As a human being, you are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain… Seek the wanted, avoid the unwanted. This wiring governs your decisions and actions. As with anything, there are upsides to this design and downsides to this design. And one of these downsides can get in the way of life satisfaction as well as success.
Some people become stuck in avoidance mode. Specifically, they spend their life trying to avoid consequences. They imagine that it is possible to think, say or do something (the right thing) which will enable them to avoid consequences. But this is not actually possible. We live in a universe where one of the principal laws that governs this time space reality is the law of cause and effect. The law of cause and effect is simply that every effect has a specific and predictable cause. Every cause or action has a specific and predictable effect. This means that everything that we currently have in our lives is an effect that is a result of a specific cause. The reality is that everything you do has a consequence. This consequence can be judged as positive or negative, painful or pleasurable, wanted or unwanted. But what’s more, the negative or positive consequences we experience have both a positive and negative polarity to them. So that you can understand what I mean, I will give you some examples:
- If you choose a simple life in the country with far less pressure, the consequence could be that you feel less stress and more peace. But it could also be that you fall out of touch with what’s happening in society and will reap less financial reward. And there are both upsides and downsides inherent within each one of those potential consequences. For example, if you fall out of touch with what’s happening in society, a consequence may be that your own thoughts are much clearer and you can be much more present in your own experience because there is so much less of ‘others’ to clutter your awareness. On the other hand, a consequence may be that you start to feel isolated and like everyone is moving ahead at warp speed, leaving you behind. And you might begin to feel like the one who is ignorant and ‘out of touch’.
- Most people will only tell the truth or be honest if they can guarantee that there will be no consequences for what they say. But this is out of reality. There is a consequence for everything, whether you voice it or not. There are consequences for not being honest and not telling the truth, just as there are consequences for doing so. The law of cause and effect applies to personal truth, whether you voice it or not. The question is, looking at the consequences, which ones will say yes to? And why or why not? For example, if you have cheated on a partner, there are both positive and negative consequences for being honest about it. If you don’t tell the truth to your partner, you may suffer the consequence of silent self-hate and the lack of intimacy and separation inherent in living a double life. If you do, you may be seen as the bad guy by everyone in your social circle and lose the relationship with your partner. Conversely, if you don’t tell the truth, you get to avoid conflict with your partner, keep the relationship and not have to feel the intense shame of them knowing that you betrayed their trust. If you do tell the truth, you can feel the intense relief of not keeping a secret. You can feel closer to your partner, because you are back in the same reality. And you can feel like you did the right thing by society’s standards.
- Any job you choose comes with both positive and negative consequences. For example, if you join the military, one of those consequences could be travel. One person could see this as a positive consequence because it means they get to see the world. Another could see it as a negative consequence because it means that finding a partner and building a stable family will be much harder to do. If you start your own company, you can set your own schedule and be your own boss and don’t suffer from a financial glass ceiling anymore. But the company will be like a newborn, demanding 24-7 availability. You will have much more responsibility. And you will have to take large financial risks.
- Swimming in the ocean can carry the risk of things like rip tides, sting rays, shark attacks, jelly fish stings and sunburn. You can obviously do things to mitigate your risk. You can look to statistics and tell yourself that based off of them, risk is low. But the reality is, there can be a potential unwanted consequence. There are also potential positive consequences to swimming in the ocean. To feel the power of so much water as well as the way it takes your worries away. To be part of a totally different world (which the underwater world is) and forget the concerns of your daily human life. To play in the waves. All these things may just be an experience worth coming to earth for.
What all of this boils down to is: If you want life satisfaction and if you want success, rather than to try to avoid consequences, you need to consciously choose them instead. You need to be willing to decide that (fill in the blank with something you think, say or do) is worth the consequence or potential consequence. And when you do this, you can only be empowered by facing, accepting and dealing with the consequence that you have chosen. It will be yours to live with. So, knowing that, would you rather get on top of them by consciously choosing your consequences, or unconsciously choose them and feel like a victim to those consequences when they occur?
Most of us feel good about the idea of choosing positive consequences. What we are less comfortable with is the idea of deliberately choosing negative consequences. But consciously choosing your negative consequences is one of the most powerful things that you can do in life. The element of free will inherent in doing so, makes the experiencing of the unwanted very different. Many of the people whom are the most respected around the globe are people who have done this. Specifically, they have decided that consciously choosing a certain negative consequence is worth it because it holds the potential of some other positive consequence. To understand more about this in depth, watch my video titled: Want To Succeed? What Pain Will You Say Yes To?
Know that from where you are today, which is in the continual process of gaining awareness, it won’t be possible for you to foresee all the potential consequences. Don’t expect this of yourself. There are always things you won’t see and can’t anticipate. With different information and awareness, you would obviously foresee different consequences and therefore make different choices. This is one of the main reasons to commit to the expansion of your awareness. But with the awareness and information that you have today, the first thing you need to do is to accept that without exception, everything you think, say and do will have a consequence. Every cause has an effect. There is no such thing as a thought, word or action that does not have a consequence. Then, in any situation that you might find yourself, get into the habit of playing things out and looking down the line to see what some of the effects will be of whatever you might think, decide, say or do. Based off of doing this, which consequence is worth it? What consequence will you choose and why?
Most people don’t consciously take charge of the law of cause and effect. Most people don’t consciously choose their consequences. It is usually more of an unconscious, instinctual process of inclination and avoidance. This means that the idea of consciously choosing consequences is a totally new concept. But it is a new concept that you should definitely try on for size. Because it is a concept that can put you squarely in your personal power.