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Why trouble comes in bunches

McKinley Valentine — 1 min read
Why trouble comes in bunches
Photo by Flash Dantz / Unsplash

So a thing I do pretty often is catch the wrong tram and not realise until I've gone way past the point where the two tramlines diverge, and then have to walk a bunch of blocks across to where my proper tram is. And I swear this always happens on the day when I'm most tired, most miserable, most desperately just want to be home.

Which I at first thought was some sort of attention bias - I only notice the times when it sucks. But then I realised it's because it's the times I'm completely exhausted that I'm not paying attention, get on the first tram that comes past, and sink into a seat and close my eyes rather than look exactly where I'm going.

So my idea is, that "trouble comes in bunches" thing is true. You make mistakes, or don't react well, or don't react fast enough, when you're tired and stressed, and the first trouble is what makes you tired and stressed.

I also lock myself out more often than I'm pretty sure is normal for adults. I wrote in a previous issue that I think considerateness is partly a product of having open attention (as opposed to focused attention where you're oblivious to everything else) and I'm increasingly convinced that 'attention' might be one of those meta skills that quite a lot of things are boosted buy (bravery/courage is another).

This piece was originally published in The Whippet #41 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!

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