Tag Archives: responsibility

Cause and Effect – Luckman’s Law

8 Jul

For many people their belief is that they live in a chaotic world where things just seem to happen to them. No rhyme, no reason.

I don’t believe that this is true.

My belief is that we live in an ordered world where we create our lives by our very thoughts.

If you believe that things just seem to just happen to you, then you probably don’t see that everything in your life (the effects) had a cause – a reason why it happened. But it’s true. Cause and effect go hand in hand. You won’t find one without the other.

Take the employee that can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning. When the alarm goes off they hit the snooze for another 10 minutes. It rings again and once more they bargain with it for just 10 more minutes. Finally they awake and rush to work, only to be late once more.

And then it happens. Their manager fires them. Their first response is why? Why fire me? I’m the hardest worker here. Nowhere in their reasoning do they see the effects (being fired) had a cause. A cause that they themselves created. Being consistently late to work.

Or take the salesperson that is responsible for opening a set number of new accounts each month, but they hate prospecting. They don’t cold call. Belong to no leads groups. And find it uncomfortable to attend networking mixers. Will they succeed in opening the number of new accounts required of them? Probably not. And who do they blame? Certainly not themselves. All they do is offer one excuse after another. I could’ve done better if it were not for; the competition, the market, the economy, our lousy brochures, our high prices, the weather, etc.

When things like this happen many people refuse to see themselves as responsible. But they are. They and nobody else.

So the next time you’re struggling with the effects – stop and ask yourself, did I cause this? If your honest answer is yes, then rejoice. You have taken the first step in holding yourself accountable – for your life.

With love,

Michael

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It Can Last a Lifetime!

18 Mar

Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices. – Alfred A. Montapert

Two things prompted me to choose Mr. Montapert’s quote today; the first was the guilty verdicts given today to the two Steubenville, Ohio high school football players for raping a drunk 16 year old girl. The second is that I am putting the finishing touches on a talk I will be giving to college students across the country entitled, The Five Secrets for Success You Won’t Learn in College. The fourth secret for success in my talk is: Cause and Effect – Prevent Mistakes That Can Haunt Your Entire Career.

Every cause will have an effect. The cause is WHY SOMETHING HAPPENED.  The effect is WHAT HAPPENED.

And today, with the internet, effects can hound you for your entire lifetime. If you Google my name, Michael Luckman, and add the word spammer after it, your search will bring up dozens of articles that brand me an email spammer. I don’t have time in this article, nor the inclination, to share with you why this happened, but it did. And the ramifications of it did major damage to my business. Right or wrong, I will forever be known as the SPAMMER.

Too many people, especially teenagers and those in their twenties, believe that they live in a chaotic world where things just seem to happen to them, with no rhyme or reason. For those who believe this they probably wouldn’t recognize that everything in their life (the effects) had a cause – a reason why it happened. But it’s true. Cause and effect go hand in hand. You won’t find one without the other.

My belief is that we live in an ordered universe where we create our lives by our very thoughts and actions. The two boys convicted in Steubenville, and the other dozen or so boys who also participated, did not realize they were doing anything particularly wrong. Or maybe they did, but got caught up in the herd mentality and followed their alcohol fueled instincts. Either way, by their very actions (cause) their future lives will never be the same (effects).

Now before you ask what about the girl’s behavior, is that a cause? Yes, her getting drunk certainly was the cause of everything that happened to her afterwards. Alcohol is a wicked drug and teenagers experimenting with it have no idea what it can do to them. And all too often a parent’s admonition about staying away from it falls on deaf ears. But that’s also part of still being a child. But rape is not.

If you are a parent of teenagers or even related to one, talk to them. Teach them about cause and effect. And if you can, impress upon them that everything they write, even their choice of words, and the photos they send to others, will very often wind up on the internet, where they will remain as lifetime reminders of making the wrong choice.

Always choose wisely,

Michael

Fear of the Unknown

6 Feb

A fear of the unknown keeps a lot of people from leaving bad situations. ~Kathie Lee Gifford

How many people do you know that are stuck? They may be stuck in the wrong marriage, the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong career, and any number of other wrong situations. Probably plenty. I’m sure you’ve wanted to ask them why? Why do they stay where they are? Why do they allow life to pass them by? Why don’t they do something to help themselves? But you haven’t because you were afraid they’d take your question the wrong way, thinking it’s too personal or intrusive.

For the same reason you don’t ask, they don’t leave a bad situation. That reason is fear. And to be more specific, this deep down titanic fear is their fear of the unknown. To all too many people, the unknown is analogous to a bottomless abyss. Dark, foreboding and scary. They fear going from the known, as bad as it might be, to the unknown which to them could be a whole lot worse. And so they do nothing.

