A lot of people confuse causes with effects. This prevents them from taking ownership of their lives, careers, and relationships.
To get a different result (WHAT) all you have to do is identify the cause (WHY) make an appropriate change in the cause and the effect (RESULT) will change accordingly.
If you are experiencing any undesirable outcomes or effects in your life, these effects are caused by something or someone. If you want to change your outcome, identify what is the action or force that is the cause, change it, and your outcome will change.
This may seem like a very simple concept, however, most people mix up causes with effects and end up changing the wrong things and wondering why they fail to get the results they are after!
Sounds oh so simple and yet it is very difficult to do without a basic understanding of physics.
Consider Newton’s Third Law:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces. The forces are equal. Thus for every force behind an effect, there is an equal and opposite force that is the cause.
Based on the physics outlined above, the key to lasting change is to use the force of the outcome or effect to identify the opposite force that is the cause. Once the force of the cause is understood, the cause and its force can be changed, thus transforming the outcome.
Another way to think about this is in terms of Causes and Symptoms. Consider the below Ishikawa Diagram of Peter, his headache and his problems at work:
Let’s take a more in-depth look at Peter’s story:
Peter was experiencing regular headaches. These headaches where almost every day and seriously interfered with Peter’s work. Over time his performance suffered and he was at risk of being demoted or fired. Peter became irritable and moody. Much of his work was performed on a personal computer and he often found himself squinting at the screen trying to make out the text on the screen.
In order to perform his work duties, Peter became more and more frustrated and eventually resorted to stronger and stronger painkillers to minimize the headaches. The medication had side-effects and his body retained more and more water, which caused his face to puff up. So not only did Peter have headaches, he treated the pain with painkillers which made him look puffy and overweight! Some days the painkillers barely even worked and he struggled through the pain.
Peter shared his work problems with Sophie his wife. She worried about the potential lost income if Peter were demoted or fired and gave him career advice to put in more effort, work longer hours and not upset his boss.
Meeting a group of friends on Friday evening for drinks, Peter confided in an old classmate who happened to be a nutritionist. She suggested that headaches may be caused by his diet, and recommended that Peter eliminates certain foods to identify the culprit. Weeks later, nothing seemed to be working!
Clearly, neither Peter, his wife Sophie, nor his nutritionist friend had identified the real cause of his underperformance. If nothing changed, things would progressively worsen.
Turns out that the cause of Peter’s low performance wasn’t his moodiness, nor his headaches. These both turned out to be effects or symptoms. The real cause was two-fold: 1) His chair was old and set too low and leaning too far back. This caused neck strain which contributed to headaches and 2) Peter had neglected to have his eyes tested for several years and his prescription glasses were out of focus!
Once Peter got a new chair and a new pair of glasses his headaches disappeared overnight, his mood improved, and his work performance skyrocketed resulting in a promotion with a 30% increase in his salary!
You may be thinking this is a simple example. As you can see there is a lot to learn here that can be applied to any problem area once you clearly understand the difference between CAUSE and EFFECT.
Most people are at the effect of other forces. These forces can be unresolved relationships, emotions, past decisions or other people. Whenever we engage in blaming other people or circumstances for our results, we are postulating that we are at the effect of something outside our control. This prevents us from making any changes. In other words, we are BEING AT EFFECT.
We all know people who are perpetual victims. No matter what they do, someone or something else is always the cause of their problems. These people are denying any CAUSE, which creates a powerful force to perpetually place them at EFFECT. In order to get out of being a victim, they would have to remove the energy of denial and see the truth that they can make a small adjustment and move perspectives to identify where they are CAUSING their own problems. From this new perspective they can own the CAUSE, make changes and transform their results.
To take responsibility for your results means that you are BEING AT CAUSE by looking for where you can apply conscious and deliberate force to the cause in order to alter the cause, which in turn alters the outcome or result.
The fastest way to determine if a person is operating AT CAUSE or AT EFFECT is to listen to their language. People who take responsibility or ownership of both problems and solutions are operating AT CAUSE, versus people who avoid ownership by blaming are pretending to be AT EFFECT.
When you are recruiting team members, partners or suppliers, listen to their language. Choose people who are AT CAUSE or at least willing and open to exploring where they might become more AT CAUSE.
Got questions? Feel free to message me > m.me/andrewjohnharrison1
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