The avalanche problem

You didn’t get to bed on time and so you are late for work.

You are late for work so you run the red light.

You got in an accident because you ran the red light.

These things happen all the time. We become so hyper-focused on the outcome of the last decision that we ignore the ten decisions that led before that.

This is an avalanche problem: One bad decision that leads to even more bad decisions.

Avalanche forecasters have a set of checklists they use to figure out if a slope is safe enough to ski. It isn’t foolproof, but you can certainly save yourself a lot of heartache by observing the conditions around you to avoid these traps.

It is also worth pointing out, that one positive decision can lead to more favorable outcomes too.