What was the last thing you said to yourself before you got out of bed this morning? I would bet it wasn’t ‘What side of the cause and effect equation am I on today?’ However, what you did say to yourself could be a good indication of whether you see yourself as the cause of what is happening in your life or whether life is just happening to you. But what does this cause and effect equation mean anyway? Funnily enough that is exactly what I was thinking about before I got out of bed this morning and what I continued to contemplate on my run, and now post shower, I would like to share my understanding of the equation.
For me the cause and effect equation is all about RESPONSIBILITY. If I’m on the ‘effect’ side of the equation then I allocate the responsibility of what happens in my life to someone or to something else. For example if I were on the effect side I may say ‘I’m overworked, stressed and I need a break, but my boss won’t let me and she will only give me more work to do for being cheeky enough to ask for a holiday’ or ‘I really do need to eat more healthy food and exercise (Looking in the mirror at those extra pounds that have somehow magically appeared), but what’s the point, it’s an age thing and I can’t stop that.’ If you find yourself blaming others or life in general for dealing you a poor hand, then you are in effect.
If I were on the cause side of the equation I would understand that every effect has a cause and I am the only one responsible for my thoughts, decisions and actions that have created this effect, or played a significant part in it. For example ‘Wow, I’m feeling unexpectedly tired and lethargic, I’m spending too much time at work. This is not good for my wellbeing or performance. I’m going to speak to my boss first thing Monday to work out the best way to manage the workload and schedule in a hard earned holiday.’ Or looking in the mirror I say to myself ‘OK, I think its time to take some action here, no excuses, where’s my running shoes?’ Once you accept responsibility for the current situation in your life you can also take responsibility for the thoughts, decisions and actions that WILL CAUSE much more desirable outcomes in your life. Which side of the equation are you on?