When Life Throws You Curves

By Early Jackson

February 12, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

With a name like Early it’s never a good idea for me to walk into a meeting a few minutes late. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “Hey, Early is late!” I would be retired on a private island. To stay true to my name I sometimes find myself rushing to my next appointment or meeting. To be clear, I try to maintain a safe speed limit most of the time. But sometimes you just have to get there. About two blocks from my home is a ‘S’ shaped curve that always has my full attention. Every couple of months the guard rail to the right is replaced. It seems this is a popular place for drivers to underestimate the curve and end up paying a price.

Since I drive this strip of road daily, I’m familiar with the rainbow of car paint residuals smeared across the rail. To be honest, there have been mornings I was distracted by adjusting my coffee and came very close to leaving my contribution of paint there. The curve comes up on you so suddenly that you have little time to adjust. Every few months I drive by and notice the city workers have once again come out to replace a section. Life can throw you curves that make it hard to get your life adjusted. And like so many drivers I commute this route with, you may have had a few fender benders in life’s travels.

How well do you handle curves? We all are stellar on the straight away’ s. We coast along in our comfort zones and things couldn’t be better. Then from nowhere we are hit with a curve. A work curve. A personal curve. Before we can adjust we find our life is scraped and paint chips are everywhere. It’s not major damage. We don’t have to file a big claim. But it leaves a dent and you’re left with out of pocket expenses. I want to share a few principles I believe will help us all handle life’s curves better:

* We can handle the curves when we obey the speed limit: I know it’s tough. But let’s get real; speed limits exist for our safety. Someone a lot smarter than me measured and decided this type of road has a safe speed limit of 25 miles per hour. I think whoever is setting these limits aren’t out to get us. There’s no great conspiracy to make me late for work. The limit is for both my and the community’s safety. When we overstep the boundaries we live with the consequences. Often we ignore the limits on our health, relationships and goals. Once we are out of control, we usually suffer some wreckage.

* We can handle the curves when we get rid of the distractions: I admit it; I struggle to keep my distractions down. I keep lying to myself that it’s called multi-tasking. But it really boils down to not being focus. Some say present in the moment. Isn’t that how we miss so much already? We have a million distractions all clambering for attention. This generation has more stuff and is more detached than any before. How many times have you arrived at your destination and barely remembered driving? Our minds are running like a computer with 50 tabs opened. If we don’t learn to slow down and rid ourselves of distractions, we are bound to wreck.

* We can handle the curves when we make adjustments: When you are present while driving, you have ample time to adjust for variables like weather and bad drivers. If you don’t pay attention, you will miss the signs. I would wager the drivers who left their car’s autograph on the guard rail were decent drivers who didn’t make an adjustment in time. Good people get into wrecks when they don’t adjust for the changes happening around them. The road of life is all about adjusting for all the twists and turns.

Although I take this route every day, I make it a point to stay within the speed limit around this curve. Just the other day I caught the glimmer of a shiny new aluminum patch on the rail. Once again it’s been replaced and looks like a clean canvas waiting to be painted. I will give it two weeks before there are a few color swipes visible. I guess it can be tough handing certain curves. Hopefully we learn this lesson and avoid the bumps in our lives too.

Early Jackson

Early L. Jackson Jr., profoundly recognized as a Social Activist, has been laboring to bring balance, skill, relevance and understanding to people of all nationalities. After effectively overcoming a

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