Ever since I got my driver’s license as a 16-year old, I’ve been what my wife my refer to as an “aggressive driver.”
I believe this started as a young boy riding in the car with my father. Driving was serious business to him and I seem to have copied his driving behavior. Our annual summer trip to Tennessee to see my grandparents was his most important mission in life. He had a fuzz buster (radar detector) plugged in all the time. On top of this, he had a high-level CB radio in the car and would talk to truckers headed the opposite direction trying to figure out where all the speed traps were. His mission was to get to Tennessee as quickly as possible without getting a speeding ticket.
Once we backed out of the driveway, you didn’t dare ask him to make an unplanned stop to use the bathroom. This was a big no-no. It was game on from driveway-to-driveway. I pitied the poor fool who was driving slowly in the fast-lane. I think I also learned all my swear words during these 8-hour summer drives, too. 🙂
Thankfully, I’m not as aggressive a driver as he is, but I still model a lot of his behavior. For some reason, I feel as if I need to get wherever I’m going as quickly as possible. If I were driving to my own funeral, I’d probably be 10 miles-an-hour over the speed limit. LOL
Plus, I absolutely hate it when someone is driving slowly in the fast lane. I always end passing them on the right, which is frowned upon. Long drives tend to be very stressful for me requiring a stiff drink when we get to our final destination. (This might also be because I travel with three women, too)!
As I’ve matured, I’m working hard to undue this aggressive driving. I’m trying to slow-the-hell down. I’m trying to learn how to enjoy the ride. Why not make the trip enjoyable?
The reason why I’m trying to change my driving behavior is because I finally realized that aggressive driving isn’t worth the risk. In many cases, I only shave a few minutes off of the trip. I end up stressing myself (and my wife) out just to save a few minutes. Plus, I also put my family’s safety at risk when I drive aggressively.
It’s fairly easy to see I’m making a horrible trade. I’m trading an enjoyable stress-free safe drive for 15-minutes of extra time.
You know what else I realized when thinking about this?
I used to do the same thing with my investments. I was greedy and wanted to make as much money as I could, as quickly as possible. I took unnecessary risk trying to get rich quick and ended up teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. I owed well over $3 million and was massively over-leveraged when the market crashed.
I walked away from this financial crash as new person. I learned my lesson about financial risk and reward. I’m now a different person who will not take any unnecessary financial risk. My plan now is very conservative and I’ll never be anywhere close to the bankruptcy court, unless I’m driving by (very slowly)!
You see, I’ve finally learned that the slow and steady compounding of monthly cashflow always wins the race. You can learn more about my approach to investing, business and money management as a Cashflownaire Member here:
P.S. I’ve been very lucky with my driving and have not been in a serious accident. I’m trying to learn the lesson of aggressive driving without winding up fighting for my life in the hospital. I’m trying to apply the lessons learned from the financial crash to other risks I’ve been taking. And with this post, I’m actually trying to help you too.
P.P.S. My aggressive driving has actually ended up costing me a lot more over the last few years. My wife and kids have banned together and voted to fly whenever we head south. 🙁
P.P.P.S “10-4” is what my father would say when talking on his CB radio. It basically means “understood.”