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Hang on a minute; am I on the right tram?

May 17, 2010

Here in Melbourne we love our trams. Abandoned by many great cities last century, Melbourne’s trams continue to rattle through car congested streets. We have a mix of nostalgic, but ancient and uncomfortable, oldies and swish new ones all ferrying Melbournians to their chosen destinations – footy at the MCG, coffee and cake on the St Kilda beachfront, or a business meeting at the far end of Collins Street.

But you know the really good thing about trams is that you know where they are going. It says it on the front and they travel on rails so there is no getting lost on the way.

But there is a downside (and I’m not talking about the front wheel of your pushbike going down into the tram tracks, which always ends badly, or taking the 112 down Brunswick Street in peak hour when trams crawl along at a snail’s pace snarled up in traffic).

Once you’re on a tram, it’s very easy to keep heading in a particular direction, without really giving much thought as to why you’re going in that direction. Particularly as it’s so easy to get distracted; a book you just can’t put down or a new album on your Ipod. The rails just keep you moving on. And once you realize that you are on the wrong tram it can be hard to get off. You don’t know where you are and the only option is to go back the way you came. And no one likes doing that.

In my own situation, I know it took me years to realize that I was on the wrong tram and needed to get off – too caught up in my distractions. And once I’d got off, I needed more help in uncovering what it was that I should be doing with my life.

All I’m saying here is it really pays take a little time out and just check-in that you know where you are going, and why, and be sure that’s where you want to go.

If it’s not, ask the ticket inspector – although a coach would be better!

Matt Smith

Director BeClear Coaching and Communication

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