Lesson: Cause > Effect = Empowerment
Many motivators talk about empowerment, and sometimes we don’t know what it is that they’re actually talking about, or how we can actually get it. You might read several books or hear many speakers promoting this buzzword. When you’re done reading or listening, you might expect to really comprehend what empowerment is, but you’re left with gaping holes in your understanding. You may be pumped up, but confused about where you’re really going or how to get there.
So what is empowerment?
Empowerment is taking the results over the reasons every time. When things happen (and they will happen), how you decide to view the situation has a direct impact on how the situation is recorded in your memory. Each person receives about 2 million bytes of information per second (bps). Of that 2 million bps, we can only pay attention to 134 bps. So if you really think about it, more information is being presented than we can really process. When you decide consciously what information you pay attention to, and how you allow that information to impact you, you allow yourself to be on the cause side of the equation. I know that this is different thinking from what you’re used to. It will take an open mind for this to work.
Here’s the question for you. Are you getting the results that you want? I ask you, what side of the equation are you on? I can tell you if change your thinking, you will change your world.
Cause and effect (C and E) puts you in the driver’s seat. It allows you to take control and to be responsible for your actions. You will no longer have an external locus of control; instead, you will have an internal compass. This internal compass ultimately empowers you.
For example, imagine yourself getting onto the highway. As soon as you make the turn to get on the highway, you notice there is heavy traffic. At that moment, you make a choice. The choice at that moment is to be upset or to be at peace with the traffic. You can make the decision to be at peace by recognizing that there is a purpose, at that point, for where you are. Now, there are other choices you can make about the traffic as well. One choice is to become frustrated, and allow all of the reasons you need to be somewhere else begin to frustrate you. You can allow that time in the car to literally impact your whole day negatively. You can sit in the traffic, angry and bitter. You’ll get to work and be upset, and in turn will affect the first person you come in contact with. Your energy, in turn, affects their day. This trickles throughout the day until the end of the day when you’re right back in traffic.
I’m sure you’re asking, “How I can be on the cause side with an event I did not cause?” It’s your belief about the event that changes the event itself. Your belief can reframe the event in a more empowering light. If we took this same scenario and approached it from the cause side of the event, once you got onto the highway and you saw the traffic, you would have immediately taken a deep breath and began to determine how you could make the best out of the situation. For example, you could be overjoyed that you now have time to listen to powerful motivational speakers on audio! It’s all in how you look at each particular situation. Every second of the day, you make a choice. You can choose to be happy, or you can choose to be sad, angry, frustrated, or upset.
What choice are you making?
- When you encounter a situation today that begins to upset, annoy, or irritate you, consider how you can use or turn it to your benefit.
- Just for one day, resist the urge to make excuses, to others and to yourself.
Create a powerful day!
Cherry A. Collier, Ph.D., MCC, CNLPMC, RCC, CPCC
Chief Collaboration Officer, Master Certified Executive Coach & Inclusion Strategist
Personality Matters Incorporated provides many services including coaching, leadership, and organizational development. It is Personality Matters, Inc.’s goal to help facilitate the necessary resources and tools to help individuals and organizations grow to achieve their goals.
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