Backseat Driving, Backseat Dreaming

How hopeless is backseat driving?

The backseat driver is frustrated and the actual driver inevitably becomes annoyed. Now that I’m using subways and buses, it’s become an easier question to face. Bad idea, that backseat driving I used to do, definitely.

Facing the backseat mentality that seeps into the way I speak, the way I react to the news, and even the way I structure my actions in the 24 hours in my own day, is quite another matter. I always say, “everyone has the same 24 hours in a day”. But do we? It’s my least popular one-liner at home for a reason. I think having “time” may be a question of power, as opposed to powerlessness. A person owns their time, or doesn’t.

Time is surely relative, and the whole time experience is very different for the powerful than it is for the powerless. Arranging things so that more of the time passes while focused on possible things, things that are true to the self and not just observations of others, helps for me.

Sharing some thoughts about knowing oneself and taking back personal power:

You can’t liberate your own country if you’re off liberating some one else’s.

You can’t pay off your debt if you’re paying off someone else’s.

You can’t run your race if you’re running someone else’s.

You can’t tell your story if you’re telling someone else’s.

You can’t hear your inner voice if you’re listening to someone else’s.

And you can’t follow your dream if you’re following someone else’s.

Please add a comment to join the discussion, I look forward to sharing your views on backseat dreaming.

14 thoughts on “Backseat Driving, Backseat Dreaming

  1. I like the last one – have heard it said before – but a reminder is always good! “And you can’t follow your dream if you’re following someone else’s.”

    1. Thanks for the note Delhiboy, finding out which dreams are one’s own and which someone else’s can be tricky too I think. Sometimes I’m a student of an idea for a while, then realize it’s not true to my inner workings and have to let go of it.

  2. I miss:

    “You can’t think your own thoughts if you’re thinking thoughts of others” or something like that.

    Of course we need inspiration and the influence of poetry, literature, philosophy and so on. But I think it’s important not to become an epigone.

  3. Well written words on a relatively abstract idea that time is not the same for everyone.
    I definitely think a healthy mind can help a healthy body and to have that, we all need to take control of our lives and dreams. From my experience as an acupuncturist, I see people with a positive, proactive outlook on life and everything appears so much easier for them. Contrast that with others who are stressed about their careers or relationships and it takes them a little longer to get back into the driving seat even when they know what decisions they need to make.

    1. Ka Hang, thank you for making this relate to health. It’s such a great point that a healthy mind helps keep the body healthy and even to heal disease. I think it was editor Norman Cousins who started using humor and laughter therapy to help him keep going when he found out he had a debilitating chronic disease. Thank you for sharing your point of view as a healthcare worker.

  4. I enjoy reading your “inner thoughts” and bits of wisdom. I think one of the things I took away from this post is that it is easier to shadow others than to stand on your own two feet and take ownership of yourself — your own thoughts, your own beliefs, your own actions. I believe it takes a brave soul to do that.

    1. Yes, it takes time and reflection to even see the difference between the external influences and the inner thoughts sometimes. Thank you for sharing your impressions and insights here.


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