Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bold Living by Default

A friend with a martial arts testing this weekend is dealing with a stiff back. It would be possible for him to get the test put off.

Here's what he says about that possibility: "My default setting is to 'go for it.' The back would have to be really bad for me to ask for a postponement."

I love that attitude. And I wonder what my own "default settings" are. This is probably what is meant by the hidden assumptions that I'm told we build our lives on. I'd like to be able to go into my "control panel" and see exactly what mine are. Some of them are likely of the earth-is-flat variety, an idea that shouldn't be running my life.

I asked my brother Franc once about how he came to his characteristic upbeatness. I was wanting instructions. He thought for a long moment and said, "It's an unconscious decision."

We usually only see the evidence of our unconscious decisions. Takes some work in the dark to find out what they are.

I do know that one of mine that has been hard to change is: "I am not allowed to screw up." That idea still has weird power, in spite of my various screwups over sixty years.

I'd like to figure out how to attach that mysterious power to the belief of my choice. I want one of my default positions to be: No second-guessing of myself, no pointless rehashing. There'd be nothing else to do then but "go for it."

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Anonymous said...

I suppose my default setting is to take care of everyone else. I would so enjoy a day of having that default set to my own needs.

Thanks for giving me something to consider.

Peggy Payne said...

I hope you'll give yourself that day, FumCon. Maybe even more than a day.

Debra W said...

This made me think of something that my Driving teacher taught me many years ago when I was in high school. He said that when you make the decision to drive into a turn, look once before you proceed, but then do not look again. Go into the turn with confidence because second-guessing it could definitely cause an accident. Interesting how certain things that people say, just stick. Even though my teacher was talking about driving, I have often used his advice in other areas of my life and it has served me well.

When you decide to do something, look once. After that, keep your eyes straight ahead.

Peggy Payne said...

I think of your driving teacher's advice as Nerve in the Curve, Debbie. Which comes from a racing metaphor. In-the-curve is not a place to change strategy or hold a committee meeting.