A little background on my idea for this post is necessary to get where I’m coming from. Back when I got my license to drive, my parents had this idea that getting driving lessons for me would give me lower insurance costs. I’m not sure if that’s the case or not, but getting driving lessons had the secondary effect that I actually learned how to drive.
Learning how to drive came kinda naturally for me for whatever reason, but at the beginning my driving instructor taught me a few things that translate to everything in life. He basically taught that when driving you have to have certain actions ingrained in your muscle memory so that you do them without thinking.
Some of these actions like looking in mirrors when merging into traffic are pretty easy to understand because if you don’t do them, you run the risk of driving right into a truck and getting run over. However, other actions are less obvious, like using your turn signal every time you have to turn or shift lanes. You would think that this is an obvious thing to do as a driver, until you drive anywhere and see the litany of idiot drivers who don’t have this action ingrained. They either think they don’t need to use their turn signals or that it’s not important.
Not using turn signals while driving has fascinated me for years and I began to wonder about why people don’t use them. I mention this because when taking a test for your license, you are required in America to have someone from the DMV go on a ride with you and test you on your ability to drive. If you don’t use your turn signals during this test drive, they will fail you and you won’t be able to drive. So I know all these people who are driving on the road at one time knew to use their turn signals.
It’s usually people that don’t use their turn signals that are shitty drivers across all other areas as well.
My theory is that when you get lazy using turn signals, even in situations in which no other cars are on the road who you would be signaling to, you are apt to not use your turn signals when the situation absolutely requires you to use them.
In other words, when you let laziness and disorder creep in your life where it’s seemingly innocuous, it festers and becomes damaging to every area of your life if you don’t put a stop to it.
I came to understand this while living on the border of the Fishtown and Port Richmond areas of Philadelphia. On one side you have hipsters in Fishtown. The other side in Port Richmond you have a bunch of meth heads. Interestingly enough, none of these motherfuckers could drive properly! What a coincidence! It was an incredible mixture of randomly stopping in the middle of the street, turning all over the place seemingly out of nowhere, and of course the dreaded driving slow as hell.
I could write books about how you drive reflects on the type of person you are. The point I’m trying to get across is that if you ever allow yourself to accept or even be proud of your laziness in any area of your life, you risk it getting into every other area of your life.
An example of this would be if you are someone who struggles with the discipline to eat right and become a fat person, chances are that you will lack the discipline to do something more important like start your own business and escape the rat race.
If this is true, it certainly begs the question is the reverse also true?
If you let areas of your life fall to pieces bringing everything down with it, can you then work on seemingly random areas to have an impact on your life as a whole?
My contention is that this is true. At the end of the day all it takes for you to turn your life around and start getting shit done is to decide a clear path and take action. Once you start doing that in some area of your life, the idea of discipline takes root and starts to take over other areas of your life.
Taking action may not be easy for some though as they lack the will and discipline. The trick then is to apply what my driving teacher told me back in the day. Make the action ingrained in your subconscious so that you don’t even have to think when you are doing it.
This means using willpower to do that activity long enough so that it becomes a habit
Once you have it so that you don’t have to think about the activity, you can use some of your willpower to start working on another aspect of your life that you want to change.
After changing one area after another you will start to see results and build momentum. You’ll look back after a few months of consistent action and see huge results.
This is how you stop disorder, change your life, and become free.