As I was driving over to meet a friend this Saturday, crisscrossing between the moderate traffic of a weekend, i came upon a realization. Driving, as a skill, is much more than just the ability or independence to transport ourselves from one place to another. There are a lot of lessons learning to drive or driving regularly can teach us what we can use in almost all aspects of our lives. I am convinced to the extent that I feel that absolutely all entrepreneurs (and everyone else must too) must definitely learn to drive.
Everything is scary at the beginning - Learning to drive is scary. At least for most of us. We all are scared that we might hit something or damage the car or something bad might happen. But eventually we learn, practice and master the skill of driving and soon we are driving in dense Delhi traffic. This applies to all the new things in life. You don’t know if it is actually difficult unless you try it, unless you take the leap.
There will be potholes - If you have ever driven in India, you will know that there will be potholes. And speed-breakers. Some you will get familiar with as you drive through them every day and some will come to you for the first time as you travel down a new road. But you know and expect the potholes and speed-breakers to come and adjust your driving accordingly. Just like this you will have minor repeating/occasional small issues in life that you have to accept and accommodate and improvise. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it.
There will be accidents - One learning that definitely comes after getting a few hundred miles under your belt is the realization that accidents happen. They can and do happen to anyone irrespective of whether you were following all the rules or not. Your car will be dented and scratched as you drive in the harsh city traffic and there is very little that you can do about it. This means you have to be prepared for such problems that might spring out from nowhere and affect you irrespective of your involvement. Life throws many different sorts of problems towards us at the times we least expect them. Be prepared.
There will be traffic lights - There will be days when you will be getting late for some important work and you will get all reds and there will be the lucky days when you will get all greens. The red and green lights are nothing but the small patched of good and bad phases (or luck) that we encounter in our lives. Just as a red light will definitely turn green, if you just wait, your bad phase too would be succeeded by a good one. Always know that light cannot stay red or green forever.
If you wish to reach some place on time, you have to leave early - This is something that anyone who drives in a city like Delhi will agree with. If you want to reach some place on time, you have to leave early. You will have to accommodate for tolerances for unexpected problems like traffic jams, flat tires as well as the expected ones like bottlenecks and known long stops. All of this in one word is called planning. A planned life is more likely to be a smooth life.
You cannot run the same vehicle forever - No matter how much care you take and how well maintained it is, no vehicle will run for you forever. There will come a time when you will have to leave it and move on to a newer, preferably better vehicle. The same is applicable for life as well. You need to constantly upgrade and update to make sure that all the functions of your life are smooth.
Safety is the topmost priority - It’s an unsafe world out there and there is no way to definitely know what will happen when you go for your next drive. This is precisely the reason our vehicles come fitted with various safety features from as basic as seat belts to as complicated as ABS. There are various traffic rules that we are supposed to follow. This is absolutely true for other non-driving aspects for life as well. Always have safeguards against known and unanticipated dangers/problems.
Well, this is what I feel bout driving. If you have any points that you think can be added, mention it in the comments below or catch me on twitter at @akhilrex
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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex