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A Journey Through the History of Cars [Infographic]

A Journey Through the History of Cars [Infographic]

It’s difficult to imagine a world without automotive transport. We are surrounded by the internal combustion engine; it has driven a revolution in mobility that has transformed how we live and the appearance of our cities. This fab interactive infographic tells the story of the big moments and game-changing cars that have defined the journey to today – and what will shape the road ahead.

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    One way or another?

    There was a moment in time when the story of motoring could have headed in a totally different direction. Much of the early motoring buzz was around the potential of electric cars; in the US alone, 30,000 such vehicles were on the roads by 1900. Even earlier, steam and hydrogen-powered alternatives were also widely trailed and tested. If any of these solutions had caught on, the world of transport might have been a very different place.

    But petrol power won the race for early dominance. In 1885, the Benz Motorwagen was the first car to make it to production. Cars remained the preserve of the super wealthy until the post-war boom of mass production in the 1920s. The Ford Model T is widely regarded as the breakthrough – the first truly ‘popular’ car, available to all.

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    From there, the spread of motor vehicles across the world has been as relentless as it has been revolutionary. There are 1.2 billion cars in the world, of which 97.5% are petrol-powered, with the USA leading the way in ownership – with 250 million vehicles on the road. In less than a century, the humble motor vehicle has changed the face of the planet forever – but what does the next century hold for the drivers of tomorrow?

    Around the corner

    The future of cars is bright but there are challenges on the road ahead. Moving towards a safer and more sustainable version of driving is the global direction of travel. The recent Volkswagen emissions scandal has brought concerns about the impact of driving on the environment back on to the front pages of the world’s media. But, in the light of these environmental costs, how will driving change?

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    A market transition is looming; global transformation is imminent, and the big brands are already prepared. But there are new names leading the way – rather than established manufacturers or fuel giants, global tech powers like Google are investing heavily in developing driverless technology, while Apple has recognized the potential benefit of a boom for integrated in-car technology.

    Driverless cars are central to this idea of change – a more sustainable, efficient and less stressful way to travel which could reduce accidents and transform our towns and cities. Concerns around the capacity of computers to make ethical decisions have not yet been resolved, and there remains a reluctance from many drivers to pass control of the wheel over to the machines.

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    Tech wizard Elon Musk, CEO of electro-pioneers Tesla, is very clear about how the future will demand radical changes to our day-to-day habits. According to Musk, a driverless car, ten times safer than one driven by a human, is only five years away – and this is a change that is not just desirable, but necessary. “Some people don’t like change,” he says, “but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”

    Ominous words, but there’s a lot to celebrate about the global impact of motoring. The car has been a tool for progress and an enabler of personal freedom across the world – and as technology accelerates, things can only get better.

    What do you think the future of motoring holds? Would you trust a driverless car? Let us know!

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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