Surviving Daily Challenges

Survival is a strong word. When discussing the everyday interactions we all have with one another it really doesn't seem like survival. But it is.

The decisions we make, the compromises we agree to, and the arguments we win determine our quality of life each day. They also help to forge our future. Survival is defined as staying alive or living through something. We endure daily challenges. We just don't give our actions and interaction with others the importance that they deserve.

To illustrate how well survival describes what we do day in and day out consider our daily commute. Typically we are on the freeway, traveling between 60 and 70 miles per hour in a 3,000 pound steel projectile. In Los Angeles if you are on the 405 or the 10 you are much more likely to be traveling between 5 and 10 mph but you get my point. Our challenge and that of our fellow commuters is to avoid contact with each other.

Each commuter has similar tools with which to work. Each has a steering wheel, gas and brake peddles, and rear view mirrors. We also have dissimilar tools in that each car is unique with different engines, transmissions, suspensions and maintenance issues. Each driver has different driving skills, experience and habits. While we are all going in the same direction, we have different goals and objectives.

But we also have a common goal. To survive the commute without incident, AKA contact!

We, to survive, should deploy our best defensive driving habits to stay in our lane, watch out for those who can not do the same, and maintain a prudent distance from the car ahead that is safe. How many drivers on the road do this? A slim majority is my guess. Many tempt faith when behind the wheel. This reality places each of as at risk on a daily basis. Our skill at avoiding other drivers is a matter of survival.

For the most part we climb behind the wheel armed with a mind clutter with thoughts not related to driving, turn on the radio to distract ourselves and settle in to make the commute and as many cell calls as possible. Paying close attention to driving is not high on our list of priorities.

This is one example of how we unconsciously handle the abundance of everyday social, family and business interactions. We are on cruise control. Yet each of these is an example of basic human negotiations that impact how our day is going to be or how our future is going to turn out.