Where Do You Set Your Cruise Control?

When I’m going to Edmonton, I turn onto Highway #16 and set my cruise control at 110 km/hr– that’s the speed I intend to travel.  OK, I’m a bit weird – I obey the speed limit.  I get an hour-long drive, without thinking about my speed.  I can focus on the wildlife in the ditch, other traffic, and enjoy the incredible scenery. We live in awe-full country (means full of awe, rather than awful).

Cars with cruise control are so smart – they know exactly what to do.  When we begin to climb, it knows to inject more gasoline into the cylinders to maintain the speed. When we’re going downhill, the engine cuts back and we coast, still maintaining the pre-set speed. Sometimes the engine works harder, sometimes it coasts, and most of the time, it just sets an even, easy, happy pace and floats along. Incredible technology.

What about my cruise control of life? Or, what about your cruise control of life? Interesting metaphor, isn’t it?

When I wake up each morning, I have the technology to set my happiness cruise control.  I get to set my happiness level at whatever I intend it to be – for the whole day! On a scale of one to ten, I get to choose.

I can set my happiness cruise control at one.  Then I know it’s going to be a miserable day.  And my engine (my mind) knows exactly what to do. I’ll snap at people, see the worst in others, whine, complain, yell, fight, and swear.   At the end of the day, I’ll be exhausted, pissed off, and it’s going to be a rotten night.  It’s a choice I get to make.

Or, I can set my happiness cruise control at ten.  Then I know it’s going to be a fantastic, amazing, almost magical day.  My engine (my mind) knows exactly what to do. The weather will be great, regardless of sun, rain, or snow. I’ll smile continually, laugh out loud, see the beauty in others, and mention it to them.  I’ll appreciate what I have, and my abilities and talents.  I’ll see and appreciate the amazing talents, abilities and skills others offer, and I’ll show my appreciation to them in ways they like.  I’ll speak kindly, ask engaging questions, and really listen to understand. I’ll give my best to tasks and receive great satisfaction for my accomplishments. I’ll feel fulfilled and joyous, and I’ll give and receive an abundance of love.  And at the end of the day, I’ll reflect on the wonder and amazement of life.  I know I’ll have a restful sleep.  It’s a choice I get to make.

Or I can set my happiness cruise control anywhere else between one and ten, and I know what my day will be like.  It’s a choice I get to make.

I know this is true because I’ve tested it.

But, some people get this screw-ball idea that others can make the choice for them – that others can say or do things that will set their cruise control.  Or they get this screw-ball idea that because of the conditions yesterday or last week, the cruise control today will be set the same (good or bad). Or they get this screw-ball idea that the cruise control is stuck and it can’t be changed.  Screwy, isn’t it?

The fact is, regardless of the situation or conditions, you and I get to choose where we set that cruise control for ourselves every day.

Oh, I know from experience that occasionally I might come across a pothole or obstacle and forget where I set the cruise control.  The challenge for me is to remember that I can push the reset and I’ll be back on track again. Or I can choose to stay stuck in the pothole if I want – but that doesn’t make much sense, does it?

I’m curious to know where you normally set your cruise control and more importantly, where you are going to set it now, and first thing tomorrow.

I don’t know if this will work for you, but here’s what I do.  And my challenge for you, should you choose to accept it, is to consciously test this for yourself.  There is mind-science behind this technique, it takes practice, and it works.

– When I awake (either on my own or with an alarm), I notice with amazement that my heart and lungs are working, and the feelings and sensations in my body.

– With eyes closed, I look up inside my head and imagine a great big blue dial with numbers from one to ten around the outside edges.  Right in the middle of the dial is a red reset button. I invite you to choose your own favourite colours.

– I imagine myself reaching out and turning that dial to exactly where I want it for the day.  I imagine a zipping sound as I turn the dial. I invite you to choose your own inspiring sound.

– Anytime something happens that may affect my setting, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, look up and push the red reset button. I imagine, and sometimes say, “boink” when I do this.

When I first started doing this, a five or six was all I felt I could handle.  But as I’ve continued to practice, I find I always set it at ten now. And my days always turn out to be exactly where I set the dial because it’s my choice.

If this works for me, I know it can work for you.

I’m curious to know, where are you going to set your cruise control from now on?