There is something I call the greater fear syndrome. Let me give you an example. My sister was in a bad marriage. Her husband was a gambler. She liked being married and enjoyed doing couples things with their friends. After she divorced her first husband she went through a period where to her married friends she was no longer a couple, and some of the wives even saw her as a threat to stealing their husbands. Thus she lost many of her friends. My sister’s greatest fear was being in a similar situation once again.

It wasn’t until her gambling husband gambled away their home and her business that she overpowered her fear and found the courage to finally get a divorce. The fear of not being a couple and facing the unknown as a divorced woman was overshadowed by her fear of living on the street. The greater fear prompted her to act.

Now you are probably asking; why did it have to take so long? I wish I had a simple answer. In so many cases where a person is stuck in a bad situation they see no way out. And often a strong sense of shame prevents them from sharing their fears with others. They believe that if others knew that a bright, intelligent person like themself could wind up in a situation like this, they’d abandon them as a friend. And then where would they be?

If you have a friend experiencing a similar bad situation, be the friend they need. They are completely overwhelmed and can’t see the forest through the trees. Get them to share with you what’s going on in their life. Let them speak and be a good listener. Let them know that they’re not alone. That you and many others are there for them. And please, don’t judge them. This is not the time to shame them and point out that each of us is responsible for all the things in our lives. They have plenty of time to learn this once they’re back on their feet.

To no fear of the unknown,

Michael

Blessing or Curse?

1 Feb

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you in inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms. – Neil Boortz

Neal Boortz is an American radio host, author, and self-described libertarian political commentator. While I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Boortz’ political views, every once in a while I come across one of his quotes that just makes sense. The above is one of them.

If you’ve followed my missives for even a short period of time you know that I am a firm believer in free choice. It is God’s gift to us, his children. And it can be looked at as both a curse and a blessing, depending on how you use it.

I’ll bet that each of you knows at least one person who is always beset by problems. It seems that nothing in their life goes right for them, as if they always have a dark rain cloud over their head. But if you know them well enough you probably know why nothing goes right for them.

Maybe they love to party and often have a little too much to drink. Then ignoring the warnings from their friends, they get into their car and drive off, only to be stopped by a cop and arrested for a DUI. I had a neighbor like this and after his third DUI lost his driver’s license. His already high insurance premium tripled and his boss was threatening to fire him. On top of that his wife was at the point where she was seriously thinking about kicking him out of the house.

When we’d see each other over the weekend all he could talk about was how the world was conspiring against him. How his life was in the toilet and this seemed to be the way it always was for as long as he could remember. When I tried to show him how he might have been somehow responsible for how things were, he looked at me as if I had just insulted him. He could not see any correlation between his actions (cause) and the negative circumstances in his life (effects).

People will often say that if God loved them he wouldn’t let bad things happen to them. But think about this for a moment; Did God really abandon these people or did God say to them, “I love you and I want you to pursue your own happiness, so I am giving you this wonderful gift, you can make your own choices. I will not interfere. I will offer you guidance, but the final choice will always be yours. But remember my child that you will always reap what you sow. Thus, you must always choose wisely!”

To making the best choices,

Michael

P.S. Parents, the greatest gift you can give your children is to teach them how to choose wisely.

Your Choice – Success or Failure

8 Jan

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you in inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms. – Neil Boortz

You come to a fork in the road; should you go left or should you go right? One may lead to ultimate success, while the other may lead to catastrophic failure. Unfortunately, you don’t know which way to go, so you hope for the best and make a choice.

If you have thought your decision through, weighed your options, and then made your choice, you’ll have a much better chance of choosing the right course. But how many of us do that? Not nearly enough.

I believe too many people operate on auto-pilot. They move in the direction of where they think they should go and make corrective decisions along the way, mistakenly thinking they’re making the best choices. When they ultimately fail at whatever they were working on they are astonished. How did this happen they ask, never once understanding that every choice they’ve made is a cause, and everything that’s happened to them is the effects of that choice.

Cause and effect is a universal law and there is no way to avoid the effects of ones choices. When it is suggested to people that they learn to take responsibility for their lives they wholeheartedly agree, without the slightest idea of what taking responsibility really entails.

Taking responsibility for one’s life is nothing more than living consciously; thinking through your choices before making them. It is something all of us are capable of doing, if we take the time.

The next time you are faced with making a choice take the needed time to think things through. If I go left; this is what I expect to happen. If I go right; I should expect this. You are now in a much stronger position to make the best choice. Will it always be the best choice? I only wish. But it’s better than always finding yourself at the dead end of a dark lonely road, out of gas and out of options.

To taking responsibility,

Michael