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The power of a positive memory

I love a good road trip. One of my fondest memories from my childhood is sitting in the back of my Grandpa Ernie’s blue Vauxhall Chevette watching the scenery go by. I have him to thank for my love of the scenic route.

He would very rarely go on a motorway; instead choosing to take to the A and B roads at a much slower pace. Over hills we would go, twisting along the country roads. Everything seen, everything considered. We didn’t live that far away from Blackpool but trips to the seaside took an age with Grandpa Ernie at the wheel, I always remember the competition we had as to who saw the Blackpool tower first.

So vivid in my memory, the tin of sweets in the glove box. The smell that those old cars had, the blue check seats with the lovely strip of blue vinyl plastic at the side, so seeringly hot in summer you would stick to it!

A comforting, warm and happy memory and certainly at a very different pace to what we can class as the norm these days.

So fast forward from those days in the Chevette with Grandpa Ernie and I am sat outside the driving examination centre waiting for my second driving test to begin ( I had failed my first, anxiety having already got its grip on me). I have my best suit on but it cannot hide the extreme nerves I have, my foot shaking on the clutch pedal, palms sweating. I take a look at my examiner, he looks stern and austere, and my nerves intensify.

The examiner must have picked up on my nerves. After the usual process of checking I can read a number plate from a distance, we both got back in the car. I remember his words to this day “Now, I want you to imagine you are taking your Grandad (he was of that age) for a drive down the road, nice and relaxed, nothing special, here we go”

Immediately my mind went to that warm and comforting memory of being in the car with Grandpa Ernie. I wondered if my examiner could read my mind or something, how did he know this memory of mine?” of course he didn’t but at the time it did make me wonder.

My nerves started to slowly subside and I could focus and concentrate on the drive ahead, which would have been impossible with the level of anxiety and nervousness I had before. When we returned to the examination centre, the instructor turned to me and said those wonderful words “Mr. Hunt I am pleased to tell you, you have passed”

Twenty three years of motoring later and the car is still one of the most relaxing and comforting places for me. I love driving and adore a good road trip. In some way I have grandpa Ernie to thank for that.

The power of a wonderful memory, as shown here, can help in many ways, in my case it was to manage nerves and anxiety but what an amazing tool we have already within us to deal with situations and to build on our own inner resources!

  • What are those positive memories that you can gather up to help you in your life now?

  • How can you utilise these positive memories?

  • What situations can these positive memories help you with?

“We have the resources within to bring about the changes we want in life”