By Dave Wine, President & CEO
We hear a lot about the causes of accidents while driving. And while intoxication, medications, lack of sleep, mobile phones, etc. are all very large reasons for accidents, the greatest reason of all, and it ties in to the others, is lack of attention. Or, we could say, lack of mindfulness. So, since we all drive a lot, here’s a few things you could do to increase your own awareness while driving:
- As you get into your car, take three deep breaths and say to yourself, “now, I am driving”. And you can strengthen your mindful life by doing the same thing when you arrive at your destination – another three deep breaths and an affirmation of what you are going to do now.
- Do the same breathing at any stop sign or stop light and look around and center on where you are. Oftentimes I have driven someplace and don’t even remember the route I took – kind of frightening!
- You can literally bless other drivers wishing them wellness and happiness. Remember as we do it to others, we do it to ourselves. I have found my bad moods (to say nothing of my driving safety) to be vastly improved when I do this. When I am at my best, I also try and smile at other driver’s impatience and wish them well. And that improves my own health rather than ‘competing’ with other drivers or letting them irritate me.
- Look around and concentrate on what is happening, what you are seeing, what is going by you. That develops awareness. Just noticing is a powerful way to increase our brain’s attentiveness and literally transforms the neurons.
Many times it is easy to tell ourselves ‘we don’t have time’ to practice awareness and mindfulness. Most of us drive to and from work and even those of us who work from home drive many miles in a normal week. Not only do we increase our (and others’) safety by practicing in the car, we can change our brains!
David is the President and CEO of the MAX enterprise, having served in that capacity since its formation in 2001. He has forty plus years of leadership experience in the business and faith-based worlds, being an ordained minister, having been elected to the highest position in his denomination, and receiving numerous awards and recognition for his leadership in the insurance industry. He currently serves on numerous boards in the church and insurance sectors. His hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing as well as being an avid reader. David and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.