Times are tough for drivers these days. Fuel prices are up, truckload rates are down and loads are scarce. While taking stock of one’s career choice is common. Don’t forget to feed your mind and soul.
Here are some positive vibes for inspiration.
“The image of the trucking industry is stronger than ever,” says Kevin Burch, co-chairman of Trucking Moves America Forward in their latest survey.
As reported in Trucker News, 87% of the respondents had a favorable impression of the industry as compared to 67% in 2019. A nice jump forward.
Ninety-seven percent of the respondents felt that the trucking industry has a “very important” role in the economy.
Huh. I guess the American public may have learned a few things during the pandemic when toilet paper was scarce and the home delivery person was your best and only friend.
Ninety-six percent said truck drivers are essential, 85% said they are professional and 78% believe they have higher safety standards than other drivers. As if that isn’t enough gushing and fawning over our nation’s best assets, the respondents ranked truckers in the top three essential people during a crisis.
Chin up, shoulders back, and puff out that chest, driver. You are what keeps us moving and the public is noticing.
Twenty-five-year truck driving veteran Richard Jones says, “You have to put things in perspective.”
As John Worthen of The Trucker writes in his interview of Jones, this is how he keeps his cool and positive attitude when dealing with the motoring public or the less-than-grateful customer.
The interesting thing about Jones and his decades-long career is that he never intended any of it to happen. “I needed to kill some time one day, so I went into this trucking business to talk to them because I was curious,” he says. “They told me it was a good opportunity to see the country. So, I said I would take a chance, take a course and do that.”
The story almost ends there as Jones decides he is going to just keep the CDL as a backup plan if his real career fails. But, like most of us in the industry, we look up a few decades later and find that trucking isn’t so easily washed off.
What advice would Jones give a rookie driver? Worthen selects a couple of gems from his interview.
“Just be a professional. You have to carry yourself accordingly. And you have to keep your mind open as far as learning things. It makes everything better,” and “attitude is everything. It makes you a better driver. It makes your job easier.”
I find that having a positive attitude has a lot to do with “outside” the work-life interests. Playing guitar and making music does it for me. My new friend Amir Shahzad Awan finds beauty all around him and it helps him keep a positive attitude and child-like curiosity in life.
Awan knows a thing or two about fostering positive vibes. A transportation manager and driver, he expresses his love and curiosity for life through photography.
Much like Jones, Amir had no intentions of a career in trucking. Taking a trucking job to earn money for school was his goal. One taste of the open road and 2.5 million safe miles later he is the trucking photographer of choice for me.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” he says. This quote from Amir’s Facebook page goes deeper than most realize at first glance. Having the imagination to do something new, different, or even disruptive with your knowledge is the key to success and happiness.
His photographs and exploration of new techniques are inspiring to say the least. A whisk, a dog leash, and some steel wool make for some pretty incredible art.
But, the above photo is my personal favorite of his work. I see limitless possibilities in this photograph.
I guess that’s the point. With the right attitude and curiosity, the possibilities in life are limitless.
Peace and love.