I drove to Richmond for a routine doctor’s appointment this past Monday. The clock told me it was not rush hour, but the traffic on the six-lane freeway told me otherwise. I was in the middle lane, going slightly over the posted speed limit (which in Virginia is the de facto speed limit). I was not obstructing traffic by going too slowly, nor was I driving like one of those speed demons who constantly dart and weave from one lane to the other, trying to win a race in which they are the only contestant. But cars in both the left- and right-hand lanes continued to pass me by, their drivers rushing on to their own appointments, lunch dates, and jobs.
Ten years ago, I would have been bothered somewhat by this. I would have felt the urge to speed up a little, to match the rhythm of the traffic around me. Or I would have felt I needed to move to the far right-hand lane, to make way for the drivers I was inconveniencing by following the law in the middle lane.
But today, I keep my steady pace, in my chosen lane, comfortable with my choice; able to allow that others can also choose—while recognizing that I need not be swayed by their choices.
Like so many little things in life, this reminded me of a bigger thing. So if you’re headed in the right direction, and you’re going the right speed, don’t let what others do influence you. Don’t be lured into entering their races, or changing lanes to accommodate their wishes. Stay in your lane, and you’ll end up where you want to be.