Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I Learned Going to the Bathroom

Last night during a break in a seminar I went to the bathroom. Taped to the wall was a photocopy of printed instructions about how to wash your hands…I know, I know…but hang with me for a moment.

The small type at the bottom showed that the instructions originated at the Lincoln/Lancaster County (Nebraska) Health Department. Considering that I was in Durham, North Carolina, the source of the information alone was interesting.

The parts about, “wash your hands thoroughly” and “use a paper towel to dry your hands” were familiar, but the next part was what made it intriguing. The instructions said, “Turn off water with the paper towel.” Obviously, that keeps you from getting germs from the spigots back on your hands.

For years, after washing my hands in any public facility, I’ve kept the towel (if that’s how I dried my hands) and used it to open the door when I left. If they didn’t use paper towels, they used the blower (which is not very sanitary because it takes dirty air and blows it on your hands), I’d be sure to use sanitizing gel as soon as possible.

This is a great example of situations in which you do the things you’re supposed to do to get a good outcome, but there is one little thing at the end that negates the whole process…think working out and eating right during the day and then eating a doughnut before bed…

Wait, you mean y’all don’t do that?

Later last night, on the way home, I started thinking about the paper towel strategies and somehow connected it with how we think and our mental state. We can do all the positive thinking and focusing and planning we want but then connecting with negative people, and believing what they say, can negate all our good work.


Use the paper towel strategy. Take a moment and look at the good efforts you make during your day and revel in them. But, be careful about the little things that happen during your day that can zap the good.

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