What is a car? Cars mean different things to different people. For some, it’s a way to get from point A to B. For others, it’s a status symbol. My last car was something that would intermittently choose to start after punching the steering wheel and rocking back and forth for 5 seconds or so. I wish I was joking here, but, hey, for a 92’ Toyota Camry that still ran 20 years later, I can’t complain.
Nevertheless, we are a blog about developing new life-changing habits. As such, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the best habitual use of a car– as a mobile university.
Your Mobile University
In my opinion, the best use of a car is as a vehicle for self-education. You select the teachers. You pick the topic. And, most importantly, a place where you can gain the knowledge to forever change your life for the better. Pretty empowering if you ask me! (Check out another life-changing habit about the importance of tracking your spending here.)
53,856 Minutes of Education Time
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute for Americans is the longest it has ever been at 26.4 minutes. That is 264 minutes per week (factoring a 5 day work week), 1,056 minutes per month, and 53,856 minutes per year (after subtracting 4 weeks of vacation). That is roughly 900 hours per year spent commuting! Stretch that over a 30-year career and you are looking at 27,000 hours of automobile-U time.
Develop Your Mastery
If you’re one who ascribes to the rule that 10,000 hours are needed to master any subject, as explained in the book, Outliers, this time can be utilized to become a MASTER in nearly 3 subject areas. 
Now does it make sense to spend this time rocking out to the latest Tay Sway album? Should I be pumping my fists to Post Malone and listening to sports-talk radio for nearly 1000 hours per year? The answer here is an emphatic, “No!”
This time is designated for my personal growth and development. It’s time that I’m away from family, so you better believe I’ll be focusing that time on developing my skills to be a better husband for my wife, parent for my children, employee for my company, and blogger for like-minded individuals looking to develop positive lifestyle changes.
So what can you do to make sure this precious time is not squandered? First, develop a plan. Think about the areas of your life that you wish to improve upon. Next, identify resources that can help you develop these skills whether it be through books on tape (audible, your public library) or by podcasting a seemingly endless number of topics that are available through Spotify or iTunes.
Whatever your mode of transportation or education, remember, the most important thing is that you take action toward self-education. Knowledge is power!
How about you? Any tips for making long commutes more productive? What are some of your favorite podcasts? We’d love to hear from you.
Gladwell, M. (2008).Outliers: The story of success. Little, Brown.