Just one short month ago, I bought a new car. I haven’t had a new car for thirty–eight years and the decision was a long time in the making – two years in fact!
My 22-year-old Subaru Legacy has been a faithful friend to me for thirteen years. A manual ICE car with no airbags, no ABS braking, in fact, no bells or whistles at all, but a great friend and a comfortable drive nonetheless. I was very sad to see her go and glad she’s gone to a good home.
Over several years now, I’ve become more and more ‘climate-conscious’ and it seemed to me that, if I could produce zero emissions from driving my car, then I would be making a small contribution to the future of the planet. So, in the middle of winter, I asked Solar City to install solar panels on the roof of my house. I’ve learned to use my washing machine, for example, when the sun is shining instead of early in the morning or in the evening. But deep down, I knew that the main reason was in readiness for the arrival of my new car – a fully electric Tesla.
Owning a Tesla is just like having a really big mobile phone. The only difference is that one drives it with feet and hands, not with fingers and thumbs. But in all other respects, it’s the same. It has a very large touch screen which I can use for my calendar, my phone calls, my music, my GPS, heating, lights, windscreen washers and much, much more. And I can plug it into its charger when the sun is shining, which is free!
I suppose it came as no surprise that a couple of people I know chose to stick pins into my ‘dream bubble’. One came up to me and said, ‘Have you seen the article that the ‘best motoring journalist in the world’ has just written about the fact that Teslas can’t corner? I wouldn’t touch one with a bargepole.’
And another wrote on Facebook, something along the lines of, ‘Avoid at all costs. ‘They’ burst into flames’ – with an accompanying video clip of some idiot who had driven into a wall!
In Chapter 2 of my book, ‘It’s your thoughts that count – how to use your thoughts to transform your life’, I ask, ‘And what do these negative, unsolicited thoughts do? They might limit you. Frighten you. Depress you. Worry you.’ A couple of pages later, there’s a suggestion, ‘These thoughts are not helpful. The best thing you can do with them is put them through the shredder.’
We can’t control the thoughts that bombard our brains in every waking moment. But we can control how we deal with them. And we can replace the negative thoughts, often so kindly ‘given’ to us by others, with positive thoughts. I very much prefer to keep at the forefront of my mind the generous thought given to me by a young man in Wellington on the very first day I drove my new car. The traffic was at a standstill and he and two of his mates were waiting to cross the road. I wasn’t going anywhere, so I waved them across in front of me. As he walked across the road in front of my car, he paused, drank in every inch of it and, as he passed my open window, said, ‘Nice wheels mother!’
Now there’s a thought worth keeping!