Pete is sitting in front of the television, beer and chips in hand, watching the championship football game. He’s been looking forward to this all week.
She marches in, stands defiantly in front of the television and blurts, “The sun’s shining and you’ve promised to cut the grass for weeks. It’s time!”
Pete considers the options:
Adapt: He could negotiate, promise to cut the grass immediately after the game, never mind that it’s already 4 p.m., and darkness will engulf the yard at 6, not to mention this is a double header day. Or, he could offer to do the yard tomorrow, hoping she doesn’t remember that he’s already promised to take the family to the Wonderland Theme Park.
Yes, Pete could adapt by trying to negotiate. In this case his options are limited as this is the tactic he used the past two weeks in avoiding the task.
Migrate. He could arrange for his buddy, Harry, to call and then tell his wife he urgently needs help fixing a broken hot water heater, back as soon as possible. Of course, the hot water heater is fine, but now the guys can watch the games undisturbed in Harry’s man cave garage.
The downside of this option is that the two wives are also friends. They’ll talk, and Pete’s wife will realize she’s been scammed.
Pete’s options are now reduced to the final-
Don’t be happy.
Yes, it may come to this. After reviewing all Pete’s other options and their consequences, he may just have to get out and mow the damn yard or face the continued wrath of his wife.
But wait, perhaps there is another possibility-
Let’s reconsider “adapt.”
Man’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances has been the single most important means of his survival on planet Earth. What is another way Pete could adapt to this crisis?
He could call Billy, the teenage kid next door, and offer him twenty bucks to cut the yard, plus a free beer on the side. For an extra ten spot, he could probably get Billy to wash the wife’s car too.
Pete smiles and picks up his phone. “Honey, you’re absolutely right. I’m going to take care of this right now.”
Moral: In any perilous situation, man has three choices: adapt, migrate, or don’t be happy.
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