Stay In Your Lane!

A friend of mine was working the Sixth Step and her sponsor told her to abide by the speed limit and to stay in her lane.

I think that’s awesome advice. I would modify it to say abide by the speed limit as it is practiced. It’s unheard of to get speeding tickets for driving 43mph in a 35 mph zone. So I would say stay within ten miles per hour of the speed limit (unless you’re driving a free way where most of the traffic is going along at 15-20 mph above the speed limit, then by all means keep up with the traffic). Not weaving in and out of lanes also seems like great advice. I sent that a lot of auto accidents occur when drivers change lanes.

“Stay in your lane” is great advice for life in general, not just in traffic. I’ve gotten in trouble repeatedly over the course of my life by not staying in my lane through stupid choices such as announcing my opinion when it wasn’t sought, by doing work that my bosses didn’t want me to do while avoiding work they wanted me to do, by not knowing my place in a social interaction, by not appropriately reading cues and reacting within my lane.

* One of the guiding principles of the 12 Steps is that we relax and take it easy. So if you leave in plenty of time for your next appointment, you can relax and take it easy as you stay in your lane and obey the law.

* I’ve been taking self-defense training and I find it great for my self-esteem. I walk with more pep in my step knowing my ability to protect myself and to harm those who would harm me.

About 30 years ago, I asked someone in my family about taking a self-defense course and he said it was a waste of time. He’d rather stay out of situations that would require self-defense. But just like taking CPR training better equips you for life, self-defense training makes you more capable and responsible even if you never get in a fight. I think you’re less likely to cuck if you train.

Staying in shape and getting plenty of exercise also helps my self-esteem. Combine that with eating right (not too many carbs) and getting enough sleep and I feel good most of the time.

* The more you track something, the more you have of it (time, money, health goals). Tracking my spending, tracking my earning, tracking my times have been key to my recovery from under-achieving.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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