Have you ever been on a bus journey during which your whole life flashed by you?
I don’t mean a near-death experience where supposedly one’s life flashes past in less than a second. I am more interested in how we can all have a near-life experience:-)
What I mean is how going on a bus journey can be like experiencing life fully – you get to see the kaleidoscope of life in all its many hues.
How can you catch a bus to juice up your life?
I have just been on a bus journey from my home to some offices in Central London.
Nothing unusual about that but my journey today took 50 mins whereas normally it takes 10 mins. Christmas shoppers have a lot to answer for!
However, always look for the silver lining to any perceived cloud. On my long bus ride today, I used the time to reflect how riding a bus gives us so many lessons about life and how you see it.
How you behave during a bus journey reflects how you see your life and how you approach it.
1. Catch the right bus for your life
When you go on a bus journey, often you have many choices but the key is to know where you want to go. You usually take the bus that is going in the general direction of where you wish to go.
In the same way, do you know where you are going in your life? Or have you get on the wrong bus?
Ultimately you have to do the best you can – and when you are on the right journey for you, your life will flow and remember that on the extra mile, there is no traffic jam!
2. What do you stand for in your life?
Once you are on a bus, you usually get to choose to either sit or stand, and also where.
In the same way, do you know what you stand for in your life? What are your values and what will you never compromise on in your life?
What challenges and issues will you be happy to take on and which ones will you let go?
And rather than fudging on a key issue of importance to the world, are you willing to get up and take a stand?
3. Plan the quickest route
You clearly don’t want to catch a bus going in the opposite direction. So you choose the bus that will take you the quickest, most direct route to your destination. Of course you will have to do some walking when you get there.
In the same way, have a good idea where you want to get to in your life – and plan your journey accordingly.
You may not be able to get there the most direct route but be willing and able to take detours and even shortcuts.
4. Chill out
Once you are on the bus, you have no control on how quickly it will take you to your chosen destination. Trust your bus driver to get you there in the quickest time possible safely.
Traffic jams are sometimes inevitable like I experienced today. All you can do is to chill out and enjoy the scenery, read, write or heaven behold, even talk to the other passengers.
The key here is to accept that once you are on your bus journey, your destination is set and there is nothing the driver can do about traffic jams.
Today on my journey quite a few passengers got worked up about the delays and were venting their frustration at the driver.
In the same way in your life, chill out – accept that there are some things you just cannot control or do anything about!
5. People are people
The idea of talking to fellow passengers on a London bus may seem preposterous but I do it all the time! And I am always amazed how warmly people respond.
Once you are on a bus journey, you are in the company of all sorts of people. Here in London, I get to meet and mingle with people from all around the world.
People are just people – look for the goodness within.
People are very important to me and I have met some amazing human beings on my bus journeys and of course in my life.
As you go through your life, do make some time to connect with other people – it will make your journey so much richer.
“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power but in character and goodness. People are just people and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with basic goodness” – Anne Frank
6. Stop and Start
Once on a bus journey, the bus will make frequent starts and stops at regular intervals.
These stops are all planned out and sometimes the bus may not even stop if no passengers wish to get on or off.
As a passenger, you have no say in which way the bus goes or how fast. The only say you have is when you get on and where you get off.
Our lives too seem to have frequent starts and stops. Sometimes your life flows and other times you feel blocked. Just learn to be aware of where you are at –you can reflect further on the next part of your journey.
Sometimes you might feel like you have been waiting for a long time for things to happen and at others times, things will fall into place rapidly fast and like magic.
7. Learn from your mistakes
Sometimes on a bus might just might get off the bus too early or miss your stop entirely. You then have some choices – either walk a bit extra, catch another bus, take a taxi or most excitingly, just change your destination!
In life too, learn from your mistakes and take corrective action. Do what you need to do to get back on track, change direction or even go on a completely new and different life adventure!
8. Enjoy the Journey
Bus journeys can be very exciting if you choose to see them like that. Putting aside any delays, heavy traffic and crowded buses, it can be fun to be on the top deck of a double decker bus and see life go past.
In London especially, there are some great historic sites to admire and in the shopping areas some amazing shop fronts to gawk at. Of course you also get to meet some wonderful people.
In the same way, enjoy your life journey. There is so much richness and abundance all around you – just make some time to smell the roses and enjoy the ride for what it is worth.
Though I have written this article mainly from the perspective of being on a London bus, in other parts of the world, bus journeys can be like going on a party on wheels. So make the most of them – take a bus just to party!
Time to juice up your life
During your lifetime, you can go on many bus rides
But remember that you only have one life journey.And unlike when travelling on a bus, you are the driver of your life.
So isn’t it about time you juiced up your life?!
Images with thanks from Elsie
Hi Arvind! I loved the metaphor of a bus ride for life.
I think metaphors can help us on our journey, and personally, I’ve always used a sail boat for the journey when I think about it, but I have a good friend who actually uses a bus! In the metaphors, we’re the drivers… passengers, stops, and destinations are our choices… but this is super, and so creative! Thanks for sharing it! 🙂
Miche, glad you liked the metaphors I used.
We are indeed the drivers of our own bus – if only we just get on it!
Forget about waiting for your ship to come in, just get on your bus!
I love double decker buses and I love the way you used bus as an example in a journey of life. Sometimes, catching a wrong bus works out for some and while others may carefully plan out their life journey.
Zengirl, you have given me a great idea for a fun day soon – I will simply get on the next bus that comes along and see where it takes me.
Just imaging what adventures we could have in life if did the same thing – just go with the flow and see where we end up!
All great points Arvind,
and not having a car, I’ve been on a bus several times. The only point I could add is learn to enjoy everything while on the bus, the people, the man-made views, the natural views, its all beautiful, and this is the world which we live in.
Thanks Justin – quite often I now choose to take the bus rather than driving.
Makes sense to take the bus in some many ways really – and best of all as you say is the scenary and opportunity to mingle with some real characters.
🙂 Let me know how it turns out. It will be fun anyways. Sometimes journey is important than the destination itself.
Yes, Zengirl – watch this space!
I might wait till January though as at hte moment all the London runs are just choked up with traffic due to the Christmas rush.