A few years ago, a man in his sixties came to see me at my office. I was testing him in various capacities – memory, visual spatial skills, attention – for several hours. And as he worked, he never let go of the car keys gripped within his left fist. Not once.
At one point, some of the tasks absolutely required two hands. So, a one-handed approach is going to be a stretch. With shallow security, he completed the first, and easiest, items. But the increasing difficulty brought him to an impasse – keep resisting or commit to the job. He simply could not successfully continue with a cuffed hand. In the end, his pride rewarded him only with mediocrity and we moved on to other things.
Recently, my oldest son asked to hold his infant cousin. I heard myself say, as he wiggled his body into the loveseat, arms outstretched, “With both hands, son.”
How many times do we police our kids on this: when their cup of milk threatens to sail over the rim or when their plate teeters as they carry it back to the kitchen (and how did it get in your room, by the way?). We want to see both hands on the steering wheel of whatever activity their doing – like cops, demanding to see their license and registration, which for a kid is basically just their left and right hands.
In the world of multitasking, do yourself a favour: do one thing and do it well. Whether it’s hugging your daughter or hashing up dinner; Loving your spouse or letting out the dog; Sorting school papers or savoring morning coffee.
Use both hands.
Not because of guilt. Not because you can’t scroll Twitter and listen to your son’s babbling at the same time. You can. (And so do I).
But because committing to what’s in front of you is not only more efficient (did ya know?) it’s also satisfying and happy-making. Even for those simple (or perhaps, menial) jobs. So that life can feel fresh. And firsthand.
A special giveaway will be announced on Tuesday, November 12, 2013!