The important life lesson I learned as a young driver in Vermont.
I grew up in Vermont. Which is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The rolling Green Mountains of Vermont are heavenly. It’s where snow, maple syrup, and Ben & Jerry’s were born. I am always homesick for Vermont in the fall when the leaves perform their grand finale and the landscape explodes with color. It’s why leaf peepers flock to Vermont every fall. What? You’ve never heard of leaf peepers? Ask Larry, Darrell, and Darrell.
Vermont is still my favorite place to drive. You are greeted by one amazing view after another. You find yourself wowing a lot. At the bigness, the smallness, the coziness, the quaintness. Vermont is a very simple place that remains largely undeveloped and unpolluted by man-made sights and sounds. Which is why it is recognized as the least polluted state in America. (To be fair, there aren’t a lot of people there to do the polluting.)
When I turned 16 and started driving the quiet, winding country roads of Vermont, I was amazed by the beautiful and everchanging views through the windshield. However, I also discovered something surprising that I never noticed as a passenger.
The best views were often seen in the rearview mirror.
After I discovered this visual secret I found myself frequently checking the rearview in my old Ford Escort, my Mom’s VW Jetta, or my Dad’s Saab 900. I found that the rearview magic could be found in every make and model of car I tested.
Over the past few decades, I have learned that life is like Vermont. Both are full of beauty. And if you are doing life right, there is more beauty behind you every day. So don’t forget to reflect. On your life. On your career. On your successes. And on your growth. Because no matter what’s in front of you, you can always find an inspiring view behind you.
Check your personal rearview mirror regularly. Your memories, experiences, and successes of the past are beautiful things. They are reminders of life fully realized. Your personal rearview mirror will show you how wonderful life can be. It will remind you how great you can feel. It will teach you how much you can accomplish. It will reveal the positive impact others have had on you. And it will remind you of the positive influence you can have on others.
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