Has your mind ever wandered while you were driving down the highway? Have you ever been so lost in thought that you drove right past your exit ramp? When I ask people in safety workshops to raise their hand if they ever zoomed past a highway exit because they weren’t paying attention, I typically see 100% of the people raise their hand (and the people who don’t raise their hand were probably not paying attention to the question!)
Do you realize that in this kind of situation, your mind is an obstacle to optimum performance and safety? We sometimes get so distracted by our thoughts that we miss our cue to exit even when the exit signs and lane markers are in place. The external-world distractions cannot be blamed for that kind of mistake; rather, it’s the internal-world that is the primary cause of this safety problem. Our minds get led away from paying attention to what is happening here-and-now and put us at-risk for neglecting important signals for action.