ALTO DOES NOT MEAN STOP!
The Glorieta is the wonderful way Mexico merges traffic from 4 corners.
When I first moved to Mexico, I was warned, “When you see the Red Alto sign at the Glorieta, do not stop unless you can’t go immediately. You will be rear-ended and hear loud honking directed at you, the obvious newbie in town.”
Basically, the system keeps the traffic flowing and acts as a traffic-calming device, depending on everyone’s understanding of the word “yield.”
As everyone approaches the Glorieta, we start looking for our “chance” to slide into the traffic. In order to do this successfully, one must make eye contact; wave a hand to allow others to pass; slow down to permit others in; get out of the way of the people who speed up and deal with the always troubling question, “Should I drive on the inside or the outside of the circle?”
Quickly gathering this information, I make the best decision I can based on what I think, feel, see and hear that moment, then hope for the best.
When I was 35 years old, I took my first trip abroad and quickly learned about British roundabouts (England’s version of the Glorieta). Once I entered my first roundabout, I froze. Not knowing when to get off, knowing that when I did, I would never find my way back to this place again ending up forever lost in a foreign country. So round and round I went (yes, lots of honking and evil looks).
Finally having to exit, I found myself on the highway to nowhere. Happily, I found my way back to the roundabout, which took lots of effort and time. I got back on; round and round I went until I found the correct exit. I decided then and there, I would not allow pushy drivers and honking horns to flood my better judgment. I would get off when I knew it was right, no matter how many circles it took.
In my younger years, making decisions was torturous and filled with over-thinking, fear of making wrong decisions and believing if I made the wrong one, my life, as I knew it,would end. If I had used this technique at the Glorieta, I would of never gotten to the other side. I have learned that I must use timing, awareness, judgment, reaction and hope. I know now to trust the feeling in my body and heart to let me know when it is time to take action or just wait.
Loving the use of analogy, I decided to compare my experiences above with how I make decisions today.
My decision-making thoughts go like this:
1) Evaluate the situation using my best judgment
2) Gather the facts and information I need to decide
3) Write a catastrophe report and decide if I can live with the worst outcome
4) Wait until I feel it is right for me to move
5) Be patience and avoid pressure from others to decide quickly
6) Check for the feeling of intuition I have found in my Boomer Years
7) When I know, don’t hesitate, trust and know it will be ok
Would love to know how you make decisions? Is it hard? Do you have a method? Do you trust your intuition?