It’s summer and I’ve got miles to go. With a car full of family headed toward vacationsville, I’m relaxed but trying to be traffic alert at the same time. So far, it’s been a good day, a good drive. I wonder, though, about the blue sedan keeping a steady, too close bead on the darker blue truck in front of it. I check my speed: 80mph. The two cars just ahead in the left lane have to be going faster ’cause they’ve been creeping ahead for a while now – at least the dark blue Tundra has been creeping. Looks like, if Lexus had its way, it would be flying at 100mph, or faster. Another speed limit sign zips behind me: 65mph.
The right lane has adequate gaps between cars, so Lexus has had several opportunities to switch lanes to the right and then switch back into the left lane ahead of Tundra, but its nose remains steadfastly up Tundra’s tailpipe. I can’t help but wonder why Lexus is passing up one opportunity after another and choosing to pick a fight with Tundra instead. No doubt, distorted thinking is at work.
Selective focus is a lot like selective hearing. When used negatively, one takes a certain stance or holds a specific viewpoint despite all evidence to the contrary and that offers a differing option. This evidence, these options, they don’t want to know about – or be reminded of. Those using selective focus negatively will take the victim stance and want the one outcome they have in mind. In their fixation (“the act of fixing or the state of being fixed”), they’ll resort to force and intimidation to get a result.
Exits come and go, and the Lexus is still caught up in the Tundra’s exhaust. No doubt, Lexus thinks it’s got some quasi-power thing going by virtue of its brilliance in munching at Tundra’s mudflaps until Tundra does its bidding. But Tundra doesn’t flinch. It stays true to its course. Lexus is looking like a pit bull that’s lost the ability to use its rational mind – why else give up miles of opportunities for a senseless act of harassment? Lexus is pretending to itself that it’s got the power when, really, Lexus gave power away.
The only time that selective focus works to the benefit of all, and especially yourself, is when you recognize that wherever you are is your point of power. Selective focus is powerful when you disallow others to define you or the situation you’re in. Tundra held power in place despite Lexus’s attempts to create a sense of anxiety, stress, anger or to garner a reaction from Tundra, such as an abrupt slowing or capitulation. Watching Lexus cross two lanes to the right to exit, I mentally give Tundra two thumbs up. Tundra would not be bullied or intimidated. Instead, what I saw was a driver who was causing no harm or inconvenience to another. Let’s be clear here: Lexus was the actor driving action toward another. Lexus chose to feel put out despite miles of opportunity to move into another lane or to exit. Tundra was exceeding the speed limit by at least 20-25mph. And despite this very generous overage, Lexus for some perverse reason really needed to push to have a certain outcome from Tundra.
I’ve seen this scenario turn ugly and even dangerous when folks get stressed or fearful. Folks get angry. So, steady as she goes. Never let an aggressive driver pull you off course.