Only You Can Prevent Speed Bumps

May 18, 2023

Last week, I took a vacation to Colorado. We are fortunate to have family living just 15 minutes from Winter Park, and they generously let us stay with them. On the commute to the mountain, I passed a sign daily that read “Only you can prevent speed bumps,” and that is the inspiration for this week’s thoughts.

The “Only you can prevent speed bumps” sign is a fun play on the Smokey The Bear mantra, but I believe it can offer great wisdom if applied to a broader section of our lives. So, let’s unpack it a little further. At a basic level, speed bumps exist for two reasons, which are dependent on each other. First, they are there for the safety of the driver. Second, additional safety is required because everything we do affects someone else.

I like how the sign is worded. It reads much better than “repeated careless activity results in someone else getting involved in making you stop” or “if you can’t learn to control yourself, external barriers will need to be put in place.” My question this week is, where do we need to put these signs in our business and, more importantly, in our personal lives? We all have those things we know will result in bigger problems without a sign (system) in place. 

With that in mind, what kind of signs or systems do you need to avoid speed bumps? I think the answer will be different depending on your circumstances. For me, there are a couple. First, I read my Bible and pray daily. I find the wisdom found in and within the Word provides discernment in making good decisions throughout my day. Another is that I have a separate home office from the living area of the house. I need this because I enjoy working, and if it is in view, I will continue to work rather than focus on my amazing wife and children. That separation keeps me from choosing something I like over those I love.

So, my challenge to you this week is to take a few minutes to identify the areas of your life that could benefit from a sign or system to prevent speed bumps, such as setting a timer for 25 minutes when you start scrolling on your phone or decluttering your workspace to remove something that you’ve been working around for months now. Whether it's in your personal or professional life, implementing something for yourself is always better than waiting for someone else to do it for you. 

Remember, only you can prevent speed bumps.


I’m thankful that you were willing to go to work today, that you took the time to read this, and for being a part of what makes Ag Partners the world’s greatest cooperative! 

Have an amazing day!