I had one simple goal: make it across the US.  What struck me is that even the simplest goals can be muddied down by other goals.  Like driving as fast as humanly possible.  This is the story of two people with similar goals … and how one made it while the other did not.

In this episode, I talk about:

  • Driving in the desert
  • The lead foot from nowhere
  • Achieving (or not achieving) your goals.

Transcript:

Hey Everyone! Did you miss me? This is a path to 1 million episode, 183. I made it to Michigan and I think I slept probably collectively about 20 hours. What a drive! You know, it’s interesting. I’m, I’m was just leaving the LA area out in California and when you get out there and you’re on the 10 and you’re headed East, there is literally nothing for miles. Literally nothing for miles. There’s no billboards. There’s no power cables. There’s no, there’s nothere’s no cell towers. There’s nothing, there’s no exits, there’s no McDonald’s. There’s nothing like literally like it is the, and I know it sounds ironic when you talk about in terms of describing the desert, but it literally is glacial. Once you get out there, there’s like nothing and it’s great to absolutely clear your mind. There’s nothing going on out there. It’s just, it’s just, it’s just expansive and it’s almost like a, like a reprieve almost for your mind.

And I was sitting there and I was driving down the, I was driving on the freeway. And typically when I’m driving, I’m very aware of the fact that there are police officers out there who would love to give you a ticket for speeding, which I’m not one of those people. I set my cruise control usually within five miles an hour of the speed limit. No more. So you know, I’m, I’m going on a freeway. The speed limit was, you know, let’s say 70 miles an hour. My cruise control is set at 73, and as I’m going down the, the right lane on the, on this on this freeway, I’d come across this semi and this semi is going like maybe 65 or something. So anyways, I put them, I look at my rear view mirror. There’s nobody behind me. I put on my left blinker, merge over into that lane as and as I’m in that lane and I’m getting up beside of him, now all of a sudden it occurs to me that, you know, something’s different.

Something has changed and I glance up in my rear view mirror and all I see are two headlights and the grill of this giant four by four truck, right. Guy came out of nowhere, did not see him and he just barreled right up behind me. I mean he was literally like maybe within one or two feet from my bumper. And if I had to hit the brakes for any reason or another, this guy would’ve been sitting in my back seat. And I was like really annoyed, really irritated about it. But you know, there’s nothing I can do. Obviously he feels the need to speed. So at some point I make it past the truck and as I get past the truck, I moved merge back over and into the right hand lane and this four by four truck just blast right on by, you know, you could hear his engine screaming and stuff.

And as he goes by, one of the things that I noticed was something that just caught my eye was like the circular yellow sticker that was on the back of his cap. And you know, and I was thinking, I was driving down the road and I was thinking of different topics, just letting my mind wander and it started getting me thinking about the, about goals and about objectives that you set for yourself. And a lot of times it’s super easy to set a goal for yourself and then you start that goal with like kind of like what I will call side objectives. So for instance, my goal was to just make it across the U S as safely as possible, right? This other guy, his goal obviously was to get wherever he was going and do it as fast as possible. Right? It was just put his foot through the floor.

So it’s almost like you’ve got two competing goals there. One is actually to make it to your destination. The other one is to do it as quickly as possible and it’s whatever one that you give priority to that will set, you know, how you make it to your destination. And you know, for me, you know, I, I am not in that big of a rush. There’s no need for me to go 90 miles an hour down the freeway. After all. Like I said before, I want to make it to my destination safely. I don’t want to get in an accident. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of tickets and insurance and all these other things, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I’m cruising down on the freeway continuing, you know, let that guy go. At some point in time, probably maybe 15 or 20 minutes later as I’m going on the freeway, I noticed that there’s like four or five vehicles on the right hand side that are stopped.

