Thursday, January 22, 2015

Choices & Consequences


You are free to choose your thoughts, speech, and actions.

Exceptions to this law exist in cases of diagnosable mental illness or disability (particularly psychosis and extreme cognitive impairment). Therefore, unless you are severely mentally ill or disables, you are free to choose your thoughts, speech, and actions: the building blocks of habits, character, and destiny.

COROLLARY 4.1: All thoughts, words, and actions create consequences.

While we cannot always identify the precise cause-and-effect relationships in a complex network of human behavior, the reality of consequences is self-evident.

COROLLARY 4.2: You cannot choose your consequences.

While you are free to make choices, you are not free to select the consequences of your choices. You may manipulate consequences to your liking for short-term gain, but in the end, natural consequences will overpower even the strongest efforts to circumvent them.

COROLLARY 4.3: Consequences are no respecter of persons.

Sometimes your consequences are immediate (e.g., touching a hot stove); others require time to materialize (e.g., failing to care for your relationships, car engine, or health). The time it takes for a given consequence to materialize differs widely from choice-to-choice, and is based on a host of physical, mental, emotional, social, and existential variables. Consequences do not prejudice, nor do they play favorites; they are subject to natural law.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion says, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This law applies to everyone, and is an excellent illustration that even physics asserts the presence of consequences. Consider, for example, the law of gravity. If you choose to jump off a cliff without proper equipment, it doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, famous or unknown, the result will be the same—and it won’t be pretty.

COROLLARY 4.4: Consequences shape your world.

The state of your world at any given point is the summation of consequences from choices both you and others around you have made over the course of your existence. This means that over time, you will ultimately reap as you sow. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. External forces, including death, can truncate or disguise your mortal harvest. Nevertheless, as a general rule, you will eventually harvest the fruits of all the seeds (thoughts, speech, and actions) you plant in your life.

COROLLARY 4.5: Harvests take time to measure. [1]

As human beings, we are apt to make premature judgments about the benefit or detriment of a person, action, event, or circumstance. Often, the passage of time proves such judgments to be short sighted, incomplete, or unfair. Some of life’s seemingly great successes may produce the seeds of your greatest grief and failure, while some of life’s most painful failures, tragedies, disappointments, and disillusionments may ultimately produce your greatest joys, successes, growth, and bliss.

COROLLARY 4.6: Your SAL capacity and potential comes with internal and external variables in the form of benefits and limitations.

The 16 SAL variables mentioned here were described in detail in BOOK THE FIRST, Chapter 16. To review, they are:

  1. Forces of Nature
  2. Congenital Physical Variables
  3. Congenital Familial Environment
  4. Genetic & Mimetic Inclinations
  5. Initial Opportunities for Education
  6. Congenital Social Environment
  7. Choices of Others
  8. Time
  9. Structural Inequality
  10. Geopolitics & Macroeconomics
  11. Good & Bad Luck
  12. Suprarational Intervention
  13. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  14. Self-leadership Intelligence and Talent
  15. Self-leadership Desire
  16. Self-leadership Will

Today's post was kind of short. Want more? Read a Great Article on Serendipity recently published by Dr. Bruce H. Jackson, one of the world's foremost experts in FLOW theory.

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Next Blog Post: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 ~ Taking Complete Personal Responsibility

[1] See Smith, H.W. (1994). The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management: Proven Strategies for Increased Productivity and Inner Peace. "Results often take time to measure." New York, NY: Warner Books. Page 145.

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