How fast am I going? What is the engine temperature? How much gas do I have left in the tank? Important questions all. The dashboard of my 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan has several gauges which keep me informed of significant things for a driver. They are placed where it would be hard to ignore them, but they don’t get in the way of performing the primary function of driving (e.g., on the windshield). A dashboard is a great tool.
My dashboard also has built-in warnings, called “idiot lights” by my mechanic friends, which ding and light up only when I need to be made aware of a problem. If everything is fine – no lights, no dings.
What gauges should be on the “dashboard” of our lives? I have a few that I would like to posit in no particular order. Feel free to add yours to the comments.
1. Spouse (yes, I know that not everyone is married, but if you are – this should be on your dashboard) – this applies to my general principle on character: “The longer and better someone knows you, the more they should like you.” If you and your spouse aren’t getting along, your “idiot light” should be dinging; and if they don’t want to be with you in general, take the time to work it out.
2. Boss – this relationship is very simple (note that I did not say easy). If you are worth more to the company than you are costing – no worries. This is in fact the only true job security. You should be making them money. Show up a little bit early, stay a little bit late, work on your own initiatives on your own time. Add value. If your boss isn’t happy with you, it won’t be long until you are relieved of that relationship.
3. Kids – Here is my litmus test: if my kids are glad to see me when I come home – no dings. Your children’s faces should light up when they look at you. There are of course notable exceptions of times of discipline, but if your child seems to not care when you walk in – you haven’t been caring enough about them. Stop what you were going to do, and talk with them, play a game with them, get to know them again (hint: they are not the same kid they were last year).
4. God – Are you at peace with your Maker? Is your relationship with Him driven by guilt, shame or procrastination? God is everywhere. Everything in the universe is therefore equidistant from Him. He is therefore the center of the universe. If God is peripheral to your life, you will not have a centeredness about who you are. ”
Ding!, Ding!, Ding!”.
What would you add to your dashboard?