[10] The Journey

Choose the Outcome

by Taking Control

On the road away from Agnes Water, I become conscious about the transitioning landscape. The lush rainforest is no longer. The more south I get, the drier it becomes. Dry and dusty, the rainforest trees have morphed into eucalyptus trees. And there I drive, thinking about how to empower yourself by taking control over a situation and choosing the outcome.

The hills flatten along the road. The sugarcane and banana monoculture kilometres long fields become more varied, until I am even surprised to still see some sugarcane. Bundaberg Rum, right?

Alive on the Road

I feel like I’m shifting from Brazil to Scotland, to France. Different landscapes, different climates, different ways of living. We’re still in Queensland, though, because the commercials are still all cowboy style, such as the one that says “Tough times don’t last forever, tough people do.” It makes me smile; it is almost like a wink to myself. I know it contains some wisdom; however, it sounds harsh in these exact words.

I fill my longs with the unknown air and smell. I am alive.

I open the window, let the fresh wind flow, it gets cooler on the road. It smells different as well, different plants, different fermentation processes when they break down, different wind, different soil. I fill my longs with the unknown air and smell. I am alive.

The Good and the Bad

Then a slow car drives in front of me. I don’t mind initially. If I drive slower, I save fuel, if I drive faster, I save time. I calculated that if I would drive the entire trip at the current speed, I would lose 8 hours on the total journey. A small difference for a long journey, but 8 hours it are nonetheless.

When either option happens, I will be at peace with the given outcome.

I know in whichever situation I am; I will try to see the positive side of it. Especially of the situations which I cannot change. If I cannot control the outcome, I attach a pro and a contra to each outcome. As such, when either option happens, I will be at peace with the given outcome.

The car continues driving slowly, I slow down as well.

Self-Empowering

However, there are situations which we actually can control. In which we can take a decision on which outcome we will opt for. In this case, I know I have a choice. I can overtake the car and get back on the speed I wanted to, or I can choose to stay behind him.

I chose the outcome of the situation by taking back control.

I overtake him. I feel empowered. Not because of the increased speed, but because of the conscious decision I made, and the outcome I created.

While the slow car disappears in my back mirror, I see a long queue of cars behind him. They aren’t taking control over their situation yet. Often in life, we stay in line with a situation we might not be at peace with, but which is aligned with the behaviour of the group.

Or we aren’t fully aware of the fact that we can control the outcome of a certain situation; so we sit back and relax or stress, until we ask out loud: “what am I doing here; and why?” Which is the moment people seem to wake up, make a manoeuvre and get back on the track they wanted to be.

If I don’t like the situation, I will try to change it, if I can. I don’t like sitting back and watching what will happen if I have another option. Maybe for a while, to analyse my options at first, and to train my mind with being at peace with whatever outcome. However, after a while I get myself back on top of it, and make a move.

This time, I chose the outcome of the situation by taking back control.