The_BasketweaveAccording to 24/7 Wall St., the top ten cities with the worst traffic are, in descending order:

10. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
09. Houston, TX
08. Chicago, IL-IN
07. Seattle, WA
06. Boston, MA-NH-RI
05. San Jose, CA
04. New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT
03. San Francisco-Oakland, CA
02. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
01. Washington DC-VA-MD

Urban traffic congestion is a growing problem in the U.S. and will likely continue escalating unless measures are taken to ease it. In fact, it’s reported that the average number of hours lost due to urban commuting has risen from 18 hours per commuter to 42 hours, since 1982, which is awful. Still and all, while this positively bums me out, the intent of this article isn’t to talk about the traffic, per se. It’s to talk about the weather! No, not that either—I’m only kidding.

My family and I lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, for a couple of years, which falls within the confines of the New York-Newark area. It was a wonderful time! We moved there from Nashville in January, 2014. A little advice: don’t move from the south to the north during Winter. I recommend easing into the snow and ice situation. That’s just me, but I digress.

Anyway, around the time we moved, I was invited to deliver a speech at a conference in Atlantic City. I remember I had to rent a vehicle to make the drive for some reason. So I headed to Newark Liberty International airport, picked up a Jeep Cherokee, plugged my destination into the GPS, and was en route, headed down the turnpike.

This, I recall, was my first experience driving on such a colossal roadway. Upper or lower, express or local, car route or truck route—it was a lot to filter all at once. Shortly into my trip, I became somewhat frazzled and remember thinking I was the only one on the road who didn’t know what he (or she) was doing. I felt like it was me versus a million other cars, all bent on my demise—darting in every direction. I felt alone.

Then, reason set in and I realized I was exaggerating the situation. I wasn’t up against a million cars, all at once. That’s crazy talk. None of the other drivers were secretly conspiring against me. Come on, be serious, please!

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After making this assessment, the tension (the pressure) began to lessen. I determined I only needed to be concerned about vehicles within my immediate vicinity. What’s more, they were in their lane and I was in mine. Simple as that. Stressful situations become far less stressful when viewed in perspective, which is just what I did. I viewed the situation in perspective.

I had allowed the enormity and frenzy of the turnpike to make me feel small and powerless. I became paranoid that I was the central target—completely on my own. You’re thinking, Jason, you’ve gotta take this down a notch—you’re being dramatic. Okay, fine. Let’s ease back a bit.

Here’s my point. Whenever you start something new, don’t let it scare you. Don’t assume you’re just some obtuse ignoramus who hasn’t got even the slightest sense about anything. Take it in stride and worry only about what is within your immediate vicinity. View the situation in perspective.

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Jason Pantana, Realtor, Speaker, NashvilleJason guides real estate professionals through current and emerging trends in consumer behavior, sales and marketing, and entrepreneurship. To invite Jason to speak or to schedule a consultation, visit: