We each came into the trucking profession with different intentions, expectations, and reasons. I’m hoping this article will prompt each person to look inside and figure out your “why”.
Why did you decide to drive over the road? Why did you sacrifice being away from home? What is your “why”? Your deeply rooted reason for wanting to be successful.
For me, this lifestyle chose me. I spent years in the Marines, then walked into a law enforcement career in the most dangerous city in America at the time. I say lifestyle because that is exactly what this is. Trucking is not just a job, it is not just a career...it is a lifestyle. Meaning, that you have to adjust being on the road and away from the norms that you have grown accustom to. The trucker lifestyle gave me peace of mind that I did not have while in the military and law enforcement. It also affords the opportunity to pay all of my bills back home and break the cycle of living check to check.
So, what is my “why?" Simple... peace of mind. In order to be able to clearly log mile after mile, your “why” has to be something that is always on the forefront of your thoughts. It being your family, lifestyle, money...whatever your reason is, it should be your number one passion to keep you focused on being successful out here.
The other part of your mindset should be that reality trumps fantasy. Far too often, drivers come to a company thinking that everything is going to be perfect all of the time. This is the biggest revolving door industry that exists. Meaning, a driver will quit and work for as much as six companies in a year looking for that golden highway where everything is perfect.
Understand that you have to be able to flex with your company and with the industry. Loads are going to be slow at times, trucks break at times, and most importantly, your pay will fluctuate. The reason most drivers complain about trucking and leave the industry is that they jump companies so much that they are only seeing orientation pay. Seriously, you can’t expect to get to the good money if you keep starting over with each company. Remember: The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
So, I’ll end with this. In order to truly be successful out here, you MUST have a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). Walk through any truck stop, through any driver’s lounge, or through any shipper/receiver and I guarantee you will hear one thing... complaining. I say, if it is that bad everywhere you go then you are the common denominator. I stay clear of all negativity because it festers and spreads like a wild fire. Surround yourself with positive energy and watch positive results follow. It’s one of the laws of physics… positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. Choose wisely.
To summarize the successful mindset is simple: Think positively about your “why”, while remaining flexible and you will go a long way...Be safe and keep the shiny side up!
By: Anthony Berry, Professional Truck Driver