Have You Been Caught Speeding Lately?

Accountability Authenticity


Key Point: Sometimes everyday life events can humbly remind us that living The Character Triangle is about daily consistency rather than perfection. It involves daily practice and self-awareness. When we fall out of the Triangle we just need to accept, learn and constructively jump back in as fast as possible. Have you met a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman (RCMP) lately? Read on to find out what it’s like.

The other day I picked up a speeding ticket awarded by an esteemed member of Canada’s famous finest (and a healthy fine too). It was raining hard, a big truck in the lane in front of me was throwing up water and I decided to pass him. As I did, I cranked the car up and a radar clocked me about 15 mph/20 kilometers over the posted speed limit. Nice. After a dramatic lights flashing “pull over,” the officer comes over to my window and my response included…”I’m sorry if I was speeding officer but…”

1. “The truck beside me was spewing water and a few rocks, and I thought it was safer to pass him.” (It was not my fault. I’m an innocent victim of circumstances.)

2. “There was a Mercedes beside me going the same speed; just curious officer… Why me, and not him?” (Poor victim me: I was picked on, it was obviously discriminatory, or some faulty radar).

3. After the policeman leaves and has already handed me the ticket… “They picked on me because I drive a sports car and had U.S. plates and why don’t they use a little judgment. (Who is “they?” Geez…).

My wife, who has been fully immersed in The Character Triangle, looked at me in amusement. When I stopped grousing she asked me a simple question: “Were you speeding? Yes or no?”

Then with a well-placed grin, she flashed a well-timed Triangle sign with her fingers to me. Boy, did I earn that one, haha.

Character Move:

  1. Self-accountability is an everyday opportunity. We need to recognize when a situation we find ourselves in is not acceptable and take positive action to constructively move forward. (Blaming or feeling victimized usually does not help. We usually get the “speeding ticket” anyways).
  2. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize when we’ve joined a “pity party.” Occasionally we feel sorry for our poor little self. That’s when it’s great to get frank and receive well-intended feedback from a trusted associate/friend who can flash that Character Triangle sign. (In this case my wife played this role very effectively, ha).
  3. When we do fall out of the Triangle, blaming ourselves is not helpful either. Accept, learn and move forward. And use the experience to jump back in the Triangle with a fresh self-awareness and understanding.

No speeding in The Triangle,