Do you know what the legal following distance is when you are driving a car in South Africa? 3 car lengths? 5 metres? Nope.
It is 2 seconds.
Think about that. You are measuring distance in time. I think it is fascinating, and it makes sense. You can’t measure a safe following distance in car lengths or metres, because it all depends on the speed you are travelling at.
Now let’s apply this to life. In which areas of your life are you not keeping a healthy following distance? In other words, when the fit hits the shan in your life in these areas, there will be no room for you to react and avoid a crash.
I realised this powerfully when I had meningitis last year. I wasn’t maintaining a safe following distance: my testament was not updated, and I didn’t have certain things in place to ensure that my family would be okay if something happened to me.
So I tended to that. I had been avoiding it because I didn’t know where to start, how to tackle it, what the details were, or who to go to for advice. It took a lot of time to get everything in order but as soon as I started moving the needle a little bit, things started falling into place. It wasn’t that hard, but it felt big.
Where in your life are you not maintaining a safe following distance?
Is it in your finances? Are you okay as long as nothing happens, but as soon as there is a real problem, you are going to crash?
Is it in your relationships? Are you driving right on the edge, on the bumper, so that when problems do come a crash is unavoidable because you invested no time, attention, or work, or had no conversations about what makes the space safe before there was a crisis?
Is it with your health? Are you driving right up to the car in front of you, so that when unforeseen circumstances cause the car in front of you to stop you have no time left to adjust and brake?
And remember, you are not measuring this safe following distance in distance but in time. How much time and focus are you putting into maintaining that safe following distance?
Now ask yourself, what is stopping you from paying attention and taking the time you need to create that safe following distance?
Maybe you just don’t know what a safe following distance should look like in that area. Maybe you don’t have anyone in your life who is giving you good input and feedback. Maybe it is ignorance, or maybe you are just avoiding thinking about the consequences. Whatever the reason, you are gambling with your time, your health, your finances, and your relationships.
What is something you can do now that will have the biggest impact to create a buffer between you and the car in front of you?
Now go and move the needle on that thing. You may find that it feels big, but it really isn’t that hard.
Are you finding it hard to create a safe following distance in certain areas of your life? Visit getclarity.co.za to join my life coaching journey or couples program.