Stay Out Of The Ditch: Confront Today’s Values

If you grew up in snow country like I did, you were told that when driving on snow and ice, never turn away from the skid, run from the skid, or ignore the skid. Rather, we were taught to confront a skid aggressively with swift action.

car in ditch final

If your vehicle’s back-end is skidding in the snow to the right, turn the steering wheel hard to the right. If it slides to the left, turn hard left.

When we confront the skid or slide directly like this, we kill our vehicle’s momentum and win back control.

Otherwise, we end up in the ditch.

A Metaphor for Confronting Society’s Values?

This safe driving maneuver is an apt picture for those frustrated by what might be seen as a slide in our world’s values.

Possibly, each of us could directly confront the “skid” we see taking placenot by lecturing, shaming and criticizing othersbut through our own actions.

Our own choices.

In other words, through personal accountability …

  • If others act entitled, I will say (and believe) this: “I need to work for all I have.”
  • If my peers are always on their phones while on the job, I’ll leave mine in the back room, stop stealing time from my employer, and add value.
  • If others buy all-things-new with plastic, I can “settle” for used and pay cash.
  • If the whole world wants to engage in angry debate 24/7 on social media, I’ll recognize arguments can never be won there and just unplug.
  • If lots of people choose to play the role of victim, I can choose to be a victor by taking ownership of my life. No. More. Blame!
  • If society asks, “What’s in it for me?” I will ask The Question Behind the Question (QBQ): “What can I do to contribute?”

So, instead of running from our world’s current values, I can choose to confront them head-on by changing what I do.

Because lecturing, shaming and criticizing others just doesn’t work.

As we say in the QBQ! book: Modeling is the most powerful of all teachers. That’s personal accountability and it’s an outstanding way to live.

Surely it beats landing in a ditch.

Discussion question:

What prevalent societal value would YOU choose to confront? Share here!

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6 Responses

  1. Hi John,

    I’ve noticed that you regularly relate QBQ! ideas to money management. I was wondering, do you have/are you planning to write a QBQ! themed money-management book? After college, when I first entered corporate America, I struggled with a lot of the IQs you use throughout your books. When I read QBQ!, it completely changed my outlook and I can honestly say my career is better for it. I think a similar book on money management would be ideal for my fellow millenials and myself, especially given the current student loan debt climate. Just an idea!

    Thanks!

  2. I never knew the reason for turning into the skid, Thank you. We have lived in Minnesota for over 25 years (came from Arizona), but no one ever told me the why before, and that is how I learn best.

    Thank you, I hope and pray that I will never need to use it, but if I do, it will be easier to remember.

    The rest was very good too! 🙂

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