With my new drivers license in hand, I did what any normal, red-blooded 16-year- old would do: something really stupid. I hopped in the family car, picked up my friend, Calvin, then proceeded to throw water balloons out the window at trees. The game wasn’t as worthless as it seems — you got a point for each tree you hit.
My winning streak was rudely interrupted by the long arm of the law. Luckily, I only received a warning. Emboldened by my immunity to the rules of the road, the next week I sailed through main street at Mach II, windows open and radio blaring. My girlfriend was impressed; the cop who issued me a speeding ticket wasn’t.
I was outraged. Didn’t the police have more important things to do, like foiling bank heists? Apparently not, because the next morning the chief called my home (they do that in small towns of 6,700) and my mother dragged me down to the station for a good talking to.
I expected the usual “blah blah safety blah blah rules blah blah responsibility” lecture. So I was flabbergasted when the chief looked me in the eye and said “Son, how’d you like a foolproof way of taking advantage of the law?”
I was too dumbstruck to answer immediately, so the chief kept on talking. “Here’s what you do. Stick your tongue out at my men as you drive by them, and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it – I guarantee you.”
Now I was all ears! “You’re going to give me an inside tip on how to put the screws to the screws?” I asked belligerently. “What do I have to do?”
“Simple. If the speed limit is 25 miles per hour, go 25 miles per hour or less. If you come to a red light, stop. Don’t throw anything out the window, especially water balloons. If you follow the rules of the road, you can stick your tongue out at my officers and I guarantee they won’t stop you. Try it. Your mother is witness to my promise.”
Well, this struck a chord with my righteous teenage indignation. Who wouldn’t want to stick his tongue out at the cops? And who would have dared? Now I had an invitation!
The next day I picked up Calvin and told him what we were going to do. I dutifully followed the rules of the road, and whenever I passed a cop we both stuck our tongues out at him. Lo and behold, he waved me on.
Years later, the significance of the lesson from the chief finally sunk in: when I follow the rules of life, I can stick my tongue out at failure, and failure will nod and wave me on without stopping me.
- When I follow the simple rule for making friends – be nice – I make lots of friends.
- When I follow the simple rule for being interesting – be interested – people tell me I am very interesting.
- When I follow the rule for making money – learn to love money for the wonderful and helpful things I can do with it – money flocks to me. Put another way, when you follow the rules of living prosperously you can stick your tongue out at scarcity, and scarcity can’t do a damn thing about it.
Every time you try to conquer life by breaking its rules (drinking too much, lying, stealing, cheating), life conquers you. Life-victory is the result of following the rules.
Will you help me out by offering an example of how you followed the rules and won a sweet victory?
Thank you, and blessings
P.S. It wasn’t until several months after the chief called me in that I learned his little game. All of the officers on his force were told that if a teenager drove by and stuck his tongue out at them, they could rest assured that the kid was strictly observing the law. Pretty shrewd cop, eh?
Here is a $67,000 tip that is at YOUR fingertips. Listen to this weeks WROAR Blog Talk Radio show: “Working Out with Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Learn how to move mountains (and decimal points in your bank account).
“Best Comment of the Week.” This weeks best comments come from Julie from A Clear Sign and Debbie from Happy Maker Now. Thank you for your heartfelt sharing. See their comments here. Illustrations by nick