Warning Signs

Back in the day of long gas lines, I ran my car out of oil and blew up my engine because I assumed the oil warning light was malfunctioning. I would explain my reasoning but it makes me look even more stupid. Combined with my legendary impatience (I exited a long line when I decided double checking the oil level was not worth the effort), the result was lethal to any regard my spouse had for my intelligence and judgment. She realized then that she had married me solely for my good looks, the most banal of reasons. I do not remember why I did not check my own oil because I have done that many times over the years. Maybe that is when I started that practice. I have often told this story when making presentations because it makes it less likely the audience will tune me out as arrogant. It also sets up a great message. When I get negative feedback from co-workers, supervisors, customers, clients, family members, friends, spiritual advisers, doctors, et.al., my immediate instinct is to vilify the person(s) trying to help me. I take no comfort that I am not alone in ignoring life’s warning signs. After speaking, I have been surprised at how many audience members have confessed to running their cars out of oil.


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