Larry Banman – The trick is finding the trigger mechanism
July 16, 2009
A trigger is a mechanism that actuates a firing sequence in firearms.
A trigger mechanism can be defined as something that initiates an action when an event occurs such as reaching a certain time or date or upon receiving some type of input.
For example, every day at noon, my computer at work undergoes a scan for viruses. The trigger mechanism is the time of day. It is a helpful tool because, invariably, I would forget to initiate the scan and some sort of virus would eventually creep into my computer and infect something of value. As an aside, I learned the other day that some viruses can be triggered by a certain number of “hits” on a particular site.
My mind often wanders down rabbit trails and I got to thinking the other day about trigger mechanisms that are a part of daily living. Often I can’t really get rolling in the morning until I have had a mocha and Mountain Dew (a little something I like to call a starter pack). That, however, may be more of an indication of a caffeine addiction than a trigger mechanism.
I am a fastidious person by nature which, taken to the extreme, can make me critical, demanding and hard to please. It isn’t always apparent, but I am “a place for everything and everything in its place kind of guy.” I am not truly content unless my world is spinning nicely on its axis and there is a sense of order throughout the realm.
I can easily get trapped in an Ozzie and Harriet time warp when I want my lawn mowed, my T-shirts folded and my pot roast to include perfectly cooked potatoes. The downside of that characteristic is that I am rarely in a state of contentment. Life, by its nature, doesn’t fit into neat categories and doesn’t always follow a progression that lines up with my expectations. There isn’t enough time and money in the world to keep everything just right.
What I often find is that when things start to spin out of control, I am prone to a chaos binge. Suddenly, I don’t do anything to maintain order. Tools are strewn throughout the garage, weeds creep into the nasturtium bed, partially read newspapers litter the house and mail starts to pile on my desk. As for my laundry, I would just as soon not bore you with the details. I can stare at the detritus of my life for a week or two and not be motivated to stem the tide of anarchy. It gets so overwhelming that I fall into that trap of feeling like there is too much to do and I end up doing nothing. In fact, the only thing my body is telling me to do is take a nap which, of course, exacerbates the situation.
Over the years, I have found that the trigger mechanism that causes me to reverse the disarray is to get my desk in order. And, the trigger mechanism to get my desk in order is to balance my check book. For some reason, when I follow that sequence I find new energy. All of sudden I want to fold my laundry, clean the garage, mow the lawn and arrange my T-shirts by color. When it is all done I feel better and, invariably, I have the same thought, “Why didn’t I do this before?” As another aside, I am pretty sure my wife is having similar thoughts.
The trick for me is to find the trigger mechanism when faced with a task that seems daunting. What is it that will spark the energy and enthusiasm required to move from Ground Zero and get me moving toward achievement? Sometimes that spark is panic: a negative balance in the check book, a bill that requires the use of red ink or the loss of something important (like the television remote). Sometimes the spark is disgust: The weeds are taller than the flowers, the newspaper I just picked up is three weeks old or the oil on the dipstick is grimy. Sometimes, personal pride provides the spark and sometimes there is just a surge of renewed energy.
The trigger mechanism is the key. If I could just find the correct key, perhaps I will get around to arranging the photos on my computer. Currently, they are all in a file marked, “To Sort.” The other day, I noticed a photo that showed me as thin and with hair.
Apparently this trigger mechanism is proving to be elusive.
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