Bumpers to Bamboo


Nervously, my neighbor’s teenage daughter is going this week to get her driver’s license. (Please, if you can, stay indoors.)

She mentioned that her instructor told her, and I quote – “Like whatever you stare at, you end up drifting to un-conscientiously- or something like that, I think.”

So allow me to paraphrase-  Drivers should  “keep their eyes moving ahead of them into the distance and to not stare at either the center line or the white line marking the shoulder of the road – because you will end up drifting towards it unconsciously.”

Simple but True. Approved by the All-Knowing Teenager and Back Seat Drivers everywhere, but yet so hard to do.

Look out into the slightly unknown area ahead of me, rather than stare at a visible object?

It’s so easy to stare, and drift, towards what IS already, isn’t it? Whether it’s a yellow line down the road, the discomfort in our body, or the situation at work, home or name any country. The visible “lines” are so easy to give our attention to.

But is that your real destination or goal?

The “unseen” is a little harder to look towards, isn’t it?  Which do you want your car to drift towards? A known problem or something that you know you can create for yourself?

 It just means starting a new habit, that’s all. That’s the only way to create the life YOU want for yourself.


Remember the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree?   The seed is planted and nurtured and watered for a full five years before any above ground growth is seen. Then in that incredible fifth year, it shoots up from the ground to reach a height of 80 feet! WOW!

Did it really take five years to “start growing” or was is perhaps putting down roots that would support the incredible soon to be towering structure?

I think my own Bamboo Tree has taken over 40 some years; and that’s OK. We all farm at our own pace because we all have different soil, light, nourishment and willingness to focus on it.

You are that bamboo farmer too. Have patience and keep your focus on what you want, and not what is seen by others (or even by yourself). Keep your eye on your DESTINATION ahead of you.

When other people watch you watering “a bare spot of earth” over a whole year, and then watch a second, and a third, or another 10 years, “with nothing to show for it”, you’re likely to hear them express their doubts. Their doubts can lead lead to your own frustrations and shifting of your own focus. Keep looking ahead and providing nourishment to your own seeds.

You have to stay focused on what you know is coming.  For your real power and control – Always drift towards your goal, not towards what someone else has already lined up.

There’s a reason your front windshield is bigger than your rear view mirror!       There’s a reason you only have high beams on the front of your car, right?


Question: When you find yourself stuck in a highway trance, drifting towards either line, what have you found most helpful to re-orient yourself?