While at a conference in Las Vegas, I experience a phenomenon I refer to as “Random Stop Syndrome”. While walking through the casinos people would come to a sudden and complete stop for no apparent reason setting off a chain reaction by those walking behind who either swerved to avoid them or ran right into them.
Though first acknowledged in Las Vegas, this syndrome is not unique to that region. The other day as I headed into the grocery store, an elderly man came to an abrupt halt just inside the doors of the store completely blocking the primary entrance. As I approached in my normal hurried fashion, I almost knocked him over with the momentum of my pace. Luckily my swift reflexes prompted me to grab a newspaper distribution box and maneuver past him with stealth dexterity.
My reaction to the man was similar to that of random stoppers in Las Vegas, complete annoyance. However; I began to consider other types of random stops we face in our lives that not only affect our direction in life, but the direction (or re-direction) of others as well.
Random life stops occur for several reasons:
- To decide which direction we need to head when looking for something in particular.
- To evaluate our surroundings in order to make an informed choice.
- To wait for others who are following more slowly.
- Due to hesitation at moving forward in a certain direction.
Some of these stops are needed in order to fully evaluate a larger next step, such as deciding to get married, start a business or have children. Some are in reaction to a tragic event such as the sudden death of a loved one, or the loss of a job or home. Many are due to the random stopping of the people around us, such as loss of a job or relationship. Fear of the future can cause a random stop leaving us frozen in our current circumstances. However; stops caused by fear of trying something new, taking a chance or moving in a new direction can produce a situation where we are actually the old man standing in our own way.
The good news is that there is hope for all of us who suffer from this chronic and sometimes debilitating syndrome. Creating a plan for potential life events can cut down on the number of random stops we make. Pro-activity is the key!
Points to Ponder on the random stops in your life:
- What random stops have I made in the past that I can learn from?
- How can I overcome hesitations that cause me to randomly stop in order to take a chance on moving forward?
- What steps can I take to be prepared for random stops caused by others?
- What random stops can I avoid by taking action now?
There are many other ways to pro-actively prepare for random stops in our lives. The main thing is you either need to keep moving or get out-of-the-way!