Shifting - The Art of Switching Lanes in Life

September 5, 2019 - Pastor Bill Mitchell

Shifting - The Art of Switching Lanes in Life

Pastor Bill Mitchell
September 5, 2019

At one point or another, we’ve all been told mind our own business, or to “stay in our lane.” But I say the opposite. I believe it is good and even healthy to shift, or to switch lanes in life. There are huge benefits to this, which include greater understanding about how to navigate our own lives, knowing the lane in which others are operating, and gaining the skills it takes to shift from one lane to another. That is why I’ve created a four part series focused on the topic of “Minding Your Own Business.” Today, we’re going to take a deeper look at the first part – Shifting.

Six Lanes

In life, and in business, there are multiple lanes in which we operate. Some of us get stuck in one, and some of us are adept at switching between them.

1. Express Lane

The Express Lane is where business makes its best move. This is where you work on and not in the business. In the Express Lane, you focus on planning and designing strategies to run your business. The Pro to this lane is that you get a lot done in a short amount of time. The Con is that you’re so focused on yourself and your plan that you don’t look at the people around you. When you’re in the express lane, the goal is greater than the people around you, and there is greater risk of burn out.

2. Passing Lane

Just as it is on I-95 or the Turnpike, the passing lane in business is where you accelerate, but the pace is not always productive. The passing lane is not a place where you can live for a sustained amount of time. People who do try to live here are the ones who never turn off their phones and send emails in the middle of the night. Without these types of can-do people, business doesn’t happen, but it also needs to be understood that sometime, you have to get out of the passing lane and switch to one that is more sustainable.

3. Bike Lane

The Bike Lane is where you take time to slow down and connect with others. It is only when you slow down, that you are able to build relationships. These first three lanes are important to everything we do in life and in business. We need all three to be successful and develop trust with those around us. For example, others can’t believe in what you’re doing without the Vision found in the Express Lane. Without the Competence found in the passing lane, you can’t prove to others that you have the ability to do what you say you can do. Finally, without the Character developed in the passing lane, you can’t develop trust and show that you can get things done in a timely and fair way. 

Many of us do not know how to switch between lanes. In fact, most of us do not even know which lane we and others are already in. If we and the person with whom we’re working are in different lanes, we could both be saying good things, but not be speaking the same language. For example, some of us are bottom line oriented, and others of us need the details first.

The last three lanes make us able to function properly in the first three.

4. Private Lane

Many of us find our identities in our jobs, but I have to say, You are not your job. You are made in the image of God, and your identity is much bigger than your job. The private lane is so important because this is where you develop deeper relationships with your family and community, and find greater purpose than merely working. Although work is important, it doesn’t last, and if that is what your life is primarily focused on, there will not be many people at your funeral.

5. Walking Lane

Especially in this country, saying, “I haven’t taken a vacation in years,” is almost seen as a badge of honor. It isn’t. God rested, and we should too. In shifting to the walking lane, we slow our steps and gain what we cannot afford to lose. If you aren’t recharging, resting, and reflecting, you are missing the point.

6. Turning Lane

As much as we hate to admit it, we all make mistakes. Sometimes, we need to turn on our blinkers, get in the turning lane, and make a course correction. How do we do this? We Admit what we’ve done, Act upon it, Ask forgiveness, and turn. I’ve had to do this many times, but one occasion in particular comes to mind here

How Do We Shift Lanes?

First and foremost, shifting begins with being mindful of your own attitude and increasing your self-awareness. So many of us are just walking around only focusing on what we want, that we forget what is that we really need, and what others need from us in order to be successful.


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