– Understanding the concept of “cause” and “effect.”

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It was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who originally made the observation, “Everything happens for a reason.” By this, he contended events do not happen simply on their own but are triggered by a specific cause of some kind. This “cause” and “effect” phenomenon is important to understand as we move through life. It means we should ever be mindful to understand why something happens, thereby learning from the experience in order to either replicate it or prevent the event from happening again. It is about our intelligence.

Some time ago, I wrote a paper entitled, “Increasing Brain Power.” In it, I observed the human being acts on three levels:

Level 1 – Primal – where our actions are instinctive or robotic.

Level 2 – Moderate – where we take in more input than output.

Level 3 – Accelerated – where we produce more output as opposed to input.

Ideally, it is at Level 3 where we should be operating, particularly at work. Unfortunately, this is not so as we become tired, distracted, or lose interest, thereby causing us to decelerate to Levels 1 or 2. Technology also dulls brain power either by distracting our attention or we become dependent on it to perform certain mental functions, e.g., basic math through calculators, balancing a checkbook, etc. This is essentially no different than the effects of alcohol or drugs on the brain.

Where we get into trouble is when we operate on the Primal level. Here we rely on our basic instincts which we learn from others, such as our parents, teachers, friends, and the media. However, if we are not being taught properly, that we learn immoral lessons for example, then our instincts will be wrong and we will make bad decisions. We can overcome this problem simply by considering “cause” and “effect” in our perceptions, along with a little logic. This is difficult for a lot of people operating on auto-pilot. Instead, they prefer the simplicity of Level 1 and act on impulse as opposed to analyzing the world around them. This is why people make knee-jerk reactions and either harm themselves or others, or both. As an aside, this explains why mothers tell their children, “I suppose if Joey jumped off the bridge, you would follow him; wouldn’t you?” By doing so, she is saying, “Can’t you think for yourself?”

One last note; in the other article, I made the observation people, on the average, typically operate at a Level 3 for approximately three hours a day. Assuming we sleep for eight hours, this means we have thirteen hours to get into trouble, assuming our instincts are wrong. Kind of scary isn’t it?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING – Understanding the concept of “cause” and “effect.”

LAST TIME:  WHO HAS GOT YOUR BACK?  – A lesson of loyalty in the workplace, and in life.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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