Last week my family and I went to Java, Indonesia. Our destination was a surf camp that was a bit of a mission to get to – an eight-hour drive from Denpasar in Bali, including a car ferry across to Java, and then down through the jungle from there.

We’d heard from friends that the roads were crazy and the trip was terrifying. We had a local driver, and for the first couple of hours, as we navigated the truck-choked, winding Bali roads, I tended to agree. Overtaking was, to use a polite word, exhilarating. Our driver overtook in all sorts of crazy spots that back in New Zealand, we would never even consider, and would have got a $500 fine for!

I found myself planting my foot to an imaginary brake pedal. I felt like asking the driver to slow right down and chill out a little. I even considered asking to drive myself (but then thought the better of that). Not happy.

Funnily enough,  nothing untoward happened as we hurtled along. I noticed that the driver was actually thinking about when he overtook, and he appeared to have some sense. I soon realised that he was drawing on his years of experience and familiarity with his local roads.

And as I realised that he knew what he was doing, I breathed out. I relaxed and started to enjoy the beautiful scenery that is rural Bali and Java.

Lots of other people had said how scary that road was. But actually it wasn’t that the road was scary. It was my mindset that caused the fear. What I as a passenger saw, the driver saw quite differently.

The lesson for me, and perhaps the lesson for all of us, is that when we’re on a gnarly road, traversing unknown territory, we need to be open to other perspectives. Perhaps show a little more trust that the people around us might have been there before. We need to let go of our need for control and realise that our lens on the situation might not be the only one. We need to be open to believing in others who might have a different lens and therefore a different approach. And perhaps even let them do their job.


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