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Joe Eames for Thinkster

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Is there cheese down that hole?

I have a good friend who has a saying: “Is there cheese down that hole?”

It’s of course a literal reference to mice looking for cheese down a hole, but it’s also a reference to questioning whether a course of action has the potential for a valuable result we actually want.

So many times in our lives, we are simply reactive. Someone does something, and we react. We go into “lizard brain” mode. We simply do what our impulses are telling us to do. It may “feel” right, but is it the right course of action?

Let’s look at an example:

Someone cuts you off in traffic. You can ignore it, you can speed up, flip them off as you pass them, pull rudely in front and slam on your brakes, etc. But before you do that, ask yourself: Is there cheese down that hole?

Or…Our spouse/significant other says that we hurt them by something we did. But yet, just yesterday they did basically the same thing to us. Our first urge is to accuse them of hypocrisy. Again, is there cheese down that hole?

A coworker makes a personal attack during a planning meeting. You’re so pissed that you’re ready to attack them back. Is there cheese down that hole?

There are so many times when we feel like we’re letting others walk on us if we don’t react to their actions. That we have to “stand up” for ourselves by attacking back. But that is simply our own human frailties coming out. There are plenty of examples of those who didn’t “react” when they were attacked. They asked themselves about the cheese (although probably not with this particular phrase).

Is there cheese down the hole you’re in?

Happy coding!

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