Turning the wheels

I was driving home from an appointment today, and a little nugget of wisdom bopped me on the head as I waited for my turn to turn left.

Don’t turn your wheels.

This was something my dad taught me when I was learning to drive.  “Don’t anticipate the turn, Martina. Don’t turn your wheels.”


“Because someone could come along behind you and bump you. And if they did, rather than going straight forward, your car would turn directly into oncoming traffic.”


I have always remembered that, and I never turn my wheels until I am actually making the turn, but today I realized his advice extended beyond just driving and might make sense if I applied it elsewhere in life.

Knowing where you want to go, planning your route, and progressing along the path you’ve laid out is how we all get through life. It’s when we turn our wheels before we can actually move, that we get in trouble. Why? Because life happens. Things happen, and if your wheels are turned in anticipation, it’s harder to make adjustments if something unexpected happens.

It’s like the old adage of putting the cart before the horse. You may eventually get there, but it will be a more challenging and difficult process. And in the case of being propelled unwillingly into oncoming traffic, it’s downright dangerous!

So, the next time you’re anticipating a turn, a change, a decision in your life, keep your wheels straight, and turn them when the opportunity arises to actually make the turn. Then do so with commitment. Because just like driving, if you change your mind in the middle of the turn (or constantly look back at where you were), you’re more likely to hurt others and yourself.

Happy driving! (literally and figuratively)

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