For the umpteenth time, Arusha’s stomach rumbled.

She was running too late to eat breakfast in the morning. Once she reached office, she had been sucked into a whirlwind of fire- fights. She hadn’t even noticed lunch time come and go. It was almost five in the evening now.

With the first slack in her mad rush since morning, she finally found time to notice that she was weak with hunger.  She decided to finish the mail she was typing before heading out to the cafeteria for a filling meal. Just a few more minutes, she promised her grumbling stomach.

The internal  phone rang shrilly. Arusha cursed under her breath. What is it now, she petulantly asked the internal caller. Don’t tell me there’s another crisis! And it was!

An hour later, hungrier, more exhausted and a lot more drained, she lay slumped on her desk, too tired to go to the cafeteria. Her phone tinkled with an incoming mail. Oh God! Please let me die now, PLEASE! Let me cease to exist and if you can’t do that, at least make me invisible for a week. She smiled tiredly, realizing that she was foolishly trying to negotiate with God.

As she opened and read the mail, she froze in shock. Ten minutes later, her initial shock over, she stormed into her boss’s cabin in an insane temper.

“I quit!” she declared, distraught.

Before the man had a chance to react, she banged out of the cabin.


With all these forks in the roads of our path, why do so many choose to take the knife?

~ Anthony Liccione

I first came across the acronym H.A.L.T.nearly five years ago.

H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Each one of these four physical or emotional conditions, if not taken care of, leave an individual very fragile and vulnerable.

In this vulnerable state, your larger-than-life reaction are operating on a hair-trigger. You take instant, irreversible, irrevocable decisions- huge, life changing ones which later prove to be bad, ineffective and even downright dangerous at times. Reality and perspective take a back seat as your vulnerable, fearful self runs amok, shoving you out maliciously on a two-foot ledge on a high rise building.

To take an important, life-changing decision when you are in this reduced emotional state, is a bad idea. You need to HALT all decision making when you are in a state of H. A. L. T.

If you want a new tomorrow, then make new choices today.

~ Tim Fargo

Hunger is a simple lack of food about which nothing is simple. Triggering a whole bunch of physiological responses from weakness, headaches, dizziness, depression, listlessness, social withdrawal, and apathy. You are hardly likely to appreciate Sunshine Avenue when you are hungry. You’d be a lot more at home in Pall Mall. The decisions you take in this state will likely be tainted by the same sombre outlook.

Anger is a complex emotion and one which carries the biggest psychological cost to us. There is nothing wrong with feeling anger but very few people know how to express it constructively. Poorly and ineffectively expressed anger turns situations toxic and create breeding grounds for resentment and malice. To take a decision in this very volatile state is the biggest mistake of all.

Loneliness is when your hunger is not physical but emotional. Hunger for attention, for comfort, for understanding or companionship. People who can give us this emotional sustenance are vital to our well-being. These like-minded people, these kindred souls, give us the soul food we crave. More often that not, the solution to this hunger is connection and community.

Tiredness has almost become a chronic state for some of us. It may be the result of a lack of sleep or of excessive physical effort. It is a serious condition that endangers our well-being as well as that of others. Tiredness is also the result of being overloaded and overwhelmed. Listlessness and apathy are heightened when you are tired. To take an important decision in this state is certainly a recipe for disaster.

Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.

~ Robert Bennett

Defer all major decision making when you are H.A.L.T. It isn’t really very difficult to tell yourself- or someone else- that you are not in an appropriate frame of mind to take a decision. You need time to think it over, you need to sort things out first, you need more information- these are effective ways of putting the breaks on a snowball hurtling downhill. Plenty of time to decide what you want to do when you are out of H.A.L.T.

Please HALT! Tomorrow is another day!

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