With our first good snowfall here in the Midwest I feel the urge to go do donuts in an empty parking lot. One of my friends from New Mexico is skeptical of the value of doing donuts. I have argued in the past that it gives you a chance to experience sliding and gives you some control over your slide. I am sure that the numerous times I’ve recovered from a slide are a direct result of having practiced sliding early in the season.
This week I realized the value is more than just muscle memory for sliding — I am anchoring good feelings to the sliding sensation.
The term “anchoring” refers to the association of a particular stimulus (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell) with a particular state. When the stimulus is repeated the state is re-experienced.
Donuts anchor fun/good feelings/resources (including the maniacal laughter) to sliding in the snow. This means that when you slide later, on purpose or not, you are more likely to bring with it the good feelings you anchored. How might emotions prevent an accident? Feeling good gives us access to more resources including better reaction time. (Compare an accident with a near-miss, which one has better feelings and more resources associated with it?)
Where in your life could “playing” come in handy in more “serious” situations?
What situations might call for more resources and better responses?
How many good feelings can you generate in advance of a tough situation?