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Your License Is Suspended

By Patrick Mathieu

As I drove down the highway the other day, I couldn't believe that I was sharing the road with such terrible drivers. The traffic was moving along at about 120 kph (75 mph) and here are some of the things I saw...

  • Talking on cell phones (without headsets!)
  • Eating (and not just nibbling - I mean hamburgers)
  • Very aggressive driving (like they were trying to protect their pole position in an F1 race)
  • Heated arguments with someone in the passenger seat
  • Putting on lipstick by looking in the rearview mirror.
  • ALL AT 75 MPH!

It was crazy! I kept asking myself: "What are they thinking? Do they think they're invincible? Or maybe they have a death-wish? What is it that would make someone drive like that?" Later I realized that those drivers have simply lost their respect for how powerful and dangerous automobiles can be.

Remember when you were first learning to drive? You would finally get the car back safely into the driveway and then realize you'd been holding your breath the entire time and your hands were welded to the steering wheel in the "10 and 2" position. Driving was new to you and you realized that those keys bring a great deal of responsibility.

But something happened, didn't it? Maybe it was the 100th time that you put the car back safely into the driveway, maybe the 200th time, but somewhere along the way, you started taking it for granted that you were a "good driver" and little by little, your respect for the road and the machine began to erode. Nothing bad was going to happen to you.

If you're lucky, the wake-up call for you will come in the form of having your driver's license suspended, or some other "warning." If you're not lucky, the consequences could be much more dire.

But that problem isn't just limited to our experience with the automobile, is it? When we are first born we are given the "keys" to this fantastic body of ours. If you've ever watched a baby take its first steps, you will know that the look on the child's face is even more intense than their expression when they back Dad's car out of the driveway for the first time.

When we are young we have a tremendous amount of respect for life and we live every second of it. We live life one cheerio at a time. But something happens, doesn't it? Maybe it was the 2,000th time you woke up, maybe the 5,000th time, but somewhere along the way, you started taking it for granted that you were going to always wake up and little by little, your respect for the privilege of being alive began to erode. Nothing bad was going to happen to you.

Well, I'm here today to tell you that I'm hereby suspending your license to live! That's right! I'll give it back to you if you promise (not to me - to yourself!) that you will work to recapture that same awe and wonder for each new morning and you will go to bed each night filled with gratitude.

No need to thank me - just doin' my job!

Patrick Mathieu is a life coach for personal development. He's an award-winning motivational keynote speaker who developed 'The Power of Mortality' to help people live lives that are fearless, focused and free from regrets. His book, "What's Your Expiry Date? Embrace Your Mortality - Live With Vitality" has received widespread acclaim and he has been featured on Oprah & Friends Radio. His website is:

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