Set Your Mind To Work on a Problem

This is just a typical little example. Just before going on holiday this year, 2016, I ran out of shaving razors. Not wanting to go and do a supermarket shop, just before setting off, I managed with the last blunt one for a few days. When we got to France, the first time we went out for provisions, I bought a packet of my usual brand disposables. Now these razors were either blunt or the blades were loose in the holders or both because they just weren’t good to use. So I guessed that the French must have some sort of strange moratorium on sharp razors or some such thing. Anyway I put up with these razors for the next three weeks and left the packet of remaining razors in France, where we were staying. I bought some more when I got back to UK, same brand. These had the same problem, either the blades were blunt or loose in their holders or both, not good. So I figure that the manufacturer must have produced a bad batch or altered the design or somthing. Now normally I would just think “Oh well, I’ll just try something else, some other brand of razor”. Then it occurred to me to think the problem through properly. So I went on line and Googled for Reviews of Disposable razors. Gillette Mach 3 came out top. I like the disposable ones that come with the attached handle. You can get a pack of five in Tesco or Sainsbury’s for £6. Nice smooth shave, problem solved and I can move on with the rest of my life (or the next little problem).

So you can set your mind to work on problems. You can be mindful of the need to set your mind to work.

Handle-Attached type Gillette Mach 3 Disposable Razor
Handle-Attached type Gillette Mach 3 Disposable Razor

Everyday Little Decisions

Say you go to a café or a fast food restaurant, two adults and three children, and the only suitable sized table has the last diners empty trays and ketchup smeared over it. It needs clearing up and wiping over. What do you do?

  • Go to a clean, small four-seater table, and pull up another chair? Bit cramped.
  • Leave your coats and a child at the cluttered table, so as to claim it, whilst you go to the counter, place your order and demand that the table is cleared for you?
  • What if the restaurant is busy, do you try to clear the table best you can and put up with any remaining mess?
  • Compromise – clear the clutter the best you can and ask for a damp cloth so’s you can clean the table yourself?
Messy Table not cleared up
Messy Table not cleared up

Does your decision say something about you?

  1. Are you a take-charge person?
  2. Are you a timid person?
  3. Maybe you just like to help out?
  4. Does your decision depend on your own experiences?
  • If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant yourself you might empathise with the staff and take a kindly approach.
  • Maybe you think that “these people” are just there to do what you ask?
  • Does it depend on your mood at the time? Restaurant employees are probably used to grumpy people with low blood-sugar levels!

Of course there is no right answer to any of the above. I just offer this example as an exercise in being mindful of your own thoughts and feelings in such a situation. To be a thinking person rather than a reactive person. That way you are more in control.

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