Drivers and Passengers

When you were a child and in the car, you could let your mind wander, change CDs in the player, locate new radio stations, sing, laugh, and get distracted to your heart’s content. Why? Because you were a passenger. You were just along for the ride. That all changes when you are old enough to get a driver’s license. You are the driver now. The steering wheel is in your hands, and so are any passengers that may be with you. You must concentrate on what you are doing, where you are going, and the well being of any passengers. You are responsible now. You are the driver.

People who do not take responsibility for their thoughts and actions are passengers in life. Leaders, however, are drivers because they take responsibility for their attitudes and responses to the problems that arise in life. They take responsibility for the direction of their life. There are three areas in which leaders choose to be drivers and refuse to be passengers.
– A Positive Attitude
– A Persistent Fortitude
– A Purposeful Attitude

Here is an example. Dawn Loggins grew up in a ramshackle home with no electricity or running water. Her parents were drug addicts and took little responsibility for Dawn. During Dawn’s senior year in high school, she came home from school one day to find her parents had abandoned her. Suddenly, Dawn was homeless. She rapidly made a decision. She did not want the lifestyle of her parents, so she began sleeping at friend’s homes and got a job as a janitor at her high school. She showed up early to mop floors, clean restrooms, and wipe down boards in classrooms.

Let’s face it. It would have been easy for Dawn to simply give up. But Dawn just plain took responsibility for her life. She not only works before and after school, but studies hard and makes straight A’s. Dawn applied to Harvard University and was accepted. Dawn went from “homeless to Harvard.”

The challenge for you is to be a driver and not a passenger.
– Excerpt from Habitudes by Dr. Tim Elmore