Are You the Driver or the Passenger?

In a recent post I mentioned how during my time in the Marine Corps I was fortunate to have rubbed sholders with some of the very best leaders this world has to offer. Whether my belief that the U.S. Marine Corps is the world’s best training institution for leadership is jaded or not, I’d like to provide yet another example as to how this belief is continually supported.

One of the Marines I served under while stationed at 8th & I Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, DC (“Oldest Post of the Corps”) is a hard charger who goes by the callsign Chris Albright. Chris retired from the Marines shortly after I got out and like me he chose to stay in the DC area. We have kept in touch and I enjoy the times we are able to catch up in-person as well as seeing his updates in my social media feeds. Chris recently shared a post asking, “Are you the driver or passenger?” which I believe demonstrates the insightful wisdom I’ve come to appreciate and deeply value. Below is Chris’s post in it’s entirety.

There are two primary ways people handle themselves in their own lives.

One person is the passenger. They allow others and outside factors to steer the direction of their lives. To dictate what happens to them, where they go, how they feel, where they end up at the end of their days.

The other type is the driver. The driver knows what they want, goes after it, and doesn’t allow anyone else or anything stand between them and the life they’re going to build, and everyone around them benefits as a result of their commitment.

Most people are passengers for a million and one different reasons.

Drivers are far more rare.

They’re not ever too busy to take care of themselves and ensure their family also has their needs met. They’re focused and determined and seemingly “have it all.” And simultaneously, they experience deep happiness and fulfillment because as the driver, it’s what they’ve chosen and created.

One isn’t better than the other – that’s not what this is about. But the driver tends to make more out of life.

The 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐇𝐎𝐎𝐒𝐄 𝐢𝐟 𝐰𝐞’𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫.

It’s never coincidence, although often we don’t realize the choice.

So, my friend…have you been living as the passenger or the driver in your own life? No judgement either way. 🙂

And based on this analogy, is there anything you’d like to do differently?


Chris Albright

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