Years ago I was caught in some very heavy fog. At one point the fog was so thick that I was forced to slow the car down to a virtual crawl. I could barely see in front or behind me. It was unnerving, even a bit scary! A feeling of helplessness ensued as I struggled to get my bearings. I adjusted my headlights from high to low beam thinking that might help, but it didn’t. In fact, it only made it worse.
Without a stream of headlights coming toward me in the opposite lane or the familiar red taillights in front to follow, I lost all frame of reference. Every once in a while an oncoming car would pass, but with the fog so thick I had no warning.
Concerned I was going to get hit by a careless driver my anxiety began to rise. I thought about pulling over to stop but that seemed to be more dangerous. About then, a simple but very clear impression came to me, “Open your door and find the white line.” I immediately opened my door and while creeping along, I searched the black pavement for the white center line. I steered the car gently from left to right until found it. I was so relieved!
Once I got this visual bearing I was able to make progress in the dense fog. It seemed it would take forever, but as I progressed, focusing on the white line, my confidence increased. Although the anxiety didn’t go away, I felt a measure of peace. After what seemed like an eternity, the fog eased, my visibility improved, bringing me safely to my destination.
It’s been years since this experience, but I will never forget the helpless feeling of being stuck in the fog. The strong impression I received to open my car door and to find the white line always brings a thankful smile.
Have you ever been stuck in life like this? Maybe it isn’t an early morning thick fog like I experienced, but a circumstance where you felt lost and needed help. Life challenges can often feel paralyzing. It could be a dilemma or predicament regarding one’s health, finances, career or even with close relationships. Where does one turn for peace and direction? Maybe a proverbial white line in one’s journey could be helpful, but who or what? Choosing wisely could make all the difference!
When I have client legal questions I have an attorney or two that I routinely call. Although I passed the CPA exam years ago, sometimes a complex tax question warrants a confirming call to my brother who owns a CPA firm.
If I have a medical concern I have a primary care physician and a few close friends with medical background I can see. If I have strategic business building questions with respect to my practice, I have a formal business coach to offer expertise.
When I find myself with a pressing life question I often call my parents who have been wonderful counselors in my life. Since my spiritual life has always been important to me, I pray and read the scriptures each morning. I have found this to be a great source of insight and personal spiritual strength.
Here are a few cautions I would offer as you seek the white line in your life. I would never ask an electrician for advice about a plumbing problem. If one wants to improve one’s tennis game watching the golf channel would be foolish. Isn’t this obvious? I am amazed how many people ask others for advice who have no formal training or expertise in the area in which they seek answers.
Napoleon Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich” said, “The majority of people who fail to accumulate money sufficient for their needs are generally easily influenced by the opinions of others. They permit the newspapers, media and the gossiping neighbors to do their thinking for them. Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them.”
Consistently, I don’t ask advice from others unless I am clear about their motives and expertise. Those who have a vested interest in my success have proven to provide helpful advice over the years. For others, I tend to listen with a guarded ear.
Additionally, a personal commitment to learning and education is essential to making good decisions and charting one’s course through the fogs of life. This white line can be most helpful in distinguishing truth from error. Critical thinking is required for good outcomes.
We all need a collection of white lines in our lives to keep us on course, especially in our financial lives. Seeking and discerning which white line to follow can bring peace through the challenges of life, if we take action. Enjoy the journey.