Last month I was traveling on the Thruway heading to Ithaca for a training engagement. Just as I passed Exit 46, cars were at a standstill. After sitting idle for a half an hour, the some 50 cars ahead of me started turning around on the shoulder as police were directing all drivers to get off at the Batavia exit. The Thruway was being shut down as a result of a suicidal man on the road, although at the time none of us knew the reason why.
As I re-routed my course, the planned 2-hour drive turned into a 4-hour adventure. As I watched the news that evening learning more about the 5-hour shut down of the Thruway, I thought about the man who caused this event.
I am assuming this individual was going through some type of crises and I hope he is getting help for his issues. However, the choices he made in the moment, not only impacted his life but hundreds of others as well.
Each day we do our own thing, many time for selfish reasons. Sometime these actions can be harmful to ourselves and others. Think about a time when you did something that had unintentional consequences. Everything we do, every day affects somebody whether we realize it or not.
Usually our actions are caused by triggers. As coaching expert Marshall Goldsmith describes how triggers work, there is an antecedent – an event, that prompts behavior that creates a consequence.
So think about your triggers, what or who set’s you off and monitor how you respond. Make your reaction less of a mess and do the next right thing. When we make better decisions in the moment, the ripple effect will be a positive current, and hopefully not one that sends people of their planned course.