4 Speed Limiters in Life

Jun 05, 2017

During the summer when I was a kid my family would take a vacation to my Grandparent’s summer home. The home was located in a country club and their trailer was settled in the midst of a private golf course. One of the highlights of each trip there was riding around the empty golf course paths with my cousin driving the cart. I always felt like we were going so fast!

However, when I was old enough to drive myself I was frustrated that the golf cart wouldn’t go faster. No matter how hard I pressed on the gas, the cart would maintain the same speed. I later  learned this was because of a governor on the golf cart engine, but as a kid I didn’t understand why something or someone would limit my ability to drive as fast as I pleased.

Speed limiters are a hot topic in the trucking industry. Proponents of speed limiters like the NHTSA and the FMCSA say they are necessary for increasing safety on roads and highways. Opponents, such as the OOIDA, dispute that claim and counter with the argument that speed limiters will actually increase congestion and potentially cause more accidents. This is definitely a topic that will be studied and debated for the next few years.

Instead of breaking down the debate here, I’d like to propose a different question for us all to consider. What are the “speed limiters” you are putting on your career and your life?

Similar to governors on golf carts and speed limiters in trucks, there are mind-sets and behaviors that limit human beings from achieving all they possibly can. I call these “life limiters.”

Having a negative attitude about everything is a life limiter. People like this remind me of Eeyore, the famous donkey in the Winnie-the-Pooh who never caught a break and couldn’t find the good in anything. Negative people are never able to move forward quickly, because a negative attitude is a weight that slows everything in your life down. Other people don’t want to be around it, and so you get isolated and it’s harder to find the help you need.   

Laziness is another life limiter. It is impossible to be a lazy trucker and expect to be a successful trucker. It is true that the early bird gets the worm. Laziness prevents you from getting loads delivered, making your next pick-up and ultimately it will derails weeks and months work of possible revenue. Laziness is life limiting outside the truck as well. Lazy unreliable people miss out on the wonderful feeling of a job well done, a goal achieved, and a mission accomplished. And since they cannot be trusted they are given very little responsibility from others.

A third life limiter is a lack of preparation. There is an old saying that goes, “If you don’t plan to succeed, you are planning to fail.” This is undeniable. Successful truckers are not just steering wheel holders. They plan ahead with their log books, they chart their best driving course, they schedule their maintenance around other down times, they communicate needs with dispatch ahead of time. In short they plan for success and they experience it.

A lack of personal responsibility is a final life limiter. People governed by this attitude will never flourish because they are always victims reacting to what is happening to them. They blame others and complain about how unfair everything is. Living without any personal responsibility is like living without a mirror, unable or unwilling to ever look honestly at yourself. This is another mindset that leads to isolation as no one else wants to be around you.

Truckers who take responsibility recognize what they own in a situation, they deal with it and move on to the next load. They don’t get stuck in the past blaming everyone else for their problems. Instead, they look for ways to find the best in everything and do their best the next time around. At the end of the day they are always happier and more successful.

I always had a desire to take the governor off that golf course and let it rip around the paths. I dreamed how much more fun it would be to press the pedal down and be able to move faster than 10 miles per hour.

If you feel like your trucking career is stuck, think through the life limiters listed above. By no means is the list exhaustive, there are many more things that can act as a governor on your success. Some examples include communication skills, anger, limited knowledge, and debt. The four listed are just examples to get you brain going and help you to think through how you can get the most out of your career, and ultimately your life.


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