Watching a TED video brought up thoughts of my role model and dad, Charlie Miller Sr. The gist of the video, “Windshield Effect”, is that if you want to move forward, focus on what’s in front of you (your windshield). You can look far down the road to prepare for what is ahead but don’t’ lose focus on what is there now. Likewise, you can’t move forward without using your past (your rearview mirror) as a learning tool.
Looking back through my rearview mirror, my dad rarely took time for himself, constantly working two jobs. Daily, he bused youth to and from sporting events with the Parks and Recreation Department of South Miami and at night delivered Miami’s Community Newspaper. I could often be found in the front seat of the bus, right by his side. And, if I was lucky, I got to be his newspaper route sidekick during the summer. I wasn’t there to help with the paper route, I just wanted to be with him.
My passion for playing sports stemmed solely from wanting to spend time with my dad. I started playing nearly every sport so I could be around him while he transported sports teams on the bus. The work ethic I learned from him and applied to basketball was a major factor in my becoming a blue-chip recruit in high school.
As I aged, I saw less of my dad and our relationship changed. I no longer had time to ride the buses he drove and was too tired from basketball tournaments to accompany him on his newspaper route. Also, his work schedule and how he chose to prioritize his free time meant he missed a lot of my important events and milestones.
Refocusing through my windshield, I realize that these memories impact every turn I decide to take on my life journey. I am now responsible for supporting a wife and 4 children and running my own basketball academy. I can honestly say I’m where I am today because of my dad. By acknowledging my past experiences with him, I am able to choose the ones I want to emulate and improve upon others. This allows me to have a fulfilling work-life balance.
The moral of the story is that there is a reason why your windshield is much bigger than your rearview mirrors. Focus on what’s in front of you as the driver of your life. When you look back, you realize, “Objects may be closer than they appear.” Your past is closer than you think. Use it to your advantage. Let it propel you forward on your journey and not slow your growth.
Safe travels and remember to enjoy the ride!