Dam, the light changed to yellow, just as we entered the intersection. My heart was on fire. Intense heat exploded inside me. I panicked! Cars were everywhere! My brain screamed GET OUT! GET OUT! FAST! Blurry vision mixed with cars moving too fast. And my panic burned up to a new level!
Then, a faint quiet voice parted the chaos.
“It’s ok. Take your time. It’s all ok,” as my ears grab the attention of my brain, slowly letting go of the confusion!
“It’s ok. It’s ok. Keep going and we’ll find a quiet place to pull over and talk,” says my surprisingly calm instructor.
Aggressive, ambitious, determined, crazed was the strategy of living my young life was exposed to. Ignore the weakness in those around you. Push to succeed no matter what. And ignore your own emotions for they are also weaknesses. Man up!
The result is a strong determination to give as much as I can for the money you pay me. But there is a downside to this.
It inevitably leads to Overloading The Learner.
At first, I thought overloading was a bad thing. And I regularly felt very bad for allowing a new driver to enter into an explosive overload while driving with me. Over the next few weeks, I improved my listening skills in an attempt to detect the overload before it explodes. It’s not nice to see another person be stressed out.
But over time I realized that overloading is a very important line to cross in order to maximize learning efficiency. It exposes the driver’s ability on many levels.
Additionally, it exposes a critical skill all drivers must master, that is, the expression and management of being Overloaded While Driving!
Sorry, I am too tired to drive home. Sorry I need to relax for a few hours and rest before we make that long drive. Sorry I will avoid the traffic jams today due to my work stress level and will be taking a quieter longer route home. Sorry, I drank a few glasses of wine and need to delay driving home for four more hours, please.
Overload moments are a good time for the instructor to take over control of the car and find a place to review all the learnings and all the skills needed to manage these kinds of overload moments when driving. Because they may well occur throughout the rest of your life! Many of us call them Close Calls. And many more of us IGNORE THEM! This is a mistake.
Learning and changing is the opportunity here.
Embrace the Overloads.