I was on a long call this afternoon today. As I was driving, I was in midst of intense discussion with two overseas colleagues. I was on my phone,
Fortunately, there was no one else in car with me. However, I was not alone. I could feel that there were at least 3 parts of me at this time. My 1/3 was the driver, who was watching out for cars, ensuring that car was following the traffic laws. The driver was very vigilant, but the second 1/3, the supervisor, was critical of his actions. “Hey you missed giving the side indicator while changing the lane.” The supervisor clearly was not happy with proceedings. And then there was the worker, negotiating on phone while the driver and supervisor were having a go at each other.
Normally the drive to Al Ghurair center in Deira would take about 40 minutes, today I didn’t have a clue.
Maybe the time taken was far more, since I was still on a call. While all this action was going on, I parked the car, in a parking slot that I could find, and I don’t remember; I had a had time on my way back. The simple truth was that the supervisor approved it and therefore the driver parked it, while the worker was still at it. None of these guys had a clue.
While the conversation was still on, I had to get out of the car and get to a hotel for a meeting. So I, take the escalator, get out of the parking lot and go on the road. The hotel was on the other side of the road and therefore it involved going over a zebra crossing. But, my worker was still in his act, trying to find a better argument. While in this zombie state, I could see that the traffic was considerably more in number, and as I look towards my right, something in me tells me it is not right. I look again and in the nick of time retract, and feel the presence of the passing truck, Ford Raptor. Thank dear God for the sound it makes. I immediately get off the call, I will call you back, I say.
If it weren’t for that sound, I wouldn’t have realized that the truck was within the collision distance and threatening the lives of many, not considering my own. It was a time to reflect.
How many times, have I known the the dangers of using a mobile while driving, and still to this day, my first reaction is not a denial. It hasn’t happened to me yet, so therefore for just one last time. I’m sure nothing would happen. What I forget is that all it takes is one incidence to wipe out all your previous statistics, Naseem Nicholas Taleb, and his celebrated book, Black Swan, explains this beautifully. Citing of one black swan in Australia, disapproved the truth held for so long that the swans are only white.
My mind knows everything, has infinite intelligence and represents flawless craft. Still, it hasn’t prevented me from talking on mobile on road. Driving while using mobile on the road is equivalent to drunk driving. Texting is worst, a study shows that a driver is 23 times more likely to encounter accident than other, because the driver spends a large proportion of his attention on mobile screen than on the road. Somehow, observations and instructions from supervisor does make sense, however hasn’t translated into a behavior. Not yet.
Fear is a very powerful emotion and has one of the most profound impact, provided we use it correctly. To the wrath of my contrarians, who would like to be fearless and would like to extract every ounce of fear you possess, I would disagree. I would like to be left with some amount of fear, because fear is one of the greatest motivator. Fear is the best catalyst you can find, like a nitrous boost for A Fast & Furious Movie car and with the ability to propel you in the outer-space. If you use fear properly, it can change behavior.
Running was not a natural one-day-out-of-bed event. One of the evening, I realized that I’m becoming a burden with a oversized belly. My father was similar, and had a heart problem, which runs in our family. And what if I succumb to it, what would happen to my family? Gripped with this fear, I realized that there was no better way to get as far away as possible from the situation than running. The fear of losing health and haggardness drives me up every morning, to wake up during hours of the day, when there couldn’t be anything more comfortable than the bed. And then it translated to eating healthy, so that I could run better and lose weight and further on, my gym routine etc. But the truth is it all started from fear, fear of not being around for my family.
We do start our year with big motivation and great resolve, and what I would add to it is a layer of fear. Those few things which you definitely want to do, use fear as the task master with a whip (a.k.a, PK Simmons of Whiplash). I have heard a 1000 Rs. bet, which has been successful in changing behaviors. So the method goes like like this, with someone whom you trust the most, say your mentor, you give him Rs.1000 (the more the better) and commit that if you develop a specific habit, you will ask back for the money, and if you don’t, he/she gets to keep the money. The chances are likely that you would end up changing your behavior because of fear of losing the money (fear of poverty).
The only word of caution here is that, if you fear always, the chances are likely that you may become oblivious to it or it may consume you. You can’t be always on the dark side and you would have to ultimately start enjoying the new found love. You have to start appreciating the new attention that you would get once you lose weight. If you let fear overpower you, it won’t be sustainable, it would be stressful, destructive and self deprecating. You will become a maniac. Use fear well.
For me, today was an eye opener. And if I’m not able to change my resolve of not using the phone, while I’m on the road (driving or walking), I’m going to be using the AED 1,000 wager.
Any takers for that?
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