When I was young, one of my favorite books was Sugarcane Island, which was the first “choose your own adventure” type of interactive book. The premise was fairly simple: You had been shipwrecked on a deserted island. The goal was survival and finding your way home. At the end of each chapter was a list of possible choices; whichever one you chose determined your fate in the next chapter.
The problem with this kind of “choose your own adventure” story was that although it could end in one of many possible scenarios, I always felt a lot of anxiety. In Sugarcane Island, I could make “good” choices, leading me back to civilization, or “bad” choices, where I’d be swallowed by quicksand or eaten by cannibals. Obsessed with making the “right” choice so I wouldn’t wind up on an island native’s dinner plate, I read ahead and memorized all the decisions that would lead me to safety.
Many people live their lives with a similarly anxious, right-wrong mindset. To read more, click on…
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