I used to have a rule that I would not live in a place that required me to have a car. Part of that was because I was into living in big cities and part of that was because I was a fan of public transportation. And part of that was because I didn’t particularly like driving that much.
So until a couple of years ago, the closest I had ever come to owning a car was when my parents loaned me one to use during my last year of high school. It was a diesel with a speedometer that reached a maximum of 80 miles per hour (mph). I was somewhat responsible as a teenager, so I never floored it to the max. 80 mph seemed so fast to me at 17 and 18 years old, and it continued to do so into my 20s and 30s. I had an intellectual justification for it, too— going 80 mph was unnecessarily showy. Truth be told, though, I just felt a real visceral discomfort being about going that fast.
Let me tell you a funny thing, then, about creating a cross-country road trip itinerary based on Google Maps. Google Maps apparently factors in speed limits when calculating travel times to and from various places.
That hadn’t occurred to me.
And I had forgotten about the head-shaking articles that I read 15 or 20 years ago about how some Western states had drastically raised their speed limits above 65 mph.
So, when I had to get to Livingston, Montana from Central Eastern Washington one day, and then from Livingston to Bismarck, North Dakota the following day, those trips seemed manageable, since Google Maps estimated that they would each take about 8 hours or so to drive. I didn’t really wonder how I’d be able to drive about 530 miles in 8 hours while crossing the Rockies, for example, until I crossed the Montana border and saw that the speed limit was a jaw-dropping 75 mph.
Since I had a Monday deadline to keep (see my recent post) and I was getting passed up going 70 in the slow lane by just about every other car on the road, I decided to stretch my comfort zone and flirt with 80 mph. What I realized pretty soon thereafter was that 80 mph was really not that big of a deal, and the more I did it, the more comfortable I felt with it. And while it’s not like I actually went 90 or 100 mph the next day, for the first time in my life, I could imagine doing so.
That reminded me of something I ask my coaching clients when they reach their big goals: how do you kick it up to the next level?
What really hit home for me on that trip was the following: when we stretch ourselves and normalize, in our own minds, performing at the high level that we truly want to attain, not only is there a good chance that we will attain it, but also that we will be faced with the reality that it won’t just end there.
Instead, we will be left with the questions of ‘What do we do from here?’ and ‘How do we kick it up to the next level?’
So, whether you’ve recently achieved something you’ve been wanting to achieve for a long time— or whether you’re still on your way to doing so— ask yourself those questions, and ask yourself the following question as well: ‘What do I want Me, Version 2.0 to look like?’
Spend some time reflecting on these questions and formulating your answers.
I would venture to guess that what you come up with will leave you feeling more excited, more challenged, and more reinvigorated for what lies ahead.