Friday, January 16, 2015

The Rear View Mirror

We spend about 99% of our automotive driving time looking out the windshield and 1% of our time looking in the rear view mirror. The rear view mirror is important but relatively unappreciated.

But what happens when you want to back-up...

My father was the worlds best 'backer-upper". He could back a two wheel or four wheel wagon with precision. His secret was the use of the rear view mirror.

He would look forward through the mirrors as he was moving backward. It was a brilliant use of hand to eye coordination. It took me 30 years to even come close to his skill.

5 principles of the rear view mirror.
  1. When looking in the mirror you have move left to go right. You have to know the effect of your actions.
  2. Many rear view mirrors have the warning "some objects are closer than they appear". Some times our fears are larger than they should be. A healthy respect or concern is always warranted. But deep seated worry will only lead to fatigue and depression.
  3. Practice, practice and practice some more will lead to mastery of any skill. Being an expert "backer-upper" like my dad takes years of practice. I'm sure he wasn't good at it when he was a teenager.
  4. The story of the "Tortoise and the Hare" teaches us that slow and steady wins the race. This is true in backing trailers and in life. Being in a hurry never wins points in backing up. Concentration and steady small corrections is the path to success. 
  5. When heading forward again, we can learn from the past but should not dwell in the past. The mirror resumes its status of 1% usage.

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