Thursday, October 04, 2007

Reason and Consequences

People like to say "Everything happens for a reason." Yes, I think so too, but now what? What is the reason? What are you going to do about it?

I think if life didn't kick us in the butt sometimes, we'd continue to sit happily on our fat arses. There are times when I thought my life was going down the tubes. For example, when I was 25 and had my first "real" job for two years, my director suggested I should look elsewhere for a job. They wanted to redefine my position and bring in an experienced professional. I hated her. Was mad at my boss. And, I hated myself for doing a bad job. I was used to leaving jobs on my own terms, not someone else's.

So, what was the reason that happened? I ended up at a great job in NYC, which I continued for 3 years and left on my own terms. That second job set the foundation for a career change and brought me to the career I excel in today.

If I didn't get that kick in the pants back then, I don't know what would've happened. Would I have stayed there and just waited for my boss to get promoted so I could get her job? How great was that job anyway? Where was the growth potential?

Sometimes when jobs or marriages end or health takes a downturn, it's like life putting on the brakes for you. Take a look around you. Is this where you want to go? We always have to remember we are driving our own cars. We can take it off cruise control and stop going around the block. We can move forward.. if we choose to do so.

So, some disruptive events lead us to introspection of our choices. Then, there are other events that happen and explanations are not as easy, such as death of a spouse or child or a terminal illness. Are there lessons? It's hard to say. There's a lot we don't understand and I think the reasons may not be apparent at the time. While we would love for someone to hand us the definition, it may take time to evolve and for us to grow to recognize it.

I chose the waterfall picture because my professor used to call it "Cascading Consequences." The source of the water is one. It starts in one stream, flowing in the same directions. Then, as it goes over the edge, the rocks and earth take it into different directions.

One event may happen and it will lead to multiple streams and flows. As it goes over the edges, it reaches out and touches more rocks and plant life than it would have had it gone straight.

So, when certain events happen and there's no logical reason for it, it's really a cascading consequence - something we can't see but know it's going in many directions.

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