I believe in Cause-ology. Cause-ology dictates that the easiest way of predicting the future is to get out of bed in the morning and create it. Coaches call this living at ‘Cause’. Living at ‘Cause’ means holding true to the belief that behaviour, actions and responses influence your outcomes/results, these outcomes create your reality and shape your destiny. Living at ‘cause’ encourages you to take control of your life, shaping it to suit your vision.
The opposite of living at ‘Cause’ is to live at ‘Effect’, individuals at ‘effect’ believe their behaviours, actions and responses have little or no impact on their outcomes/results, they believe life is shaped by factors beyond their control such as destiny, luck and circumstance.
So what difference does being at ‘Cause’ make? Individuals who live at ’Cause’ feel empowered and in control of life. This leads them to act on getting what they want, they are more dynamic, and they produce more results, making more of a difference. Also, simply believing they are in control, allows these people to be less worried and more relaxed and happy with life.
Let’s use losing weight as an example, I wake up one morning, look in the mirror and wonder who chubby staring back at me is, then I decide to lose weight. We’ve all been there. I enrol at the gym, buy the sports gear and even a fancy water bottle – I am at cause, taking action to achieve my goal. I go to the gym three times a week and eat healthy – I am at cause, still taking action to achieve my goal. Then I spend three other evenings a week on the sofa with my girlfriends trying to save the world by going on a wine and chocolate diet only to say I have a slow metabolism – I am at effect.
So does your behaviour lean more towards making you a ‘Cause’ or more an ‘Effect’ person? First, there is no clear cut separation between Cause and Effect. The two are not mutually exclusive, instead they are as opposite ends of a sliding ruler; a person’s behaviour might either lean towards ‘cause’ or towards ‘effect’.
One way of figuring which end you lean to is through the language you use. Beliefs influence whether you are at cause or effect and beliefs guide thoughts; language is used to express thought/what you think. In a way, words are the clothes your thoughts wear to appear decent in public, so choose them wisely (lest you make the wrong kind of fashion statement). Let’s check where you stand with regards to cause and effect with this little exercise I created (remember to take this as a fun, non-scientific indicator):
Consider the below statements and rate yourself on how likely you are to say them on a scale of 1-5. Note down your score for each statement and sum up your scores at the end of the exercise.
1 = I never or hardly say that
2 = I rarely say that
3 = I sometimes say that
4 = I often say that
5 = I use statements like that all the time/frequently
01. The way he/she looks at me makes me feel loved/good/angry
02. I am late because of traffic
03. You are so lucky
04. Your comment last night made me happy/upset
05. Tom makes me happy
06. I just don’t have that type of talent
07. Poor John, with the economy these days, there are no jobs on the market
08. It is not what Ali said, it’s how he said it that made me feel motivated
09. I am forced to make this decision
10. Tania made me take the decision to invest and its working out wonderfully
11. John loses weight so fast, he inherited that from his dad, I wish I was the same
12. Maria has great genes; she looks half her age each time we meet
Higher scores; 40-60 indicate a person leaning towards ‘Effect’
They might be less empowered, independent and enabled
They might view situations/events as something out of their control
They might experience the consequences of situations without attempting to influence the situation to their advantage
Lower scores; 12 -36 indicate a person leaning towards ‘Cause’
They tend to be more empowered, independent and enabled
They tend to view’s situations/events as something they influence
They are likely to experience more success as they actively interact and influence situations to bear results that are more beneficial for them
They tend to be more dynamic and optimistic, always ‘finding a way’ yet might run a risk of not knowing when to move on and invest efforts elsewhere
When people allocate responsibility for behaviour and results outside themselves, when people are passive, they are more on the ‘Effect’ side of things. Alternatively taking responsibility for behaviour and results places you more at ‘Cause’. You can move to ‘Cause’ by working with a coach to change your beliefs yet this requires support, practice and time.
Perhaps you want to be unpredictable this year and use Cause-ology to predict your future, how do you do it? Ask yourself what you want achieve this year in each aspect of your life? Keep things real; aiming to buy a Bentley on a 9 to 5 salary might be difficult unless you run the World Bank from 9 to 5. Define what you want clearly so that it is specific, measurable with a deadline attached. Get a clear sense of what it would look and feel like to achieve these things.
Now, what 5 steps could you take starting today to begin achieving your goal? Note them down, then go out and get them done, when completed, come back and think about 5 more steps that get you closer to your goal – keep repeating this, until you get what you want. You reap what you sow – even the laws of Karma say so.