Monday, April 4, 2011

Consequences Part II

Happiness is not a reward / it is a consequence. Suffering is not a punishment / it is a result.
~Robert Green Ingersoll

You will find that I did not post Consequences Part I on the blog. I wrote it. I also decided that the consequences of putting that post out to the world wide web could be great. There was nothing wrong about it, but there are consequences for everything we do. When it comes to blogging, there are only certain aspects of our life I want to share. You hear of stories of different scenarios that play out because of certain things people put out on the web. So I opted to keep a personal story personal - at least for now.

But consequences don't always come from posting stuff on the net. Consequences come everyday for every choice. Some consequences we expect. If I didn't pay the mortgage, I would expect, eventually, to be kicked out of my home. I would expect that if I chose to stay up late to watch a movie, that the next morning would be more difficult to get up early. If I spent time with my wife, I would expect our relationship to grow.

But, it would seem, that sometimes either we don't know what consequences exist, that they exist at all, or that we don't care if they exist. Sometimes you hear of the law of unintended consequences, meaning we made a choice based on outcome A, but did not consider outcome B, which would also happen.

Sometimes, we just want to react now and think later in certain situations. This happens in our personal lives and trust me, I see this often in the business and political world just as much, and probably more.

My Dad was a forward thinker. When I was young, because of my lack of judgement, or lack of understanding consequences, he taught me the STOP method. I heard something like this later in life, but my Dad I think made it up on the spot to try to help his son during the dumb teenage years we all go through (or, at least, that I went through).

S - Stop - don't do anything until you do the next step
T - Think about what you are doing, and what choices you have to make
O - Observe what the consequences will be
P - Proceed once you thought it all through and made a decision.

I will bet you he doesn't remember it, but another lesson was taught by my dad. I don't know how much it helped me at the time. I was still a know-it-all teenager, after all, but on many occasions I have referred to it and have been grateful for it.

So next time, be careful before you make a choice. And remember that you have full responsibility over those consequences that come after a choice has been made.

It's like when Dallin tells me that he forgot his homework because Emma laughed at him. It just doesn't fly. Or when you tell me you have been having a hard time learning how to ski because the snow makes it impossible. Take responsibility for your actions.

Do it when you are ten. Do it when you are 50.



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