You know, that’s the game where “moles” keep popping up through holes in a board, and the purpose is to whack them on the head with a mallet as fast as you can. The only problem is, no sooner do you whack one, that another pops up from another hole. You can work yourself into a frenzy trying to keep up.
This really ages me, but Whac-A-Mole reminds me of a famous skit from the “I Love Lucy” show. It must have been televised about 50 years ago. Lucy (Lucille Ball) was working on an assembly line in a candy factory. She was standing behind a conveyor belt, and her job was to package the individual pieces of chocolate as they were delivered to her station.
The only problem was, no matter how fast she put them in boxes, they would come a little faster. Pretty soon, she started popping some in her mouth to keep up the pace. But they came faster still, faster than she could package them and eat them. So her cheeks started filling up until she looked like an overly ambitious chipmunk. It was hilarious to me as a child. But it’s even funnier now that I can appreciate the “I love Lucy” skit’s reflection of real life.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed, kind of like Lucy?
Maybe your job or business throws you problems faster than you can solve them. Or by the time you answer three emails, five more pop into your inbox. Or do you manage to lose ten pounds, only to gain back eleven? No sooner do you pay your bills then you have another stack. You clean your house, your car, your clothes, yourself, and they get dirty all over again. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it?
And the very technologies that are designed to make life easier often make it more frantic.
All this leads to chronic stress, and chronic stress shortens your life.
Resist a Reaction
Since my purpose is to extend your life, I’d like to identify a common thread that runs through Whac-A-Mole, the “I Love Lucy” episode and all the overwhelming items I mentioned that lead to stress. In one word, it’s “reaction.”
If you want to bring sanity to your life, one of the most anti-aging habits you can adopt is pro-action. Quit reacting to everything around you, and take control, one day at a time.
Outsource or delegate all the stressful and endless repetitive tasks to someone better equipped to handle them. Identify what activities give you the most satisfaction, and spend your time on those. You’ll not only boost your health and longevity, but you’ll marvel at how quickly you recharge and how rapidly you prosper as well.