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Accepting 100% responsibility is essential in our daily life.
It has to be an inseparable part of our life and our character.
It can't be on a hit-and-miss basis, just whenever we feel like it.
We have to commit to it 24/7, at any time, and in any situation.
About twenty years ago when I was living in California, one day I ran a red light.
I still vividly remember it. It was a Monday morning, and I had several important errands to run for my business. My mind was everywhere.
After my first appointment, as I was rushing to the next one, I ran a red light. Usually I consider myself to be a responsible driver, and running a red light is not acceptable to me. But it happened.
After running the red light, I nervously looked around to make sure that there were no police cars around me. To my surprise, there was one just to my left. He immediately turned on his flashing red lights and siren, and guided me to park on the right side of the street.
I angrily said to myself, "This is the last thing I wanted to happen. Now I have to pay a huge fine, it will go onto my driving record, and my insurance rates will rise. I wish I had been more responsible in driving. This has totally ruined my day."
I parked my car on the side of the street and the police officer parked right behind me. His red emergency lights were flashing the whole neighborhood, announcing the capture of the new criminal, and hopefully, teaching a good lesson to everyone.
I sat in my car waiting for the police officer. Those few minutes felt like an eternity. I had no place to run. I couldn't even deny or come up with any excuses. How could I? I ran a red light, and the officer was next to me.
As I was waiting for the police officer to get out of his car, a very unorthodox and totally outside the box idea came to my mind. I told myself, let's be creative. He is going to give me a ticket anyway. It is not going to get worse than that!
Let's change the game plan and totally surprise him. It may work. I took my driver's license, insurance, and registration cards out. I had them ready in my hand. I rolled down the window and anxiously waited for him to come to me.
He got out of his car, adjusted his belt, and touched his gun. He walked toward me like he was about to capture Al Capone. He wanted me to feel his presence. Believe me, I did. But he had no idea that he was about to meet a very strange driver.
When he came to me, before he opened his mouth to speak, I handed him the documents that I had in my hand.
I immediately told him, "Officer, you don't have to say anything. I know what I did. I ran a red light and I accept 100% responsibility for it. To me, running a red light is a major traffic violation. I cannot believe what I have done. I am ashamed of myself."
I then said, "Officer, there is only one way that I will learn a good lesson and make sure that this will not happen again. And that is for you to punish me harshly, double the fine, or even triple it. That will teach me a good lesson."
The officer was speechless. He didn't know whether to issue me a traffic citation or take me to a mental hospital. A few minutes earlier he had been acting like a mean sheriff in one of those western movies, and now he was like a kind friend trying to comfort me.
With a calm voice, he said, "Mr. Noor, this can happen to any of us. I am glad to see that you accept responsibility for your violation. Let me go check your driving record. I will be right back."
A few minutes later, he came back to me and said, "Mr. Noor, I checked your driving record. You are a very responsible driver. I will let you go this time, but be very careful. Running a red light, as you admitted, is a major traffic violation. Drive safely, and have a good day."
And he left. I immediately rolled up the window and screamed, "Yes! Yes! It worked! It worked!"
So, what is the moral of this story? Accept 100% responsibility of everything you do in your life. If you fall short, then accept 100% responsibility to fix what you did wrong. Apologize to the other person, and do it immediately, before it gets out of control.
When doing that, you will be amazed to see how easily the other person will forgive you. And there will be a good chance that the outcome will turn in your favor - even ... if you run a red light.
That incident taught me a great lesson about the importance of accepting 100% responsibility on a daily basis, 24/7, and in any situation. The kindness of that police officer and the lesson that I learned from the experience will remain with me forever.
This article came from Paul Noor's new book: http://www.PleaseMarryMyWife.com
Paul Noor is an Author, Keynote Speaker, and Corporate Trainer.
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