Expectations, Taxi Drivers And Impediments To Success

You know I love to use my own life experiences to share lessons and insights.

So here goes.

As you know I have been in a town called Mildura (Victoria, Australia), where I have been doing some work, prior ro heading to Perth for my 35-year reunion from graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

While in Mildura, I delivered a couple of presentations, and leadership training, and one of the topics that was relevant and prevalent in each of the presentations, was our relationship with “EXPECTATIONS”.

I have written about this before and it is a chapter in my new book – 18 Ways We Make Life WAY harder Than It Needs To Be.”

The other thing about my 6-days working in Mildura was that it was exceptional in every way.

The place I stayed, my host, the food, the long walks along the Murray River in the morning, the audiences I got to present to, the smells of the eucalyptus, the sounds of the kookaburra’s, and even the swimming pool were I was staying, which was about 13 degrees Celsius and part of a 3-min ritual each morning.

What Wim Hof would call entering the cold.

So the context is, that I had a fabulous time in Mildura, and was on my way to my next port-of-call, which was Perth and my military reunion.

Perhaps the long day and delayed flights might have contributed to the outcome, but I had a great conversation with the passenger seated besides me, so it was actually pretty chipper, so we might rule that out as a factor in the event I am leading to in this article.


I arrived in Perth airport, later than what my ticket had suggested to me when I bought it.

However, I am not sure about you, but my ‘expectations’ of flights being on time is pretty low, and lower still when we are talking about ‘Jetstar’ (a budget Australian airline).

Which means getting in later was not such a big deal.

The REALITY was it was later, it was dark, there was some rain, and I just wanted to get to my Aunt’s place (where I was staying) ASAFP.

That means I would not take Uber – which is cheaper and typically more friendly (because of the influence of real customer ratings) – because I didn’t want to have to wait for an Uber.

Therefore, it was taxi time.

Which I knew was more expensive, but I could jump into immediately at the airport.

I had an expectation that the taxi would be more expensive, but would get me there quicker.

Ooops. Did I set my expectations too high?

My Friendly Taxi Driver

I may have been a wee bit sarcastic in that heading.

I like to be polite, say hello and ask someone how is their day.

I got a grunt back.

Fair enough, so long as I get to my destination promptly and safely I am okay (even though the taxi prices are going to be more).

I was not such a fan of his choice of sounds through the radio, but again, I am okay with that if he gets me promptly to my stated destination.

And just to reiterate, I told him the exact location of the drop off (number 42A).

He seemed to acknowledge receipt of that information – with a grunt – so I felt I could relax back after my long day of travel and leave it in the hands of a ‘professional’.


I looked up and say number 52 whizzing past.

I tried to tell him to stop, we have gone past it, but he seemed to not realise he had an indicator and could pull into any drive from this point forward.

So after ranting and raving a bunch, he proceeds to go up to the next set of lights, and continue to do this big dog leg, as the meter is tick-tick-ticking away, then proceeds to drive past number 42 again.

I finally get him to pull into a drive way and then tell him what I think about his driving.

I was relatively polite.

Essentially his EXCUSE was that I was meant to tell him where the location was. That I should have used my Google maps or the likes to tell him where to stop. That I did not do my job.

I responded by saying that I engaged in a professional agreement, where he gets me from A to B, and I give him money for the service.

I am not his co-pilot.

I am not his navigator (and certainly not getting my 20% cut for my navigational duties).

It is his responsibility to figure out where I want to be delivered to. 

Here is the point I want to make

I suspect, though I acknowledge I cannot do this with 100% certainty, my taxi driver left thinking I was rude and unhelpful customer, and how dare I call him out.

He would probably be angry for a bit and BLAME everything outside of himself for the outcome of that event.

I think it is highly unlikely he would look inwards and see if he was performing at a very average level, and that is why he got the result.

Perhaps he is wondering why he is not more successful in life, but is unwilling to take any personal responsibility. 

It’s the economy.

Or rude customers.

Or…(some other excuse).

The point is…If we are not as successful in any area of our life, rather than making excuses, are there any extra things I could be doing?

Could I be self-educatuing?

Could I read that book?

Could I attend that training seminar?

Could I find a mentor?

Could I find someone who knows more than me in the area I want to become more successful in?

If we wait for something outside of us to change, or somene to give us the keys to the kingdom, we might be waiting around a long time – even our whole life.

When something “DOESN’T GO RIGHT FOR YOU” rather than getting the hump, is there something I can learn from this, and some change I can make so I create a new future outcome?

THAT is one of the keys to success and the most successful.

This thing of self-responsibility, but greater than that. Not only accepting responsibility, but doing something with it.

So the million dollar question?

Is there something in your life, which is average or far below great, that needs your attention and a different course of action, in order to get a different result?     

My Parting word

I would not be surprised if you also had a “taxi” story to add to the mix.

Where your expectations were not met.

And obviously the greater the gap between your expectations and the reality, the more annoyed you got.

My primary point is that it is actually ‘easier’ to change our own inner world and behaviours, than it is to change the world around us.

And blaming others or other things for our results won’t move the needle in an upwards direction when it comes to our success.

So the action step from this conversation is to look into the mirror and ask yourself what needs some work?

And then…what not needs to be done?

Here is to inwards and upwards!!

Have a reflective day, and then a week of action (even if the steps you take are tiny).

Take care,


PS: Have you read or listened to this book yet? 18 Ways We Make Life WAY Harder Than It Needs To Be

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