Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Are you really going all the way?

"The Way a Person Does One Thing Is the Way They Do Everything"

This is an intriguing concept.  When I first saw the title, I had a bit of a harrumph! moment.  How dare someone pigeonhole me?  Really!

But I thought it might be wise to set aside my irritation and actually read the piece...because I don't always do that.  Sadly, readers o' mine, my mental thigh muscles bulge with years of conclusion-jumping.  So I read it, and I started to consider the possibility that, not only do I not always give full attention to every task, I often skim, skip, and suppose myself to a place that precludes excellence.

While I was about this massive reconsideration of my own little Self, I thought it would be cool to make Cliff an unwitting accomplice.  He's generally unwitting when it comes to accomplicing with me on my "research" efforts.  If I told him what I was up to, he'd probably stay out nights, as changing his MO is not likely to happen.

Sure enough, there were all the little signs in both of our behavior patterns that supported the premise that the way we do one thing is the way we do everything.  Ack!

Of course this is not a rule so firm that there's never an opportunity for a little mold-busting (at least a little mold-testing) in individual situations.  For instance, Cliff, who is Most Likely To Be Killed Jumping Past a Conclusion, is scrupulous when it comes to certain tasks.  His supposition habit is partly a result of having been allowed to borrow my brain for the past 21 years.  Not that I'm some sort of genius (Ahem! ), but that I'm a habitual researcher and truth-seeker, so if anyone in his immediate vicinity is likely to know the answer to some strange question, it's probably going to be me.  I've helped him develop a lazy mind, and I'm paying the price.  There's nothing like being mid-writing-assignment and having someone pop up with vitally important (to him) questions that are completely off-topic for me.  It's multitasking at its least acceptable.  Every now and then I dig in my heels and withdraw his brain-library card.
There's probably a better way....

It was interesting to note, however, that where he used to only query me about spelling, grammar, and maybe the occasional computer problem, he's morphed into a huge, all-encompassing question mark of a thinker.

But give him a car that's making that chunka-whoop-cuh sound, and his supposing is exactly the ticket.  Since cars don't (usually) talk, sussing out the source begins with a supposition based on prior experience.  That's the other reason for his constant leaping to odd conclusions.  Habit breeds more habit, which is precisely the point of the linked article.

I got thinking that if it worked that way for him, it probably worked the same way for me with the horse thing.  My intense need to find the bottom line--The Truth--not only costs me a lot of time online and in treeware searching for information, it also makes me hypersensitive to the little quirks and wobbles that the horses present.  I can't just deal with the what; I also have to find the why and the wherefore.  I can only imagine how the horses feel about this constant scrutiny.  Probably the way Cliff would feel if he knew.  [snorf!]

My thought on this subject is that we all form patterns of behavior.  If one takes the time to reflect, one can easily target where those patterns cause problems in one's life.  If one's boss, for instance, is constantly harping on punctuality issues, is one also late getting to appointments and cutting time short when it comes to working with one's horse?  If one is the type to fly off the handle with one's spousal alternative and assorted junior humans, will one also grab the whip when one's horse is showing hints of recalcitrance (or teeth)?

I've noticed a sudden resurgence of interest in the whole Personality Typing thing that hit social media a few years ago.  One of the question forums where I flaunt my expertise has become a haven for people throwing initials after their names indicating that they are of a particular temperament...presumably as a warning.   I'm an ESTJ.  Just sayin'.  While this is a valuable tool, it is only that.  Because even Keirsey will tell you that there are variations in the norm that are situation-dependent.  I may always look for the facts, but be satisfied in the moment with whatever I have at hand.

Do a little self-searching, and you might find some habits that could stand tweaking before they stand in the way of your relationship with your horse.

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