How do you live your life? Do you live it at cause – or do you live it at effect? And what does that mean for you?
Take two people going for interviews for a job, both have all the right credentials and experience for the role. One of them approaches their interview from the perspective that it’s completely down to their performance as to whether they get the job or not. They will choose how to present and project themselves and they will take 100% responsibility for their result. They feel pretty confident and in control.
The other person is approaching their interview differently – from the perspective that they’ll do the best they can, but ultimately it’s down to the interviewer’s opinion of them and the other candidates’ performance against theirs. They feel they have little control over the outcome, which makes them pretty nervous, and they believe that interview situations never bring out the best in them, so why should this one be any different?
Which one is more likely to be successful? In my experience that would be the first person. A clear example of being ‘at cause’.
We know that a cause is something that makes something else happen. So when we’re talking about living at cause, it’s all about causing things to happen, making choices, taking action and full responsibility. Notice the position of power this puts you in .
On the other side of the equation, an effect is what happens because of the cause. So living on the effect side means having things happen to us, living with excuses and reasons why something couldn’t be, the choice and responsibility is ‘taken’ out of our hands. It’s a feeling of powerlessness and of being the victim, in many cases.
Think about people you know at each side of the equation. Firstly those people around you who know that if they want to do something, they will do it. They make their decision, they choose their approach and they keep going until they achieve what they wanted. If something isn’t working, they find another way and make it work, taking full responsibility for their goal and whatever happens on the way. They choose to have their result.
Think about people you know on the effect side. In situations where they want something, but see themselves at the whim of others as to whether they get it. Setbacks are almost expected and they allow them to be setbacks. Everything is down to outside influences, they blame others and feel powerless. They end up with a bunch of excuses and not their result.
The interesting thing is that people on either side of the equation, whether at cause or effect, will each walk away patting themselves on the back. Why? Well, of course, the ‘at cause’ group chose to have their result and they got it. While for the ‘at effect’ people it was completely out of their hands right from the start. They found a reason (excuse?) why they couldn’t have their result and walked away saying “see, I knew it wouldn’t work”. Either way they were right.
So the question to you really should be – not which side do you live at, but which side do you want to live at? Cause or effect? The key point here is that at any given moment, you have the choice. You either allow what’s happening to affect you and hold on to your excuses. Or you take full responsibility for what is going on and choose to get your result. I know which I choose!
Try this… put yourself back at Cause!
Want to know the one question that can pull you out of that powerless feeling of being ‘at effect’?
How have I chosen to create this right now?
It’s that simple. In any situation, if you can stop, ask that question of yourself and accept that no matter how much you want to answer it with “well, actually, I didn’t create this”… you did. If you can accept 100% responsibility for what’s going on, you put yourself at cause and you immediately grant yourself the power to change it.
The next chance you get, try this. I would love to know what result you get.
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING