Follow Me on Twitter

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Soap and Prevention Goals Follow-Up

Readers, who knew that soap could produce so much lather?

My last post generated a few interesting responses that I thought you would enjoy.

Here’s one:

I just read your recent blog post. I especially enjoyed the bit about the soap because, as you could probably guess, we also like to use soap down to the last drop around here. But, who doesn't like a new bar? A co-worker told us a while back how to meld a soap end to a new bar of soap and we've been living in the best of worlds ever since. :)
Foam on!

Best of both worlds, indeed. Prevention and promotion goals. This soap meld solution is actually brilliant, if challenging. I’m not quite sure how to do it. The writer kept that secret. How much soap does it waste to get the one to meld to the other? Perhaps it’s only a matter of a simple wet-and-stick strategy. If I remember, I will try to meld. But the husband may foil me by tossing the soap sliver before getting the new bar.

And, as previously mentioned, I will be relieved.

Here’s a second:

I have an add-a-thought . . . those slivers escape fingers easily and create a slip-in the-tub hazard, providing the veteran, soap-saving pessimist good reason to toss the sliver and suds up with the optimist's big bar.

Safety first! This writer is prevention oriented, at least in this situation. But there is, again, the promotion-mindset: being aware of what you might gain.  With safety and optimism as priorities, I guarantee a happier life, and one that is probably more successful than just focusing on risk and prevention will create. This is another best of both worlds way of looking at the situation. Preventing slipping and promoting safety by ditching the soap splinter and opening the big bar.

Then there was this response, which really takes anxiety and guilt to a new level, and shows the dark side of being prevention-minded:

I think fear is compounded as you age. My sense of adventure has been stamped out by my sense of responsibility and general fear of every darn thing now…

Like, if you throw out that sliver of soap, you’ll start living a wasteful life and you’ll end up in old age with no financial security. What about THAT you ‘soap wasting optimists’?

I would like to tell you that I did not totally relate to this superstitious fear one thousand percent. But I did. And maybe some of you do, too. Waste not want not. Isn’t that one of our biblical proverbs? Of course it is. Disobey and invite the wrath of God. In fact, there are probably other rich veins of guilt running through my life that make me expect a punishment from above for some sort of minor transgression below. Or, as in this case, not a transgression at all, really.

So let’s not waste time on soap splinters and slivers. Unless, like my soap-melding friends above, you really want to. After all, if financial ruin can follow from throwing out a soap splinter, what disasters might develop from not eating all your dinner?

Oh. My. God. Is that why we have global warming?

Have I negated my point? Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. (Thank you, Walt Whitman, for another of my favorite quotations I like to use out of context.)

I am not here to give answers, Readers, merely to raise questions and suggest multiple ways of looking at things.

And so, let me continue on with this goals stuff.

These comments reveal their writers’ goal orientations: prevention primarily, but with some promotion thrown in. They also reveal how clever and amusing my readers are, I must say.

Another comment from the wrath of God writer was that fear had come to dominate decision making so that going on a vacation abroad, a thing she wanted to do, had become impossible. Too many things could go wrong: have a terrible time, bad travel experience, loss of money, injury, death.

This is prevention orientation to the extreme. Extreme risk aversion becomes paralysis. And it shows the danger of having too much of one kind of focus. Because after all, life is for living, not for hiding.

So prevention-focused individuals must learn where that focus is beneficial, and where it is harmful.  And remembering that we all need goals. And that not all goals are about risk prevention. Some goals are about gain.

It means making an effort, sometimes, to think about what you might gain from pursuing a goal. If you know you will unconsciously tend to consider the risks more weighty than the rewards of a decision, then you can counter this consciously. By making an effort to consider the gains. By finding someone who will put a new bar of soap in the soap dish for you.


And now it’s June.

Delights of June. And sun. 

Ouch, my pinkie hurts. I jammed it during YFit class today. On a medicine ball of all things. Throwing it against the wall. I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect it would hurt to type.

So I am forcing myself to finish the blog post. It may be more disjointed than usual, but that's because my pinky is, too.

In other news, I find I have enrolled in a class—a graduate class for the MSW degree. I’m not enrolled in the program. Yet. But I am leaning that way. Prototyping my way through life, as recommended in Designing Your Life by Bill Burnet and Dave Evans. They are Stanford professors in the design department. Using principles of design to design a fulfilling life. In this case, trying out a possibility, and seeing how it goes. Developing a first attempt and then tweaking. That is prototyping. Prototyping is key to design, and therefore to life. It makes sense as a strategy. Keeps a person moving, which seems to be a built-in need: to feel like we are progressing. And then correcting as need be. So. I have prototyped my way into a group presentation due Monday on Domestic Violence, also know as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), and a 2-3 page paper based on an interview with a member of an older generation on a problem in social welfare. Dad, expect my call any moment. Topic: discrimination.

Now, I don’t like to wax spiritual-mystical woo-woo, but I am going to say this. A few weeks ago, feeling discouraged about writing overall, I wished consciously to myself for an opportunity to write something more for Publisher's Weekly, something beyond my short, unsigned reviews.

And then, yesterday, came an offer. I’m waiting for confirmation, but I have been asked to interview an author—for a byline!

So. Just leaving that out there. Is it a tip for success? Is it a plug for the Law of Attraction?

You decide.

Think of me working on my group presentation with two 22-year-olds and a sore pinkie while you enjoy your weekends, Readers.

No comments:

Post a Comment