How Stop Signs Illustrate Decision Making

Remember when you were a kid, learning to drive, and they taught you that a stop sign requires a full stop? And a full stop means that you can actually feel the car settle back when it does? I’ve come to realize that, for me at least, decision making reminds me of the need for the full stop. stop sign

I think about a problem, review the options, and then I need to pause. I let it percolate. I digest it. I give it a pause that releases the pressure. I don’t stay focused on it straight through from problem to decision.

How long the digesting or percolating takes depends on the problem. That pause can take an hour, a day, or several days. It doesn’t always work but it often does. I relax, like the car coming to a full stop, and let it go. Most of the time the decision will come to me much better after the pause.


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