cause & effect – a primer

I personally believe that our lives are governed by Cause & Effect.

It is important to understand however that there are two types of Cause: Causes that are completed events and Causes that are kept alive in our minds through assumptions, associations, or beliefs.

If a Cause is a completed event, then it obviously can no longer be affected by your present actions. So when you experience Effects resulting from these types of Causes, your only option is to effectively manage those Effects as best you can. For those of us who like feeling in control, accepting this idea may take some getting used to, but it is important to remind yourself that these Effects are not some form of punishment or vengeful Fate at which to shake your fist, but simply Effects; so don’t generalize!

As for Effects based on Causes that have long passed yet are kept alive in our minds through assumptions, associations, or beliefs, well, trying to manage their Effects only leads to futility. Why? If you yourself are keeping a Cause alive, how can you expect its Effects to disappear? Be reasonable.

The intelligent & effective response in this type of situation is to challenge the Cause – your assumption, association, or belief – and thereby ameliorate its Effects. This is not only the right strategy, but I also feel it is our responsibility as sentient human beings; what each of us thinks & feels is our own individual responsibility.

So, to sum up: if you find yourself experiencing a negative Effect, look to its Cause. If that Cause is a completed event (e.g. you broke your finger years ago, and it just doesn’t work right anymore), I suggest you adopt a philosophical approach and just do your best to manage that Effect with dignity & aplomb. If the Cause is being kept alive in your mind (e.g. “…but it’s not fair!”, etc.) then I recommend that you challenge the offending assumption, association, or belief, and in doing so de-power the negativity of its Effect.

Okay, this may seem a little complicated, but really it is quite simple. I assure you when you think it through, you’ll agree. And bonus: you’ll be that much more contented in your life to boot!