Accumulation of Consequences of Choices

dreamstime_xs_71641025We are where we are in life because of the choices we have made.  All our choices have consequences.  It is not just a matter of each choice having a consequence (or consequences), however.  Our choices, and the consequences, accumulate and can have a domino effect.

For example, choosing to eat a piece of dessert for a special occasion will not make anyone gain weight.  However, choosing to consume more calories than what one needs, day after day, week after week, year after year, will cause weight gain and can lead to obesity and other health problems.  This is, of course, an example of a series of choices leading to negative consequences.

Choices can also lead to positive consequences.  Exercising for 30 minutes for 1 day is not going to impact anyone’s health.  Exercising for 30 minutes 3 times a week, over the course of months and years, however, will have a positive impact on a person’s health.

I know, and I’m sure you do as well, people who lie.  The more they lie, the more people don’t trust them.  The more they are dishonest, the more people believe they are always dishonest, even on the occasions when they are telling the truth.  On the other hand, people who choose to be honest build trust with other people.  People believe what they say.  Both the dishonest and honest people have built reputations—not because of one choice, but because of the series of choices that they have made.

People who continue to make responsible choices gain more of what they want out of life.  Those that continue to make irresponsible choices spend time and resources trying to repair the negative consequences of those choices.  That is time and resources that are not available to create the life they want.  More is spent on damage control than on creating.

This same concept applies to all aspects of our lives, and all the choices we make.  The consequences, good and bad, of our choices over years becomes significant.  If we want a different life, we need to make different choices, not just today, but always.

Madtown Author Daze

MAD17-Flyer-jpgSaturday, April 15, is the first of what I hope will be an annual event, Madtown Author Daze.  It is from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the lobby of the MMOCA, 227 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin.  It will be a great opportunity to meet dozens of authors from all genres and listen to live music.  Plus, that is the opening day of the farmers’ market on the capital square.  What could be better than food, fun, and books on State Street?

Ask for What You Want

dreamstime_xs_76643212Sometimes we don’t ask for what we want or need.  We somehow expect others to intuitively know.  That doesn’t happen.  Telepathy or mind-reading only exists in science fiction and fantasy.

I’m rather embarrassed to admit this, but recently I was irritated with my husband.  It seemed that he was doing much more than normal to help others, but wasn’t doing anything (or, more accurately, doing any more than usual) for me.

When I started thinking about it, I realized that the difference was that they had asked for his help.  I hadn’t.  When I asked, he gave me more assistance.

How many times has this happened to you?  You didn’t get what you wanted from your employer, employees, customers, suppliers, or associates because you didn’t ask.  You didn’t get what you wanted from your spouse/partner, parents, children, friends, or neighbors because you didn’t ask.  If you don’t tell them what you want, they won’t know.

Sometimes all we have to do is ask.

Did You Do Better?

dreamstime_xs_83897954When we tell ourselves that we did something well, that’s positive.  Maybe we did well in an interview, in a discussion, or in confronting an employer, employee, or customer.  Maybe we did well in something that benefits our health, such as exercising.  Maybe we handled a difficult situation with a friend or family member with respect.  When we give ourselves credit for doing something well, that helps our self-esteem and helps us to do well again.

Sometimes, though, we do not do well.  We handle a situation poorly.  Unfortunately, when this happens we sometimes focus too much on how poorly we did.  We then sometimes extend that into other areas.  If we are bad at “A” then we must be bad at “B,” for example.  This, of course, hurts our self-esteem and makes it more difficult to do well next time.

When we do not handle a situation well, or do not do as well as we could at something, it’s important to recognize it and learn what we can from it.  But it doesn’t do us any good to beat ourselves up over it.

A question that helps me is, “Did I do better than I normally do?”  If the answer is “yes” then I know that at least I am improving and can do even better the next time.  It encourages me to keep trying rather than giving up.  As long as I am progressing, there is a good chance that eventually I will do well in that situation.

Often it is not a matter of doing “good” or “bad” but doing “better.”