As children we think we can eat all the ice cream we want, and we try, and we get a belly ache. For some of us, sometimes, there are adults in our lives like parents or teachers who are able to convince –some of us–that there are repercussions in choices. When we are children, we somehow think that more ice cream or more play time or less sleep will make us happier. As adults, we know that these things that seem so fun have serious repercussions when overdone. Ice cream leads to nutrition-related illness, more play means less time for work or volunteerism and success and not having enough sleep interferes with short term functioning and long term health.
Many of us at some point wished that we were part of the in crowd, were hip or popular, especially during those high school years. Later, we learned that everything doesn’t always turn out so well for some of those people who were hip popular in part of the in crowd. There were consequences for the kids who got invited to all the parties and being exposed to all the drugs, pressure for those who were considered hip and had to keep up that image and those who were popular made many decisions based on what others expected instead of being true to themselves.
And so somewhere along the line, sooner than the later is usually best, we learn that every action has a consequence. If we take good care of ourselves, do the right things, then the consequences are good, but it we do the opposite, the consequences can be bad or worse.
Impulsiveness is doing something without thinking, but one can think and think wrong. Some people have magical thinking, thinking that there will be no negative consequences despite negative behavior. It seems silly that anyone would think that way, but people often do. Some people think that they just don’t have anything to lose, until they lose something and realize how valuable it was.
Consequences can be almost like taking fatal poison. Once taken, it is too late, no turning back, even if after it has been taken there is a wish to retreat, it is too late. That is sad to think about, but it’s true. Every action has a consequence; it is important to take some time thinking about the consequence before taking the action. Many actions we do without thinking; they seem natural to us, maybe we’ve done them for years. We already get the gist of those actions. Since, we still have choices, we should consider how these actions have affected our lives and decide to make changes, while we can. Especially since we know that every action has a consequence, either good (which can be short term) or long which can be permanent.
Going forward, take a breath every time you decide to venture into the new territory of making a new decision, picking up a new hobby, some new thing, person, or place and consciously consider the consequences before you take the action. And if you are already in troubled water, get out, make a change for the better. Work toward making all your consequences good ones.