Introduction to Personal Speed Bumps Part 1: What is a Speed Bump?

It truly is amazing how quick time can be when not under constant watch. Yet even a month after my last post, people continue to view my blog. For inspiring me to keep this blog alive, I thank you. 

So what’s a speed bump? At first, I see a small hill on the road that slows you down. They can tend to get annoying – especially when you want to be going fast. A negative connotation usually accompanies the word.

“I want to go fast, but this speed bump forces me to drive slower.”

In most conversations, speed bumps are mentioned as fleeting moments of extremely reduced productivity. An undesirable single event that hinders progress.  And that’s that. Speed bumps are merely a hindrance.

“I wasn’t able to finish the project last night. I hit a speed bump testing the code.”

When people mention speed bumps as an analogy it’s usually in context of the primary idea of a speed bump; an entity that greatly slows the rate of progress. The analogy fits and others can relate easily to the idea of a speed bump. We all share the experience of slowing our speed for a speed bump.

In my last post about a personal speed bump, you could understand the situation without any other details about it.

In the realm of physical speed bumps, they don’t exist to liven up roads with fancy decorations. They have a purpose; to protect the area of use on and around the road from those who tend to drive faster. Driving faster inarguably reduces the amount of time one has to react as well as increases the momentum of the vehicle. Combining the two with the need to make a quick decision tends to have dangerous and even tragic consequences. Countless statistical analyses name high speed as the main contribution to many fatal vehicular incidents. It then made sense for people to create speed bumps as one solution to the problem of speed related accidents.

Yet, when used as an analogy, conversation past the primary context of a physical speed bump — to slow down drivers —  is rare. 

Currently, I define the periods of time in which I have higher levels of emotional pain as personal speed bumps. During those periods of time, I could have enjoyed myself more. I could have finished more of the things I set out to do. In a sense, the rate at which I completed goals during a “speed bump time period” was far less than the rate at which I know that I can complete goals.

The fact that speed bumps slow down drivers is merely just one fact; there are many more details and unique dilemmas that accompany a full analogy. 

In order to make this blog post make sense, I will have to define my view of analogies. We use analogies to explain and express complicated situations to others. The details of a unique story only set up the scene and course of events. Analogies are the bridges by which unique emotion is shared. For example think of when someone, let’s say Susan, asks you, “What was the concert like?”. Having never been to a concert, she can’t relate emotionally to one. You convey the emotion through relating it to an experience you know that she can relate to. “It was like standing in front of John’s car speakers on full volume times 10“. The quality of an analogy depends on the its ability to connect with a memory that the listener has. If Susan never heard John’s speakers, then your attempt to share your emotional experience has failed. If she heard his speakers, but not at full volume, your analogy will be weak. But let’s say there was a connection and One day in John’s car, it was so loud that you couldn’t hear anything she tried to say. In context, the analogy fits perfectly. The more facts and emotions that connect between situations, the stronger the ability an analogy has to share emotional experiences between people.

Think about the process of creating an analogy. When simply describing the event is not enough, your mind finds an analogy. First, your mind views the event solely in terms of the emotions induced. Then, it searches your memory with those specific emotional tags. The last step is deciding which memory to use. You use the memory which appears to be the one that the listener will most identify with. In smaller conversations, specific and shared memories are used because they are more memorable.

When the conversation grows in number, the ability to relate moments to specific and shared memories becomes greatly limited. 

This is exactly why my last post was titled Speed-Bump. I was in a period of time in which I was not performing at the rate at which I had originally desired — clearly evidenced by the infrequency posting. I desired to relate this personal situation to those who read my blog. Unless specifically told to me, I can not know who visits this blog. So then how do I take a complicated personal moment and relate to you? Nothing more than pick the memory which I assume will make the most sense. But only looking at the relation through a lens of reductions in speed fails to fully convey the entire story. Thus limiting the level at which my situation can connect to yours.

To connect to your personal situations and problems with my own advice on life, you have to believe that I understand where you are coming from.

Since this is not a conversation and I do not know everyone who is reading this, I must define the speed bump from my philosophical lens. If you agree with how I view the speed bump, then you will be able to intelligently agree or disagree with how I relate it to personal problems in life. If you then agree with my analogy, I will be able to truly express my view of the world in a way that you can not just read, but also feel.

My task is to explain my perspective on a regular speed bump in such a way that it becomes the speed bump you choose when you need an analogy for your own personal life problems.

I’ve answered the “What?”. Next, I answer the “How?”.

One thought on “Introduction to Personal Speed Bumps Part 1: What is a Speed Bump?

  1. Great post! It always amaze me how people can take time to write them. But to be honest maybe you should change the color of the texts? Sorry if I am being rude, just trying to help. Kind regards, Sophia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s