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Mar 10


Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

2008 - 103295-R1-028-12AMy parents have taught dog obedience training classes for forty years. They are well-respected for their expertise throughout Chicagoland.

When they are teaching their students (human and canine) they say “halt” whenever they want progress stopped. At that point the human stops and the canine stops and sits.

Halt as you know, means to stop or pause.  H.A.L.T. is also an acronym that relates to an important decision-making principle.

This is part-8 of the “10 for 25″ series on important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.


The four words are hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. When we are feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, we are vulnerable to make misguided decisions. Yesterday I cautioned about the peril of  decisions encumbered with short-term benefits and long-term consequences.

I love food, but far too often I have been so busy I forgot to eat. Sometimes I have been so busy I didn’t notice that I had latent anger simmering passive-aggressively below the surface. My busyness reflects my drive and ambition, but I have felt burned out many times. Even worse, when I feel exhausted I tend to isolate and ignore my wife and kids. Those mistakes have made my life harder for us all. Don’t make the same mistakes; H.A.L.T.

Hungry: When we are hungry it can be very difficult to concentrate, making it hard to make thought-through decisions. When we are really hungry we need to HALT. Stop. Do not make any important decisions. Eat healthy food. Healthy food choices help our body and brain function better!

Angry: People have a hard time making good decisions when they are angry. Angry thoughts demand our attention. When we are feeling angry focusing on wise decision making becomes more difficult. When you are angry, HALT. Stop, do not make any important decisions.

Lonely: We don’t always think rationally when we are lonely. If you are making big decisions, you could choose poorly (like doing harmful things or beginning a bad relationship), thinking that it will end the loneliness. The result might be that you feel even lonelier.  When you are feeling lonely HALT. Focus your energy on developing a supportive network who will help you combat loneliness in a healthy ways.

Tired: We lose our objectivity when we are tired. We might see or believe things that are not true.  We might also make rash or hasty decisions. When you are tired, HALT, do not make any important decisions. Beware, a wise man once said that “Fatigue makes fools of us all.”

#mysilentscream: Remember H.A.L.T.  Don’t make decisions when you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.


Bring on the comments

  1. Being tired is the big one for me. I get cranky pretty quickly and need to put myself down for a nap (haha) or go to bed. HALT is a great word to use as a reminder!

  2. Thanks for commenting Laura!
    Yes, I know it’s bad when everyone else seems to be saying, “You’re looking tired.”
    Ah, the myth of a fully functioning workaholic. =(
    Good thing (smirk inserted) I’ve only been a “borderline workaholic.”

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