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Passengers on the bus.

In the blog Ollie Coach, Belinda Wells, tells us a story about how our thoughts and experiences are just like passengers on the bus and you are the driver.

Our lives sometimes appear to be driven by our thoughts, emotions, cravings, memories, and we allow them to be in control. But this is not how it should be. There is a lovely metaphor, Passengers on the Bus, which invites us to let the thoughts and events that ordinarily govern us, just sit in our brains like passengers on a bus. The bus is our mind, and the passengers are all our various experiences and thoughts.

But you are the bus driver, and you’re in charge. You are in your own little compartment where you can carry on separately from all the chatter that is going on between the passengers on the bus.

As the bus driver, you make all the decisions concerning the bus you are driving. Some passengers may voice their opinions loudly and forcefully, while others may remain silent. You, as the driver, might hear the passengers relaying thoughts and feelings.  It could be a very noisy and confusing journey. Impatience may scream at you to “HURRY UP!” Fear might scream “Turn here!” “Don’t go there!” says Panic. “Turn around!” yells Anxious. Depression may tell you to STOP!

But if you listened to all these thoughts and emotions and did everything they told you, the confusion of stopping, starting, turning around, speeding up or slowing down at everyone’s whim, or venturing onto unpaved roads, will be too much for the bus to handle.

A passenger may make a comment, but driver does not necessarily have to believe that comment to be true. Because on your bus, without realising, you could find yourself listening to the passengers’ needs and letting them affect you. But what we forget is that these passengers, their thoughts, feelings, memories, or urges, have no effect on the bus’s driver or mechanics of the bus. They can only be passengers since you are always the driver. They can tell you that you’re foolish or that you’ll fail, but they can’t stop or make you change speed or direction.

Their shouts and screams could even make you upset or anxious. You can either stop the bus and tell the passengers to get off or turn around and argue with them. But, in the end, arguing almost always results in you doing nothing than wasting time whilst arguing with these mischief makers, and getting nowhere.

Some of these passengers may be more powerful, convincing, or oppressive than others at certain times in our lives. These passengers may appear to have a direct impact on the way you drive the bus when you are more vulnerable. On the bus, there are a lot of people. It’s not that they’re there that’s the issue; it’s that the bus driver believes them or gives in to their demands!

Understanding that what passengers say is simply a part of the bus ride is the greatest method to manage people. On the bus, each passenger has a seat and is allowed to express their own ideas or opinions. Regardless of how persistent or loud they are, this does not imply that they will drive the bus. As a result, they should not be permitted to do so

Even if everyone on board is screaming for him to go straight on at 80 mph, a bus driver can turn left at 20 mph if he wishes to. It’s all about driving the bus yourself, turning right or left as you like, and going at your own pace. You’re not following the instructions of all those rowdy passengers. They’re just along for the journey, after all.

You are the one in charge.

The bus is under your command.

Belinda Wells, Ollie Coach

Belinda is an Ollie Coach and Foster Carer. Previously a Primary School Teacher, she now has over 20 years’ experience working with children. Her interests are psychology, how we think and why we behave as we do, and she loves learning and writing.  Belinda enjoys seeing the difference her work as an Ollie Coach can make to the children and families she works with.

To get in contact with Belinda email

To find out more about Ollie and his Super Powers and how to become an Ollie Coach go to

Caroline Chipper

Caroline Chipper


Co founder of Subconquest Ltd, that trades as Ollie and his Super Powers. My many years of commercial experience is being put to good use managing the business side of Ollie, including working with our Ollie Coaches, and managing our contracts. In everything we do its about making a difference to those we work with. To find out more go to