Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Do you know of anyone, including yourself, who hasn't been ticked off by a tailgater, a lane hog, or someone who won't move over to let you onto the highway? Admit it, haven't you sometimes dreamed of, or even indulged in, some minor retaliation, such as a loud beep or an offensive gesture?
We often excuse such behavior by saying that it's just a way of letting off a little steam, calming us down so that we can get back to concentrating on our normally safe driving.
Unfortunately, however, nowadays an angry response may be like waving a red cape in front of a bull. It could get you in real trouble with some other driver who's madder than you are.
Why It Happens
Behavior experts have come up with a number of possible explanations for road rage. The most common theory is that the stresses of everyday life, both on and off the job, have become so intense that they lead to a coping mechanism of which people may not even be aware . It goes something like this:
My boss is driving me crazy. My co-workers are no help. I'm not getting the attention and support I need from my boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, kids, or friends. High prices and taxes are eating up my paycheck in no time. But when I'm in my car/truck I'm in charge, and nobody's going to push me around. So if you know what's good for you, you'd better stay out of my way.
Of course, all of this is felt, rather than spoken out loud.
What to Do About It
When this kind of attitude occurs on the road, whether it's yours or another driver's, it only makes sense to focus on managing your feelings rather than expressing them.
Ask yourself whether your true goal is to win some sort of competition with other drivers on the road, to get where you're going a couple of minutes faster, or to get there in one piece by maintaining a cool head rather than by being a hothead.
Assuming you arrive at the commonsense answer to that question, then what? Then concentrate on not allowing the situation to escalate. Don't allow either your own anger or the other driver's to put your safety at risk.
Patiently remind yourself that the more courteous driver (you) is the better driver. So, yield the right-of-way even to someone who is obviously proceeding in an inappropriate way. Then, congratulate yourself on having been wise enough to avoid a confrontation in what very likely could have been a lose-lose situation.
Make the Sensible — And Safe — Choice
Choosing sensible behavior may be easier said than done, of course, but it will be well worth the effort. You'll know you've used mature, sound judgment. You can even feel a little superior to the clod who cut you off. You'll have decreased your stress level. And most important of all, you'll be safer for the rest of your drive.
Of course, all the information we've just covered applies to your employees as well as to you. So, be sure to share it with them.
Road rage is like a contagious disease. Protect yourself and your employees from it with safe driving information that will help your people control their behavior on the road and steer clear of any obviously "infected" drivers.
Thanks to Safety Daily Advisor
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Monday, May 11, 2009
I admire people who have organized lives; their homes and workplaces are neat and organized and they actually can find their checkbooks, car keys and eyeglasses. What does it take for a person to possess those characteristics? The answer is self-discipline. Having self-discipline means that we are able to control our feelings and desires. It means that we make a decision, take action, and preserve.
So if the rewards of self-discipline are so great, why is it so difficult for many of us to be self-disciplined? It may have to do with our inability to delay gratification. It may also be because we only make changes to gain pleasure or avoid pain.
I find that I can be very self-disciplined in some areas and not so in others. For those of you who have been long time readers of the Motivating Moments, you may recall the difficulties that I had when I began graduate school. I struggled with math and statistical concepts that were totally foreign to me. I tackled the classes and preparation for the exams with the tenacity of a bulldog. I absolutely refused to fail and walk away from the humbling challenges that the classes posed.
It was during those times that I discovered within me the capacity for perseverance and self-discipline. Fortunately, I succeeded and received my MBA months. There are rewards for delaying gratification in other areas.
What are the areas in your life that are begging for a great plan followed by self-disciplined execution? Get a friend to help you achieve your goals. Ask him or her to require that you report regularly about your progress. Perhaps by being accountable to someone for our actions or inactions, you may find the courage to persevere.
"If we don't discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us." - William Feather
"I will decide, plan, focus, and achieve; and I will not give in or give up!"
By Mary Rau-Foster / Monday Motivating Moment
Sunday, May 10, 2009
A teacher of mine once taught me the following simple lesson about managing time. From a bag she removed a large empty glass jar and placed it on the table in front of the class. Next she removed a bag full of colorful wooden blocks of different shapes and sizes. Last of all, she pulled a small metal bucket of sand from her bag and placed it in on the table.
Our teacher emptied the bucket of sand into the large empty glass jar so that the jar was about half-full of sand. "Now," she said, "I want you to come put these red, blue, and yellow wood blocks into the jar. We need to fit all of them in the jar." For the next few minutes, the five of us took turns trying to fit all of the blocks into the jar, but it just couldn't be done. There wasn't enough room. After we'd all had a chance to try, our teacher announced that our time was up and sent us back to our seats. "Do you want to know how to make it all fit," she whispered to us? "Yes," we responded enthusiastically, "Show us!"
The teacher proceeded to remove all of the blocks from the jar and placed them on the table. Next, she poured the sand back into the bucket it came from. Teacher then placed the blocks back into the empty jar. With no sand in the jar, the blocks fit, but came all the way to the brim of the jar. Next, the teacher poured all of the sand from the bucket into the jar of blocks. The sand filled in the empty spaces between the blocks, and the sand and blocks all fit in the jar perfectly. "Ooooh," we exclaimed.
"This is like life," our teacher said. "The blocks represent the most important things in our lives like our families and school." The sand is everything else, like playing with our friends and watching cartoons. When we put the sand in the jar first, we can't fit all of the important things in. But when we do the most important things first, we can still fit all of the other "fun" things in too."
Though simple, that lesson was powerful to me and I have not forgotten it.
Thanks to Universal Accounting