As I traveled a highway at 60+ MPH in a 55 MPH zone, a state trooper pulled up on my left, looked at me, and drove on. Good, I thought.
Then, he let me take the lead and his lights flashed. I pulled over.
This guy is planning to ruin my day! Nothing better to do?! 😆
“Good morning, Sir!” I said cheerfully while feeling a bit sour. I almost added, “It’s a fine day, Sir, isn’t it? You look great today, Sir!” But I kept my mouth shut.
Then with a twinkle in his eye, he spoke: “Do you always leave an extra set of car keys hanging from your trunk lock?”
I went to look and there they were—my wife’s keys were dangling from the trunk. Feeling thankful, I smiled and responded, “No, Sir, not normally, Sir. Thank you so much, Sir!”
As he pulled away, he yelled, “That’s all I wanted! Have a great day!”
I think he enjoyed every moment of our encounter.
To the trooper, my keys were obvious. To me, they were not. I might’ve driven a thousand miles not knowing they were there. He could see them—I could not.
I initially held a negative view of this cop and his purpose for stopping me. My feelings bordered on frustration and anger. I was convinced he was out to get me. 😉
However, the moment I received new information about the keys, my negativity vanished. I suddenly had a new perspective: The trooper was there to help me. In other words, my “paradigm” shifted; my thinking changed.
That’s exactly what Personal Accountability does. When I practice Personal Accountability (using the QBQ! content), I see people and events in my world differently because I now look into the mirror asking QBQs like, “What can I do?” “How can I make a difference?” and “What can I do to change me?”
Personal Accountability is the key I can’t see (or use) until I stop racing down life’s highway and stop to find it. It’s then I can live a more fulfilling, meaningful, and successful life.
Have you found the key?
This was a great story! I would have been just like you…and been thinking just like you. Then to find out the police officer was there just to provide service, completely changed your thinking. Since I was not there to view it….I can only assume or think….that officer probably thought YOU WERE going to have a negative thought. He might have even begun the conversation in a way that felt like he was going to issue a ticket. And I bet he felt good walking away.
This happens alot in our lives. But many of our thoughts and actions are based on events in our lives that have been consistent. Therefore, we come to expect that each time. And when something different happens, we just say, “Oh, that is not typical.” My wife is a professional at offering the low percentage side in a discussion. So…when that officer got out of the car, if my wife had been there…..after I would have uttered, “Oh look, this guy has nothing better to do than to pull me over”….my wife would have said, “maybe he is walking up to give you a gift card.”
Great comment, Jeff! Thanks for the humor, too!