How to Stop Getting Knocked Off Course and Start Taking Control of Our Lives

By Jen Regan | Overcoming Obstacles

Sep 23

Bumper cars are one of those rides that I loved when I was young. There is nothing better than flooring the pedal and ramming into something or someone. It is less fun when our day turns into a game of bumper cars and we are the one being rammed. But that is life sometimes, isn’t it? We wake up to a fresh new day, with fresh possibilities and suddenly feel run over. How can we keep moving in the right direction and take back control of our day?


I was pooped on this morning. Literally pooped on! If you are a parent, you have been in my shoes. I am a parent to an eleven year old Shih Tzu who has decided to become a nervous pooper in her old age. We now have a ritual on the way to the groomer each month. She pops out a little turd before we even leave our subdivision. Yes, I have tried to get her to “take care of business” before we leave the house, but she is a stubborn pooper too. Nope, she is going to wait until she is in the car. Once the realization hits that she is headed to the groomer…Pop! There it is! On top of that this morning, she decided to take it one step farther. She not only stepped on it, she proceeded to mash it into my pants before I could stop the car and allow her to finish her business. This is a silly example, but this was only one of many things that hit me this morning before 8 a.m. I felt like I was in a bumper car looking around to see what was going to hit me next.

There are a lot of “things” that can knock us off course in our day-to-day lives. Here are some things to focus on to help us stay on course.

  1. We must know what we want. What do you want your life to look like? What areas do you want to spend your time and attention? What is most important to you? It is essential to have a firm direction decided on in life, a firm picture of what you want. It is that picture you keep in your mind every day, and move towards no matter what hits. Envision a bumper car race to the opposite end of the rink. What do we do? We deal with those trying to bump us off course, but we ultimately keep our eyes focused on the finish line. It is important for us to do the same in life.
  2. Don’t give life’s detours and distraction much attention. Yes, we have to deal with what comes our way, but they only get bigger and bigger in our minds the more we focus on them. They can become less significant if we “acknowledge and move on.” Do what you need to do to deal with the issues that come your way, but then focus back on the good, important, positive things in life.
  3. Ask yourself “what is within my control to change?” If we come down with the flu bug, we have to allow it to run its course. We cannot tell the flu bug to go away. But when you are dealing with back pain, for example, there are usually things you can do like stretching, exercise, or physical therapy, to take control and get better. Many times we default to “there’s nothing I can do” when in reality, there is some way we can take control, make a change, and get back on track.
  4. Find something to learn. Focusing on constantly learning is a great way to live life. When we have this focus we see life as one big experiment. Sometimes things work great, sometimes they do not. But we end each “experiment” with two questions “What did I learn?” and “How can I apply that to move forward in the direction I want?” I also find a great way to keep my mind focused on good stuff is to read or listen to recording while I am being hit by life’s “stuff”. It keeps me focused on the good and not on potential negative things.
  5. Just GO! Sometimes we can feel beat up. It is during those times that we sit slumped over in our chairs and don’t feel like doing anything. I have been there! But let’s try not to stay there for too long. Sometimes we have to muster up that last bit of energy, put the pedal to the floor and GO! Get up and go.

Are you ready to take control of your life’s game of bumper cars? We can do it! Let’s stay focused on good stuff, be life learners, chart a course and keep going! We’ve got this!

Here’s to putting the pedal to the metal and living strong, amazing lives!


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