February 10, 2014

Life’s Traffic Signals

Go - 100PedalsTraffic signals can be analogous for to our life’s behaviors. The typical traffic light has three colors – green, yellow, red. Three behavioral responses are often associated with those colors — go, caution, stop.  With the exception of the yellow light – which elicits a variety of reactive behaviors — we all know the road rules associated with each color as we pull up to the light.

While we do not directly respond to defined rules associated with color triggers in our non-driving experiences, our situational state can often define our behaviors and actions in a similar manner that traffic signals do. As I started to think about it, the same color codes could easily be applied to how we respond to certain events or trigger signals in our life.

  • Green: The anticipation of impending accomplishment or the start of a new and exciting venture — all systems GO!
  • Yellow: A loss of momentum created by adversity and doubt — caution, slow down.
  • Red: Failure, rejection, disappointment — regroup, stop, start over!

The reality is that much of what we desire to accomplish puts us on road filled with signal-esque emotional experiences.  There are moments where it seems as though we are flying along without hitting a single red light.  While there are others patches where every single step or turn features some obstacle acting in a manner that stops us or, at least slows us down.

Rather than empowering life’s “traffic conditions” to define our behaviors in terms of go, caution, stop, I developed this simple set of attitudinal mindsets to reinforce my commitment to a mindset of perpetual forward motion.  The pace of your go is defined by the conditions:

  • In a moment of accomplishment, celebration;
  • In the face of adversity, hope;
  • In a moment of failure; perseverance.

Nothing ever really stops us unless we stop ourselves.  While we may see what feels and looks like the red light of failure it is not a call to stop and start over, it is actually a challenge to find a way to keep moving even though our confidence and our spirit may be dampened at the time.  It the commitment to perpetual forward motion that enables us to reach the outcome we desire.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.