And this is like very weird cause there’s nothing out here on the freeway, right? Four or five vehicles on the right hand side that are stopped. And my eyes click over to the left hand side of the road and there’s like four or five vehicles on that side of the road. So probably close to 10 vehicles that are stopped, glance over into the westbound lane. And sure enough, there are vehicles that are stopped there as well. And I’m thinking to myself, what’s going on? Right. So instinctually I hit the brake and I’m going at this time, I’m going to like maybe 70 miles an hour, somewhere around there. I hit the brake, I slowed down to about 45 not sure what’s going on. There’s no, there’s not any signs that say construction ahead, road closed ahead, left lane, closed ahead, nothing like that. I go upon, I come across these strikes also.

This one guy jumps out of this one truck and he starts waving at me, you know, and I don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t know what he’s signaling, but I then I slowed down even further. Right? So I go from like 45 down to 35 and then all of a sudden my tire start crunching, right. I can hear it in the car here, this crunching and I glance down at the road and there’s all of this glass, there’s like little bits and pieces of metal and everything else that are laying in the roadway. And I’m thinking to myself, you know, my God would happen. It must be an accident or something. And all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, I don’t know how I see it, but there is this black truck that is laying on the driver’s side in the median between the two lanes.

The front windshield is completely gone. The top of the cab is crunched in. I can’t see much more damage than that because I’m trying to navigate the road, making sure I’m not hitting anybody from these trucks or anything else that are out there. But that’s what I see. Like there’s like 10, there’s like 10 men surrounding the truck itself. A couple of them are leaning inside like they’re trying to help somebody or to get something or whatever. I’m not 100% sure, but I see them leaning, inciting and grabbing at things. And of course, obviously I’m thinking to myself, this was an accident. And as I just start to like move beyond this truck, of course, out of the corner of my eye, I catch this circular yellow sticker on the side of the on the backside of the cab. And of course, you know, I always say my prayer when I’m on the road and I’ve seen accidents and trust me living in LA, I’ve seen a lot of spectacular accidents that were just absolutely horrific.

But I say my prayer that I just hope that everybody is okay. But I do know that the driver of that black truck, if he had any passengers, hopefully there was none in there. But if he had any passengers, whatever it is, and his day just got screwed up, his trip just got screwed up. Probably having to go to the hospital and where we are, where are way out there in the sticks. I think I drove on a, and I kept mental note, but I kept driving forward on the freeway and went back up to 70 miles an hour. And I think it was like maybe another five, almost 10 minutes before I saw a police car in the in the westbound lane had been towards the scene of the accident. I mean, we were way out there and sticks. So anyways, it’s, it’s one of those reminders that it’s important to make sure that you, you know, like Jocko always says, first thing he says is Simplify.

Next is Prioritize. Next is to Execute. And I tried to keep my goal as simple as possible. Just make it across the US. It’s not a race. It’s not the Cannonball run. I don’t get extra points. If I show up a day early or an hour early, nobody is really going to care. What’s gonna matter is making it to my goal and achieving my goal versus muddied it down with all of these other side goals or anything else. Just because your goal might be a little bit boring, it doesn’t mean that you have to try to be a rock star and outdo yourself. Just achieve your goal and then move on to the next one. And with this case of driving down the road, just be safe. Always be safe. You know, being an LA, one of the things that I learned very quickly, have your head on a swivel at all times.

You know, I trust myself implicitly when I drive. I just don’t trust anybody else. So anyways, I do hope that they are okay. And yeah, just moving on from that accident and just kept right on rolling. But I hadn’t even made it out of California yet before I saw that major accident and it would not be the last accident that I would see cruising on the freeway. Anyways, just wanted to share that story with you and you know here I am in Michigan so it’s kinda like a, it’s like being back. It’ll take me a little bit of time to, you know, my brain is constantly thinking to myself, man, what am I going back to LA? But I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not, I’m here, I’m committed, I’m gone. So anyways, just wanted to share that with you and let you guys know that I had made it in safely.

I’m probably going to start rebroadcasting at about noon every day as opposed to 8:30 EST in the morning just because it’ll fit better with my schedule and allow me to get all my morning activities done and completed and then save for the last of my morning activities. And then whatever it is I need to get done in the afternoon. So just to give you a little, little heads up there and anyways, I hope you guys are doing well and I will see you again tomorrow with another story. Have a great afternoon. I’ll talk to you then. See ya.