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Traffic Patterns

When I was a child, my father would try to predict the traffic pattern of reckless drivers on the highway. His ability to read and direct situations was unprecedented, at the time, to me. This seemed like a superpower to me and my brother. Dad could tell when a car was going to merge, brake, exit, and speed up. Todd and I would often find ourselves staring at each other with such awe and amazement. What a talent dad had. All while driving his manual Honda Civic and holding a hot, uncovered mug of coffee.


In hindsight, all my father was doing was anticipating the future moves of the driver through past behavior; if he noticed somebody was weaving in and out of traffic, it was quite easy to envision the following move. This simply anecdote now applies to my personal life, daily.


I find myself sometimes anticipating the next move for other individuals: does Susan leave her job by the end of the month? Will Mike hit his PR back squat this week? I wonder how long Tim will be able to white-knuckle his steering wheel on his way home from work everyday?


You see, this anticipatory behavior that I have is along the lines of a tendency that most of us have. And, boy, when we're right, doesn't that make us feel somethin'?


"I knew it! I called that!"


Experts call this the gambler's thrill. The reinforcement, neurologically, that is provided when one "predicts the future" in an unpredictable world is something that is unparalleled by most. This action allows for some sort of feeling of control, in a life and world, that is largely uncontrollable.


All of this is a roundabout way to say that others have preconceived notions of who you are and who you are becoming. For those of you with a troubled past, there are folks out there anticipating your failure and downfall. For those of you with a hard ethic, there are folks that see your dominance of your industry.


For the former, I hope that you prove them wrong. For the latter, I hope that you prove them right.

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