Stop signs, permits and patterns

A stop sign is a red octagon; a universally recognised pattern. One worth keeping. A pattern that makes a lot of sense and would cause chaos if changed.

Complaining about Monday, on the other hand, is a pattern worth interrupting. It’s a default response that doesn’t serve us or those around us.

These unhelpful patterns exist everywhere, and when we step back and look at them, they rarely make sense. 

Take my recent experience at Town Hall. 

I was required to visit their office and renew a permit. 

The receptionist processed my payment, printed off the permit and, without a second thought, reached for an envelope, placed the permit inside and said “you should receive it in 5 business days”. 

He posted the permit to me while I was standing right in front of him.

Now THAT is a pattern worth interrupting.

It takes some audacity to step up and say “what if we tried this instead?”

It takes someone willing to create tension and discomfort.

And it’s worth it.

Because interrupting a pattern requires you, and others, to go from unconscious to conscious. From asleep to awake. And once you see these patterns, you can’t un-see them. 

With this in mind, it’s worth doing an audit:

What patterns do you have that are serving you?

What patterns do you have that might be worth interrupting?

And yes, the permit arrived after 5 painstakingly long days.

Photo by Sam Xu on Unsplash