The basic premise is that humans are creatures of habit. That said, we as truckers depend on our good habits that have been developed to keep us safe and able to earn a good living. Those habits are what I want to focus on. Yes, the pretrip inspection, regularly checking mirrors, keeping current and correct logs, checking our load, etc. are all parts of our everyday routine or habit. The habits that I want us to examine are the ones that define us personally. How many of us have complained about some aspect of the industry? These are the habits that I want to focus on.
If we complain about things that are not right, this too can become part of our habits. More often then not we only complain to each other (which has no effect in changing the wrong. Another bad habit.). We are participants in an industry but we are inactive in deciding its direction. It is my opinion that we should complain to someone that can help change things. Otherwise, we should just settle for the status quo and stop complaining. Most drivers have an opinion about almost every aspect of our business. The problem is that we do very little to actually make it different. That is what I want to help with. Moving from Inactive to Proactive.
As I said earlier, we are creatures of habit. We have to change our habits to really make things better. I suggest that you start with small changes. Each week, or even each month, choose something that you want to change. It does’t have to be related to trucking. It could be something personal. Self discipline goes hand in hand with becoming proactive. Make that one small change and stick with it. Keep doing that every day. Soon, you won’t even think about it any more because it became a habit. Now you are ready to choose another aspect to change. Repeat this process over and over. In a short amount of time, you will start to notice that you are becoming more of the person that you want to be and less of the person you were.
A habit is developed by doing the same thing over and over. Most of the time we develop these habits unconsciously. To move from inactive to proactive you have to think about the things you want to change and start doing them regularly. It does require a measure of self discipline to accomplish your goals. You have to stick with the change until it becomes habit.
Smoking, or quitting smoking was one of the hardest things for me personally to change. I could find no redeeming quality to smoking. I knew it was bad for me. Knowing in my mind that it was not the thing that I needed to be doing yet was the thing that my mind kept telling me to do was quite the conundrum. I had many personal arguments with myself on the matter. Finally, I had to support what I knew to be the right thing to do. I stopped smoking. I probably will forever be a smoker, I simply choose not to do it. I miss it sometimes but I am proud that I changed something in my life for the better and I don’t choose to go back.
Improvements in your life are accomplished the same way. Choose the things you don’t really like about yourself and start a plan to be who you want to be. One day at a time! Fight the battles of today, not the battles of a lifetime. You will find that practicing these simple measures (with self discipline), in a short you will start noticing the change in yourself. You will start to move yourself from inactive to proactive! Best of luck to you! Give it a whirl! Pick one thing and start your own self improvement process.