Some insights to drive you forward

As I reflect on my 5th anniversary, I remember the day so very well.

I’ll see you at 9.30 am by the side of the recycling bins at Tescos in Brighouse.

And they say romance is dead :)

As the day approaches even I become more and more nervous I could feel in my gut there was going to be more to this experience than I first thought.

I decided to arrive a few minutes early and impress him with my, reversing in to a car park bay, parking skills. I’m ashamed to admit, it took me 5 attempts to get the car positioned correctly in the bay :O I was shocked and knew my nerves had got the better of me.

I was about to take my Advanced Driving test and reverse parking in to a supermarket car park bay is not only an essential skill, but it’s supposed to be easy to do, it usually is (considering all the training and practice I’ve had) but, as I said, I was very nervous and I had good reason to be.

Can you imagine having your driving skills scrutinised by an ex-police expert driver?

Thankfully my examiner was late and didn’t see my pathetic attempt at parking. Also, it gave me a few minutes to collect my thoughts and apply a little Achievement Thinking to calm me down :)

In short, after about an hour and half of driving on many different types of road and being tested on my knowledge of the Highway Code and advanced driving techniques I… PASSED (phew).

At that time, I’d been driving for 38 years. Driving was and still is a big part of my life and for my own safety (and the safety of other road users) I thought a refresher course would be helpful. I wasn’t wrong it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s built up my confidence on the road, it’s improved my observational skills and I’ve continued with it.

Advance driving is all about making progress on your journey safely.

I’ve spoken to some highly experienced and skilful drivers and they all agree on one thing, there is no such thing as a perfect drive.

In every journey, no matter how much experience and expertise you have, there’ll always be something you could have handled or done better.

Your experience and expertise will only phenomenally increase the odds of you getting the best outcome possible from each situation.

The biggest lessons that resonated the most with me are applicable to every aspect of our lives.

If you get something wrong or something could have gone better, NEVER beat yourself up.

I’m amazed how many of us beat ourselves up at the slightest thing.

Don’t ignore the error, think through what you could have done differently. If you need to ask for help or learn a skill or technique, then do it.

Also, with all the knowledge and training in the world things can still go wrong so stay focussed and be open to learning.

And finally, no matter how much you know, there’s always more to learn.

As I said, it’s five years since I passed my test and if I’m totally open, I think it’s time for another refresher course.

If you’re interested in improving your driving and road safety skills take a peep at iamroadsmart.

By the way when I returned to Tescos after the test I reverse parked in to the same bay… perfectly… first time :)

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