How’s Your Driving?

snowscapeOn Friday night Mother Nature passed through Lubbock, leaving behind our first snowfall of the season. Residents woke up Saturday to between seven and twelve inches of snow, with a steady curtain of the white stuff continuing to drop until mid-day. Cold temperatures and icy conditions led local authorities to recommend staying off of the streets if at all possible. But Christmas shopping, weekend jobs, and other responsibilities forced many people out onto the roads.

My son Alex and I were a couple of those who had to get out. We had an obligation that couldn’t be postponed so after a quick breakfast, we hit the streets in my four wheel drive pickup. Making our way through town, it didn’t take long for us encounter the wonders of winter. Children and pets played in the snow, homeowners shoveled their driveways and sidewalks, and there were plenty of great photo opportunities; such as the attached picture from my own backyard.

But it was the vehicles on the road that really grabbed our attention; well, actually it was the people driving them. There were three types of people on the road Saturday morning. Each of them had distinctive goals and observable driving patterns.

There were those like Alex and myself; people with jobs to do and a desire to accomplish those jobs as effectively as possible. These people drive slowly, being careful to avoid the slick spots and allowing other drivers plenty of room to operate. They anticipate changes and adjust their course accordingly. They give themselves plenty of time to stop at a traffic light and move at a speed that allows them to maintain control while making steady progress.

Every now and then, these drivers encounter someone else on the road who makes their commute even more difficult. These are the people who feel the need to drive at top speed regardless of the road conditions. They can’t be bothered to observe safe driving habits, so they speed by others; throwing up a wave of ice and slush (not mention a few choice words) as they pass. They tailgate, applying unnecessary pressure on the people on front of them. Their reckless behavior causes them to slip and slide, putting everyone around them in danger.

And then there are those who clear the way; the street graders and ice trucks. These people were out working in the wee hours of the night, long before the rest of us; working to remove obstacles so we could safely go about our business. It’s a thankless job, and one most of us don’t give a second thought to – unless we encounter a street that needs a little clearing.

Of course, we don’t need to travel through a snowstorm to encounter these people. All three types are out there every single day; on the roads, in our businesses, and everywhere in between. The real question is this: What kind of driver are you?

Are you the kind of driver who works to make steady progress toward your goal? Are you the kind who works to clear the way so that others have a clearer path to success? Or are you the kind who makes everyone else’s journey even more difficult?