I guess you never really know what will set you off and how you’ll react to it. Triggers and reactions are probably near daily occurrences – and some are probably predictable and others can spin you around.
Some are predictable. For me, walking by a pizza place generally means I’ll be hungry. Walking by (as opposed to grabbing a slice) is a measure of success in managing the trigger.
Some triggers and reactions are relational. Seeing a concert (I was at Dead and Company last weekend) usually triggers a party atmosphere where a fun time can be had. I suppose how much fun you have is a way to measure that trigger’s impact.
Situational triggers and reactions occur as well. No matter how tired I am when I drag into the gym I get going and the environment gets me through the hour (or so) I am there. Although the measure could easily be the quality of the workout, I prefer to gauge the success on how I feel three hours later – if my energy or focus is better after the workout.
Other times triggers and reactions aren’t as easily defined. The measure of success is equally ill-defined.
There are moments I can be thrown back to the morning when my father died by simply seeing an ambulance in front of a house with its doors open. There are times I can be back on the corner my brother was hit by a car simply driving by a car accident. Forty plus years later my reactions to these triggers are sometimes a deep breath – but rarely more than the imagery.
Other moments in time have triggers and reactions that are a bit more raw and tougher to manage and measure. Those are the moments that will one day be a deep inhale – but today can be just about anything.
I’m not sure if measuring and managing those triggers and reactions is the best plan – but it’s what I do and sometimes it’s harder than others.