Blogpost, self-reliance

Opposite Day and Chinese Finger Traps

Since I’ve not taught at the elementary level for a long time, I’m not sure what grade “opposite day” becomes a thing. Not even 100% sure if it still happens where good becomes bad. Hot becomes cold and a multitude of other variations. More than anything, it seems to be a tactic to frustrate someone or create an insider and outsider grouping. It doesn’t usually make it an entire day because the additional thought gets exhausting for those playing the “prank” and they move on. Or as the prank persists, the pranksters realize that they are in the minority in larger world. Either way this tends to be short-lived because the payoff isn’t worth the effort. Contradicting the tried and true is not the best strategy. Unless you’re in a Chinese Finger Trap!

If you’ve never experienced one, a Chinese Finger Trap is a novelty item that holds your fingers tighter the harder that you pull away. The trick is that only by pushing your fingers together can you free yourself from the “trap”. It’s a gag to be sure and not a difficult one to solve. Enough people have seen them to know the trick. Unfortunately in life, we run into Finger Traps from time to time. They are not always so easy to decipher or free ourselves from. Often we persist in the “normal” action that is actually getting the opposite result than we desire. For example: normally to build a connection with a person, you need to spend time together. In theory, more time should equate to more connection. However there comes a saturation point where even a good thing becomes a negative. It’s a finger trap!

So as you go into your day, pay attention to the efforts that you’re putting in and the results that you’re getting back. It’s possible that you’re wasting effort in a finger trap. Freeing yourself from that situation may give you more energy, time or focus to put elsewhere. Or perhaps a smarter application of your efforts might get you exactly what you’re looking for rather than frustration. If life were simple, it would get boring pretty quickly. And isn’t that possible the biggest finger trap of them all? We want things to be easy, so we won’t be stressed. But then when things get too easy, we get bored!

Enjoy the push and the pull of life today!

Pete

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