I pretty much remember how I came about talking my husband into painting our guest bedroom closet. It all started when the members of one of my writing groups decided to take a part in a virtual writing project. Our leader started the story and emailed it to the next person on the list, who in turn emailed it to the next, and so on. The story turned out to be about ants, not just any ants, but ants form Australia, which turned into giant ants when they ate Zoute, Dutch salted licorice drops. I had to do some research on my computer about old ant movies such as “The Empire of the Ants” and “A Bug’s Life”.

Seeing all the dust, because of the morning sun’s rays shining on my laptop computer screen, triggered me to finally organize and dust my desk. That task, which took half a day, was enough justification in my mind that I felt my husband and I could afford hiring someone to help clean the rest of our house. After all, that would give me more time to write. An acquaintance of mine cleans houses for a business. I asked her to help. Her cleaning our house triggered me to do some housecleaning before and after she came. Mind you, there was plenty of dusting for the both of us.

There was another chain of triggers that happened. I spied a bug in a box under our guest bedroom bed. I called for my husband to take a look. “It’s a silverfish. They like to live in people’s houses.” That little silverfish was a trigger for me to want to clean under the bed. I felt our house would not be a clean safe place to live with that little bug there. When we (I talked my husband into helping sweep under the bed) got that house cleaning project done, I decided I would vacuum the floor in the guest bedroom closet, too. I wanted to get rid of the Easter grass that had fallen on the floor of the closet when I put the Easter basket away. I took all the boxes and bags out of the closet. When I did that, I noticed the walls of the closet were marked up. I had thought I would just paint the walls of the closet myself (my husband is a very busy man) but decided to mention to him that the closet needed painted. Fortunately for me, and our future house’s owners, my husband tackled the task. He did a fabulous job! The Easter grass is now back in a Ziploc bag on a newly painted shelf in the closet, so it can’t mess up the closet floor again or at least not anytime soon.

Something can trigger us to take action. In fact, we are creatures chained to psychological triggers. Triggers (even a little bug) can cause emotional responses. We have to decide for ourselves if the trigger is legit and what behavior actions we choose to take.(1)

1. 5 storytelling triggers that spur your readers to take action – Market Land. 1/31/17

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