I took this photo in Naples, Florida in 2015 – under the fishing pier.
I didn’t actually “read” this book – the Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein; instead I listened to it as an audiobook.
I honestly thought the plot (essentially about this man’s life from the vantage point of his dog) was a little wonky, but I had known people who raved about the book, so I went for it. And, in spite of myself, I really enjoyed it.
As soon as I heard those words spoken during the audiobook, I knew they’d stick with me. I shorthand them these days to “where your eyes go, the car goes.”
I think about these words often, now, and share them with clients and colleagues.
I don’t think they are simple, or simplistic. I don’t believe that observing their meaning is solely about some twisted form of manifesting destiny, either – if it is, in fact, possible to manifest one’s destiny.
I do believe, however, that they speak to framing. Framing a challenge, framing an issue, framing how we choose to see, perceive or address something.
Frankly, I think a strict interpretation of these words in either direction is unwise. If Interpretation A = eyes toward the ditch means we go into the ditch, and Interpretation B = eyes on the centre line keeps us on the straight & narrow…I choose Interpretation C+.
In my humble opinion, Interpretation C+ equals some variety of these actions: give your head a shake, have a look around, survey the landscape, observe the oncoming traffic, be aware of the road hazards and think before you act.
Don’t stay blindered toward the status quo believing it’s the only route forward. And don’t cock your head toward the ditch, throw your hands up and proclaim that the arse is out of ‘er.
In a sense, then, these words can become a talisman against extremes in either direction – over-confidence, or defeatism. Proclaiming victory, or admitting defeat.
And we haven’t even added the factor of weather to the equation.