Nov. 24, 2015
The military calls them collateral damage; the medical profession talks about side effects; and, the rest of us talk about fall out or unintended consequences.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about all the unexpected results that show up when we go for what we want. Sometimes, these results are good; and, sometimes they aren’t. Some can be avoided; most cannot.
In life, there are going to be additional and unexpected, totally out of the blue, results. How we handle them is what matters.
A friend of mine, Kate, took a look at the possible effect of being a nail technician for most of her life, didn’t like the possible impact on her breathing system, and became a realtor. Today, she has several kinds of realtor licenses, is a more than decent plumber, electrician, carpenter, landscaper and bookkeeper.
She has become a very good judge of character. She knows who’s going to be a good tenant and who isn’t. When she has to hire professional tradesmen, she knows who to select.
Her mother is amazed that her beauty queen daughter is now more at home in a hard ware store than the cosmetic counter of a department store.
When Kate opened the door marked realtor, she had no idea, couldn’t have possibly predicted, these particular side effects of her choice. She had no idea that she would be far happier talking about tools then about lipstick.
Beatrice is a business associate who lives in Holland. We’ve never met face-to-face. Her goal was to write and publish a book on Amazon Kindle. She had no idea that getting this one result—her book written and published—would lead to the establishment of her very own, successful publishing company.
A second side effect of the result of her book being published is that her family is stronger. She is so busy with her new company that she has to schedule family time and vacations.
The schedule has forced her to be conscious of how much time she actually spends with her family. She allows nothing to interfere with the family schedule. When she is with family, she is totally focused on them.
It’s getting near the time when we will set new goals. Before we do that, let us look at current goals. Let us examine what we’ve accomplished.
Look to see the unintended consequences of our actions. This is easier to do if you select one accomplishment of this past year, and list the results that came of that achievement.
For example, this past year I accomplished a life-long goal of becoming a painter. When I did this, I had no idea that I would, also, develop skill in photography of two dimensional objects, nor did I realize that I would find another technique for self-healing, nor did I know that I would learn the skills in producing a paperback book.
I, also, became overwhelmed with too much to do, and have given serious thought to working with a business coach.
When you finish your list, take a look and ask, “Could any of this been predicted? Is any of it detrimental? What surprised you? Of all the unintended consequences, which are you most grateful for?”
And, has always, we go to the Angels of All of Us for guidance, support and feedback.
Angels of All of Us
Angels of All of Us,
We are so very grateful that you are part of our life experience. Thank you for all that you do for us.
We are preparing for a new year by examining this past year. We’ve selected an achievement and are listing the by-products of that work.
We ask for your help in becoming aware of all the results of our success. We know that nothing is done in isolation and that little is contained within one space.
We ask for guidance in determining if our unintended consequences followed the principle of choosing what does the most good world-wide while doing the least harm to our self.
We asked for help in tweaking what we’ve done so that we are very aware of what to let go and what to keep.
We are grateful for who and what we are. We are grateful for each opportunity to use our self to make a contribution to Life.
We celebrate life and our part in it.
Most Sundays find me at the Center for Spiritual Living West Georgia.