June 23, 2015 Carole Levy

H.B.M., part 6: Choose the path with cheese!

Mastering our Hot Buttons requires three essential steps.

First step is SELF-AWARENESS. I think I largely covered this step in my last… FIVE posts! Did I indulge myself too much in a comfortable subject and avoid the more challenging steps toward transformation? It’s possible.

But I’m moving on and here is the second step: CHOOSING.

It is a very simple step because the choice has only two options: either we choose the path with cheese, or we choose the path with no cheese. I’ll explain.

My friend and colleague Marc-André Olivier from Learning as Leadership likes to share a story about rats. When rats are in front of several tunnels and only one contains cheese, they spend a short amount of time exploring a tunnel without cheese, but then quickly move to another tunnel until they find the one with cheese.

We, human beings, can stay for our entire life in the same cheese-less tunnel, without ever trying to explore another one that might have cheese. We think that in our tunnel, there must be cheese otherwise we wouldn’t be here. We think that perhaps we haven’t searched hard enough otherwise we would have found the cheese. We think that somebody must have hidden the cheese from us because there must be cheese in the damn tunnel! Then we think that the problem is actually that we can’t trust people in our tunnel. We think that perhaps we should remodel the tunnel, and so on.

Off course, the problem is not about getting the cheese, especially if you’re not a rat or a French person like me. The problem is about persisting in a tunnel that doesn’t work for us. When we are triggered and persist in our ineffective reactions, we are not smart-rats because we constantly choose the path with no cheese!

My invitation is simply: refuse the same old well-known path leading to an accumulation of undesirable consequences. Instead choose a path you don’t know well or not at all, but that might conceal an inestimable treasure: piece of mind… I mean, peace of mind!

Choosing is a very simple yet difficult task. That’s why I drew the following map to remind us what we are up against:


In my next post – the last one before taking a blogging summer break – I will provide three tips to anchor the notion of choosing the right path. Afterward, we’ll be ready to dig into the final step, the last third of the solution: TRANSFORMING. By the end of 2015, you will master your hot buttons. For now, just go look for the CHEESE!


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