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.

Equal Partnerships

dreamstime_xs_32614115Equal Partnerships (Video)

Throughout these blogs we have talked about you.  Your rights.  Your responsibilities.  Your choices.  Your life.

It is necessary to remember, though, that everything we have discussed applies to everyone.  This means, that if you are in a committed relationship, your partner is just as important as you are.  The life he wants is just as important as the life you want.  Not more important, but as important.

I think a committed relationship should be an equal partnership.  Each person should work equally hard, take on equal responsibility, and give as much support as he or she expects to receive.  It is necessary for both people to work together to determine how their life together will meet their individual desires and goals.  It may take some negotiating.

The opposite of an equal partnership is a double standard.  That is where it is all about one person and about what that one person wants.  If you are in a double standard relationship, and it is all about him, can you change things?  If not, is it worth staying in that relationship?  If you are in a double standard relationship, and it is all about you, remember that he has the same rights as you do and can leave you.  You might want to make changes before that happens.

An equal partnership is a beautiful relationship.  I recommend that you always remember that your partner, and what he wants, is as important as you, and what you want.

Stealing Stuff

hStealing Stuff (Video)

This blog provides additional information to the attached video clip.  The clip is from an assertiveness presentation I did for The Business Building Academy.

In my presentation on assertiveness, Don’t Act Like Prey!, I discuss the three R’s of assertiveness:  relationship, rights, and respect.  In this presentation I used the customer/supplier relationship as an example and we discussed the rights of each party.  In this clip, we are discussing the rights of the supplier.  One right of the supplier is that the customer will not steal her stuff.

I never would have thought of that until this story happened to me.

Do No Harm, and…

Do No Harm, and… (Video)

“Do no harm” is a phrase that has been around for a very long time.  I think this is a good concept to live by, up to a point.

I read somewhere (I do not remember where) an addition to this phrase that I really like:  “Do no harm, and do not let anyone harm you.”

When we are aggressive, we harm others.  When we are passive, we let others harm us.  When we are assertive, we find the balance.  We do not harm others, and we do not let others harm us.

For more information and exercises to help you become more assertive, or assertive more consistently, see my book, Don’t Act Like Prey! available through www.SusanLFarrell.com or from Amazon.

Greatest Risk

hGreatest Risk (Video)

I think the greatest risk we can take in our lives is not taking responsibility for ourselves, for our lives.

Unfortunately, I know too many people who do not want to take responsibility for themselves, for their choices, for their actions.  They expect other people to bail them out of trouble, to take care of them, to provide for them, to just give them what they want.

I know others who do not really expect other people to take responsibility, but they seem to think that if they sit around and wish for what they want, it will magically happen.

The only sure way to get what we want out of life is to take responsibility for making it happen.  Other people might give us what we want.  Or they might not.  The only way to make sure we do get what we want is to make it happen ourselves.  And that means hard work and dedication.

Are you taking full responsibility for your life?

Here is a simple test.  When something goes wrong, do you take responsibility for it or do you try to blame someone else?  When you try to blame someone else, you are trying to pass on your responsibility.  When you analyze what went wrong and what you could have done differently, you are taking responsibility.

Whatever you want out of life, it is your responsibility to make it happen.

Time Wasters

dreamstimefree_24395Time Wasters (Video)

We all have time wasters.  We all have things that we like to do that does not give us anything in return.  We cannot succeed if we spend time on these items instead of working.

By time wasters, I do not mean hobbies.  We all need to do things to relax, to take our minds off of work, to connect with other people, to grow ourselves in ways other than professionally.  These things help make our life richer.

By time wasters I mean those things that we do that do not contribute to our lives in any way.  For example, my time waster is spider solitaire.  I do not even know why I like it.  I do not like video games and do not like games in general.  But for some reason I like spider solitaire.

So is it a big deal?  A game only takes 5-10 minutes.  The problem is that those 5-10 minutes can really add up during the course of the day.  That is time spent that cannot be spent on anything else, work or hobby.

What time wasters are stealing time away from your professional or personal pursuits?  You cannot succeed by playing spider solitaire!

Under-promise and Over-deliver

Scotty (Video)

Do you remember Scotty from the original Star Trek series?  Scotty developed the reputation of a miracle-worker.  His secret was that he consistently under-promised and over-delivered.  (Alright, he was also exceptional at what he did.)  Captain Kirk would ask him how long it would take to fix something.  “Three days, Cap’n.”  “We only have three hours!” And Scotty would fix it in three hours (or whatever the time frame happened to be).

We can all learn a lesson from Scotty.  This blog provides additional information to the attached video clip.  The clip is from an assertiveness presentation I did for The Business Building Academy.

In my presentation on assertiveness, Don’t Act Like Prey!, I discuss the three R’s of assertiveness: relationships, rights, and respect.  In this presentation, I used the customer/supplier relationship as an example and we discussed the rights of each party.  In this clip, we are discussing that the customer has the right to expect what is promised and how the supplier can use Scotty from Star Trek to help make sure that the promises are kept.

It is imperative that promises are kept.  And it is acceptable to build a buffer for yourself because things do happen.  For example, if you promise a customer something in one week, and deliver in two weeks, the customer will be upset because you were a week late.  If you promise it in three weeks, and deliver it in two, the customer will be thrilled because you are early.  In each case the customer has it in two weeks.  In the first example, though, you look horrible.  In the second, you are a hero.  Which will help your business more?

This concept can be used in your personal life as well as your professional life.  Do you under-promise and over-deliver?

 

No Magic Pill

hNo Magic Pill (Video)

Sorry, but there is no magic pill.  There is nothing that we can take that will make us healthy, wealthy, or wise.  There is no magic potion or spell that will give us the life we want.

All we can do is to learn everything we can, implement as much as we can, and work as hard as we can for the life we want.

 

Cougars

Cougars (Video)

This blog provides the background information to the attached video clip.  The clip is from an assertiveness presentation I did for The Business Building Academy.

In my presentation on assertiveness, Don’t Act Like Prey!, I use wildlife metaphors to describe passive, aggressive, and assertive behaviors.  This clip is the result of me explaining why I use the term mountain lions instead of cougars, even though scientifically “cougar” is the better term.

Perhaps you already know the reason!

Battling Boxes

hBattling Boxes (Video)

Do you have trouble with people wanting to put you in a box and label it with who they think you should be?  I do.  I always have.

I am one of those women who never wanted children.  I just did not.  I remember as a very small girl getting a baby doll from my grandma.  It was one of the first ones that you could feed a bottle of water to and in a little while it would “wet” its diaper.  I dressed it, fed it a bottle, pretended to feed it food, changed the diaper, changed the other clothes because they were wet, and put the doll to bed.  I remember thinking, “That was boring!”  And yet I could play with other toys for hours.

I hoped that my brothers would have children, because I thought being an aunt would be really cool.  (It is!)  I also thought being a grandma would be fun, as long as I did not have to go through the mother step first.  That worked, too, because it just happened that my husband had children that were almost grown when we married.  And being a grandma is fun.  And I am still glad I did not go through the mother step.

When we are very certain about what we want, or do not want, it is important that we stick to that even if family, friends, and society think that they know what is best for us.  (There are exceptions, of course.  We cannot harm others.  We cannot expect others to take responsibility for us; we are responsible for ourselves.)

If someone is trying to put you in a “box” that does not fit you, say something.  Do something.  Do not calmly enter the box and let others tape you in and label you.  It is your life.  It is your responsibility to decide who you are and live accordingly.