’s main problem is that he cannot see the cyclists through his rear-view mirror. In life, we have the same problem. We usually experience it from the drivers seat as well.
When others tell us things about ourselves that we are blind to, they are hard to believe. Because like the truck driver, we don’t see any evidence of those things. So first of all, if no one warns us about them, we can’t see them. And if people do warn us about them, we’ll look through our little limited driver-seat window and say “Nope, I know you believe what you say about me, but I don’t agree.”
To top that off, not everyone is always right. Sometimes people criticize you as a reflection of their own inner issues. But what if there really are a bunch of things you need to change about yourself? What if some of those people you thought were jealous or wrong, simply saw the cyclists that you couldn’t notice from your driver’s seat?
The most courageous way to find out about these blind spots is to simply sit down with some people you trust and ask them one by one, to tell you all the things they believe you need to work on in yourself.
If you’re not ready to do that yet, or you don’t have close friends who can do so in a respectful way, then one profound question you can ask yourself to uncover some of these blind spots is this:
What would the world look like, if everybody in it acted exactly like me?
Be honest with yourself when you answer this, and you’ll discover a lot of things about you that you can improve right away, but had never noticed.
What if everyone treated other people (including me) exactly like you do?
What if everyone communicated like you do?
What if everyone worked as hard (or as little) as you do, and had the same attitude towards work as you?
What if everyone (including governments) spent their budget like you do?
What if everyone treated their waste and trash like you do?
What if everyone reacted to things other people did or said like you do?
What if everyone cared for others as much or as little as you do?
It’s funny that after years of being concerned with my development as a person, acting on simple questions like these can give me more results than all the books on the subject combined 🙂
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