Intentional Living Series Week Twenty-Three: Cause and Effect

by Christine

"If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present." ~Buddhist sutra

Week 22 was about the benefit of doing one thing at a time; in Week 23 I will explore cause and effect and how it relates to living an intentional life. 

After his 6th divorce, Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band wryly said, "I am beginning to think it may be me".  At some point in life, the wise person begins to see that where they are today may have been caused by actions they took in the past. The Law of Cause and Effect simply stated: do a bonehead thing today and it will ruin tomorrow. A more positive interpretation is do good work today and you will reap the rewards tomorrow. In either case, taking action (cause) always nets results (effect). 

Whether we are looking at changing our life or just tweaking it a little, we need to acknowledge that where we are today, was caused by actions we took in the past. If one of your Lifetime Priorities was to be a better friend, it is important to keep in mind how you got to where you are in your friendships today. If you have not been a good friend to others, remember that just because you decided to cleanup your act and treat others with kindness and respect, doesn't mean that others will see the new you immediately. It may take time for your actions to influence the response of others to your new behavior. 

It will take time for your friends to see the changes in you, so that doesn't mean you throw-up your hands and declare I quit. If you priority is weight loss from eating properly, a healthier body from exercising or acknowledgement from you boss that your newfound determination at work is appreciated, time and perseverance are key to success. While you may want to ignore past causes that effect your today, it is important to remember you are where you are in your life because of your past actions. As you move forward, hold fast to the knowledge that you are creating a happier, healthier and more successful tomorrow through you actions today. 

Week 22 Assignment: This week make two lists. The first is of actions you took in the past that brought you to a positive place today. The second list is of past actions that lead you to a negative place.


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