Given the amount of information available to us today through various media sources, both new and traditional, managing and processing, not to mention filtering, are critical skills to achieve success.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Oakland Valley Race Park withCorey Lewis, a top, up and coming American open-wheel race car driver. Facility owner Tim Hannen encouraged me to take a few laps and I quickly explained I had zero karting background. In addition to Corey, there was a professional sports car driver and a few others there that day.
By comparison, I would be a moving speed bump.
Corey, who grew up driving the track every weekend, took us on a walk around. He explained how to enter the turn, where you want to exit, to what extent you should go over the curbing, and where you should not. He talked about braking points and how deep you could go into certain turns. He explained some things beyond my grasp to the other professional driver.
It was a ten turn half mile track, short by open-wheel standards, but there was so much to remember.
I filtered the details and questions from the other driver and stuck to what I believed to be most critical to my well-being.
Visor down, neck brace on, I headed out to take some laps with Corey in a Birel N35 “Rock Kart”.
Immediately I recognized my reflex was to move my right foot to break, and in a kart your legs straddle the steering and gas tank so you need to left foot brake. The second thing I noticed was how fast everything happened. There were a few spots that I remembered what I was supposed to do, but if I thought I entered correctly, I didn’t exit right.
I simply couldn’t process all the information fast enough and put it into action, instead I was reacting to keep from going off course.
After a few laps the braking got better and I gained confidence to go a little deeper, steer a bit harder and try to do more. Through repetition, some of the information was being processed faster.
Later we took out some faster karts, TAG 125cc’s. These were much more responsive and a lot faster down the backstraight. I was okay in these when I was following Corey, but when others came out on track and ran at their top speed, I didn’t want to move somewhere they weren’t expecting me too and cause an incident, so I pulled it off and hung up the gloves for the day.
The experience gave me a tremendous appreciation for the amount of information drivers process, and what we were doing was simple compared to an open-wheel car or shifter kart.
Managing and processing information and then acting on it allows a driver to survive and those who master this talent thrive and become champions.
If you want to stay on course and be successful, take a close look at how you manage an overwhelming amount of information being thrown at you daily. Figure out what is most important and how to filter what is not. This will help you focus on the most critical information and help you achieve more each day.