This is another installment of Commuter Philosophy.
I occasionally find myself zoned out during my daily commutes on I-40. The feeling is inevitable. You look up and wonder “Was I just driving the last 10 minutes?” I’m kidding. Kind of.
As traffic starts to thicken and slow, I also find myself not paying attention to the car directly in front of me, but rather about 10 cars ahead. Looking ahead like this allows me to see what’s coming before it happens, kind of like asking customers very broad, forward looking questions to read between the lines and spot industry trends. The risk: I’ve about rear-ended the vehicle in front of me, not paying attention to the impending crash with a giant McDonald’s french fry 18 wheeler.
On the other hand, I frequently check out what’s happening in the rear view mirror longer than needed. Is that Prius going to tailgate me all day? Should I move over for that State Trooper? Looking back proves helpful. I can make corrections to my course and adjust based upon what I’ve learned, but again must avoid plowing into that SUV right in front of me.
Looking back is best in short bursts. On I-40. At work. With customers. With your quarterly and annual reports. Looking ahead works too, as long you don’t rear-end that literal and figurative 18-wheeler in front of you.