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By (March 6, 2009) (,)

It’s interesting to think of doing what’s expected of you (or not, as the case will show) as a trigger of an emotion. I find I’m not very in tune with what I do at one time having an effect on how I act or feel later. I very much live in the moment and if something has happened earlier that preempted its occurrence that’s not the first place I look to. An example: I feel sick now, so I think “I feel sick” – not “I wonder what I did earlier that made me sick now.” Enough of that…

Today I was late turning in an application for a grant. I got anxious, I got worried, and I had to hurry to turn it in. I had to pull strings to even get it submitted. I don’t know if I got the grant or not, but what matters is that I had the feelings of apprehension and concern that I could have avoided. My trigger? Procrastination. I could have written and turned in the paper had I woken up just a few minutes earlier, but instead I pushed it to the limit. Sometimes this can be a good thing – not having a deadline at all means I won’t get it done, but going too close to the end means oftentimes I run up against negative emotions that could have been well avoided if I had taken the time out to have a bit of foresight. I can’t say that next time I have something due I won’t procrastinate, but maybe thinking of emotions as effects and actions as causation will help me deal with them ahead of time.

March 6, 2009