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Road Signs And Meanings: What If They Applied To Real Life Events?

Road Signs

Road signs are a great way to alert drivers to upcoming obstacles and changes to roadways. Signs can communicate to you that:

  • You are on a dead-end street
  • You should slow down as there is construction ahead
  • You should get into the left lane as the right lane will end soon

Road signs could be a help outside of your vehicle too. You drive your own life as well as driving your car from Point A to Point B. If there were signs to indicate major life events, obstacles, and which decisions were best for you, life could just get a little bit easier for you. Or could it?

A speed hump: there are emotional ones too.

A speed hump: there are emotional ones too.

The Hurdles

Many roads have speed humps that are designed to force drivers to slow down. Speed humps are placed on many residential streets, parking lots, and school areas. There may be people walking and a child playing in the area, so slowing down your car is an important safety measure.

What about speed humps that exist in real life? You have the highs or great moments when you celebrate a graduation, a birthday, or a raise at work. There are lows as well. There is the lay-off from your job, the realization that your dog will have to be put down, and the day you have to go on welfare. Every life has its ups and its down. The hurdles can also be called emotional speed humps.

Imagine if you could see the bright yellow speed humps road sign just before your employer calls you in to his or her office to a have a "talk" or discussion about the end of your position. The sign would notify you that a life-changing event is going to occur; you would have time to prepare for what is to come. Perhaps you have time to write a report before the appointment with you supervisor.

Imagine: the report knocks your employer's socks off, that's how good it is! Your boss nods, gives you a firm handshake, and says, "You're a valuable asset to this team." Your job is safe! You had warning to prepare for the low point ahead and avoid it. You cleared the speed hump safely, thanks to the warning provided by the sign.

Caution signs are not always read in real life.

Caution signs are not always read in real life.

Caution Signs

As you drive past a bright orange sign that begins with the word "Caution", you likely read the rest of the message as you slow down on the roadway. You respond appropriately, depending on the rest of the words on the sign. You might turn around, slow down and continue, or change lanes to avoid the drilling happening on the road ahead of you. You use common sense when you follow the guidelines of the sign.

Do you have the same common sense in your real life? Some people turn a blind eye to negative situations. They choose to turn away from scenes or signs that they do not want to see. For example, a person walks past the homeless man who just asked him or her for spare change and ignores him. There is no acknowledgement of the man. If the same man was a road sign, his words might read "Caution: There is a discrepancy between the rich and poor people in your country".

People who ignore warning signs in their real lives often apply the strategy that it is easier to look away than to deal with the problems directly. If the problems are ignored long enough or enough times, they will magically go away. Often, that is not what happens. The problem can become worse in the interim period.

You can accelerate now!

You can accelerate now!

Full Speed Ahead

Other road signs communicate messages to drivers without any words needed. There is the Yield sign, symbolized by an inverted triangle, and there are the slanting strips on the side of another sign that tell you on which side to pass. Sometimes there is even a blinking yellow light attached to a sign to make sure it catches your attention.

Take a moment to ponder if in real life you came across the sign in the photograph to the right here. Forget that Excel is the name to a company and instead imagine it means "full speed ahead" in one aspect of your life.

Perhaps you just went out on a first date and had a great time with the particular person. Seeing the sign could be just the nudge you need to ask her or him out for a second date. Perhaps the sign will keep you from nervously wondering, "Is this person right for me?" or "Is this relationship a healthy one?" You would have confidence that you are heading in the right direction as you saw the sign that blatantly told you to "excel" or move full speed ahead.

You might want to stop, right about here.

You might want to stop, right about here.

The Stop Sign

In contrast to the Excel sign is the Stop sign. As a driver, you pull your vehicle to a gradual stop before the stop sign. You look left then right and over your shoulder to your blind spot. If safe to proceed, you then drive in a particular direction.

Do you proceed the same way in real life? Sometimes when people have to make a difficult decision, they do not always stop and look at all of the possibilities before making a final decision.

The expression "jump in, feet first" comes to mind. You go for it and throw yourself into the decision without giving an abundance of thought to the implications of the decision.

The result can be magnificent but it can also be hurtful to your and to others. Perhaps the home business you started on a whim is now heading into bankruptcy as you did not plan to set aside enough savings. Now you and your family are facing financial hardships.

Perhaps the appearance of a stop sign could have been a bright red reminder to you that there are steps needed to prepare for starting a home business. A stop sign could certainly give you a wakeup call if you are heading down any type of destructive path in life! You could take a moment to stop, look around you, and get your feet positioned firmly back on the ground. When it is safe to proceed, you could then move in a different (and more positive) direction.

Signs and You

While you may not get road signs in real life, you do get other "signs". Perhaps the day after you are laid off, you remember hearing a rumor that the company was downsizing. You realize you hadn't listened to the conversations but instead shook them off as being here-say.

Sometimes there are signs in real life and you choose not to see them. Other times, you follow them immediately and never look back. Pay close attention to your day and see if any real life signs appear at the side of your road. Are you paying close attention and following the signs?

Do You...

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