I have been talking a lot lately about cause and effect in my coaching sessions. It is basically an NLP (neuro linguistic programming) tool that challenges your thinking.
Have you ever been in a situation where things "just happen"? Times when circumstances cause you to react? If you are controlled by circumstance then you are at the "effect" end of the pendulum. If, however you create situations and circumstance then you are at the "cause" end of the pendulum.
Let me give you an example. I coach a recruiter who is struggling to maintain his billings whilst leading a team. He has always been a big Biller. Always making things happen for himself . As a Biller he was at cause - he made things happen, always ensuring he had a pipeline, consistently billing. As a newish leader, he is very much at effect. He complains he can't motivate his team, can't maintain his billings and is now under pressure from his directors. The flag for me as his coach was his constant use of the word "can't". I knew I had to challenge his thinking to move him back to cause. I asked him "in perfect world, what would the current situation look like for you". He responded that billings would be consistent between him and his team and realistically that may mean that his billings will not be at quite the same level they were before but his team would more than make up for that. The next step was to establish some actions that he could take to empower his team
to do what needed to be done. Within 2 weeks of moving him from effect to cause, his team were noticeably more motivated and therefore more productive and on target for the first time in weeks.
Here's how to apply this to your life. When something happens (an event occurs) ask yourself whether you are at cause or effect. If you recognize you are at effect, then take action to move back to cause. It might be as simple as asking yourself how can you take control of this situation rather than handing control to someone else (like a client or candidate). Those of us at cause make things happen. We chose not to be victims or blame others for where our life is right now. We take responsibility. If you are not happy with your life right now, ask yourself "am I at cause or effect"?