Most of my coaching, business performance and leadership work centers around The Five Truths, These are irrefutable principles that profoundly influence and, ultimately determine, for better or worse, the direction of our lives.
Over the past three weeks we have discussed three of these truths:
- Everything we believe to be true to… until it isn’t
- We get what we tolerate
- We can’t fix what we won’t acknowledge.
The next truth is the one that above all else, is responsible for us being exactly where we are today.
It contains a word that, in my opinion, is the least understood word in our entire vocabulary and yet the meaning of that word is on display with our every action.
It is a word we can neither escape nor avoid. It plays a role in our every action and helps determine how our every thought leads to the next one.
The word is consequences. It is a word we use daily without giving much thought to the role this moment plays in our every circumstance.
To many, the word consequences implies punishment and while that certainly is one of its many forms, the word plays a role in every facet of life.
Experts have long stated that the only known way of changing human behavior is to change the consequences that follow said behavior.
Today we introduce the fourth truths which serves to remind us that “When we choose the behavior, we choose the consequence.”
This truth highlights the need for thought to precede action as every action will produce a consequence and we will be held accountable for that consequence by virtue of the fact that we chose the action that caused it.
If we choose pizza over salad when weight loss is our intended goal, we are choosing the consequence of possible weight gain and the certainty of delaying the realization of that goal.
There is one single action we all undertake that potentially poses the greatest threat to the quality of our lives, to our happiness and our physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
That action takes place only in our heads and yet its consequences can have devastating results on our relationships, careers, finances and health.
The greatest risks to our well-being are the thoughts we allow into our heads because each thought produces a consequence, and if those thoughts are negative, self-critical, judgmental and angry they will be followed by actions that validate those very thoughts. In other words, our happiness is not a function of what is happening in our lives but rather it is a consequence of the thoughts we allow to occupy real estate in our mind.
Our emotional state, our movements, our very personality is the consequence of what we believe to be true of ourselves and our circumstances.
We were each granted the remarkable gift of choice. This gift affords us the opportunity to select our every thought thereby selecting the consequences that follow them.
When we chose the behaviour, we choose the consequences reminds us that by selectively choosing our thoughts (behaviour), we are simultaneously choosing our emotional states (consequences) which means joy and happiness are ours to embrace or to sacrifice.
Remember when they told us it’s all in our heads?
They were right.
Till we read again.